Alfred  Reeves

Obituary of Alfred Hayden Reeves

Alfred Hayden Reeves entered the world on January 25th, 1951, in the hip town of San Francisco. This is where he learned to wear skinny jeans and tapered shirts, smoke Virginia Slims and drink dirty martinis. He was born to Joe and Ruth, and had an older sister named Bonnie Jo, whom Al described as “four years older and just a little bit uglier than me.” Bonnie was also the one who tapered his shirts.


For the first 18 years of his life, Al lived in Brisbane and then San Bruno. Al attended Capuchino High School. The school’s mascot was the Mustangs, which also coincidentally turned out to be three of his future children’s mascot at Monte Vista High School. Who knew such a majestic horse would bring the whole family together? It is unclear if he was classmates with Suzanne Somers, but we all like to think her celebrity rubbed off on him. He often spoke of needing to maintain his “boyish figure.”


At the age of 19, Al joined the U.S. Air Force and put his self-described Ansel Adams-level photography skills to good use by developing film from SR-71 Blackbirds during the Vietnam War. After he left the service, his sister drove him to a company named Plantronics and told her hippie brother to, “Get in there and get a job. You’re not coming home unless you have one.” Well, he managed to get one, and thanks to his formidable work ethic, he rose through the ranks over the decades, retiring as Senior Director of Quality Assurance. Such an illustrious position sent him all around the world to check on Plantronics’ factories, places like Mexico, Korea, Japan, and China. In the office, he was given the nickname “Dr. No,” because he would constantly tell his colleagues their ideas were impossible. It could also have been because he was a major James Bond fan. One of Al’s greatest achievements was helping his company secure the 2013 Secretary of State’s Award for Corporate Excellence. Al got to travel to Washington, D.C. to receive the prize from none other than Secretary John Kerry. If you know anything about Al’s politics, meeting Kerry was practically at the top of his bucket list. 


On September 26th, 1981, Al and Annie Kearney welcomed into the world their beautiful daughter, Jessica, named after the mother of Paul Artreides from the hit sci-fi book, Dune. One Christmas, Al took Jess to Yosemite, and they stayed at the Ahwahnee Hotel. They had high tea at three, and then went to the Ahwahnee Christmas feast. He made her feel like the most special person in the world, which she will always remember him as having done.


On June 21st, 1992, Al married Katherine Massena; she, along with her two sons, Casey and Andrew, joined Al’s family. Together, they went on many memorable trips. One such trip involved a foray into beautiful Alberta, Canada, where the family stayed at the preeminent Prince of Wales hotel and were treated to the finest of luxury living. This included a round of golf at a course that chose to turn the sprinklers on every inch of grass as soon as Al arrived, ensuring his 9am tee off turned into a soaking mess at every hole. The family left Canada with a newfound appreciation for the United States, which was expressed through Al and Jess kissing the soil as soon as the family crossed the border. The family stayed state-side after that, venturing to such places as Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, Lolo, and Lahaina.


Over the years, Al assiduously and meticulously crafted his children into inimitable creatures. Knowing Casey and Andrew needed to “toughen up,” he enrolled them in a program called Junior Life Guards, where they were instructed to swim in the freezing Pacific Ocean on the first day, and were rescued from drowning by several lifeguards, also on the first day. In addition, he taught his children the fundamentals of democracy. When Jess, Casey, and Andrew voted to eat dinner out one night, Al overruled them, declaring, “I’m at least six kids,” to which Jess replied, “You’re at least six pigs.” Finally, though he modeled a strong work ethic, he also taught the importance of prioritizing family. One beautiful day, he pulled Jess from school. Knowing she loved the ocean, he brought her to the beach, and together, they splashed in the water, bobbing up and down in a moment that wove together eternity.


He always put family first. The proof of that was in many things, but foremost: his monumental ability to become and stay sober on November 20th, 1987.


Al was inexplicably frugal, often purchasing his clothing at rundown department stores. But he did like to shop. Two of his most prized purchases were a Corvette and a commemorative Harley-Davidson motorcycle. You could find him at Costco on Saturdays, going up and down every single aisle, filling his cart with things his family neither needed nor even asked for, or eating a Polish hot dog with sauerkraut. It didn’t matter if he was in Santa Cruz or Hawaii; you could find him at Costco.


In April of 1997, Al met Cindy at a social event. As mentioned above, he was a frugal man, and in keeping with this sacred way of life, he took her to frozen yogurt on their first date, strictly forbidding any toppings. But he stepped up his game for the second date. Cindy had just returned from a triathlon with her girlfriend, Joan. She had a message on the machine from Al, asking her out to dinner so they could celebrate her accomplishment. She looked at Joan and said she did not want to go out that night. Joan replied, “Cindy, it’s a free dinner.” So she went. They ate at Olitas. And the rest is history. They dated for five years. Al unfailingly called Cindy every night to tell her goodnight, even when he was traveling in other countries. By the end of the five years, Cindy asked Al the big question: “Where is this relationship going?” From her perspective, she needed to know if there was a future. From his, she was giving an ultimatum. But he gave his answer. One evening, at Pine Mountain Lake, Al did the most romantic thing: he randomly blurted out, in a robustly monotonous tone, “What kind of ring do you want?” Her reaction, quite understandably, was fury. After five years of courtship, this was his “proposal.” Needless to say, a do-over was in order.


During their marriage, Al and Cindy rode their Harleys to Sturgis and Milwaukee, two of the hottest destinations in the continental United States. They would take turns being in the lead. Whenever Al was in front, Cindy would fall far behind him; when she was in the lead, she would drive at 90mph. Al didn’t want Cindy so far behind, and he also didn’t want her riding so dangerously fast, so he asked her if it was possible for them to be closer together without going at breakneck speeds. They found they could accomplish this by riding side-by-side. They did this for the rest of the trip, and you might even say, they continued to do this for the rest of their marriage. Cindy once said, “Wherever we went, whatever we did was magical. He was everything to me: amazing, sincere, loving, generous, patient, gentle.”


Between the two of them, Al and Cindy already had four children. Al’s were Jess, Casey, and Andrew. And Cindy’s was Kristen. With so many mouths to feed and not enough marmalade to go around, Al and Cindy decided to ditch having human babies, and opted for dog babies, instead. Their first canine was an English Springer Spaniel that they aptly named Harley Davidson. The veterinarian described Harley as a “lemon,” and he certainly lived up to that reputation, being continually prone to seizures. But he was a sweet dog, and very playful. Al and Cindy added to their family Penelope, who was originally Bonnie’s, but came to live with Al and Cindy in 2014 when Bonnie passed away. Two years later, Harley passed. But then, two years after that, Al and Cindy welcomed a new member into the family, Maka, a dog they had met in Kaua’i. Al loved dogs. In fact, he loved them so much, he even turned his beloved, impeccable—save for a scratch Andrew left on the left passenger door, trying to get his bike out of the garage, an incident Al made sure he would never forget—Eddie Bauer Edition Ford Explorer into a dog mobile, laying down the back seat to make it more comfortable for them to ride with him.


At the age of 73, Al passed away peacefully in his home in Santa Cruz on February 26th, 2024, having lived 37 years of sobriety, for which his family is immensely proud of him. He is survived by his wife, Cindy; his four children, Jess, Casey (and his wife Catie), Andrew (and his wife, Lindsay, and children, Tova and Bodie), and Kristen (and Joe, and their two sons, Anthony and Logan); and his two nieces, Cheryl (and her husband Charlie, her sons, Taylor and Hunter, and Taylor’s girlfriend, Tosha), and Aimee (and her husband Donald, and two sons, Vincent and Joe).


Flowers can be sent to Benito & Azzaro Pacific Garden Chapel. In lieu of gifts, please donate to the Kaua’i Humane Society. 


Al’s memorial celebration will take place at 11am on Thursday, March 7th at Benito & Azzaro Pacific Gardens Chapel in Santa Cruz, CA. He will be buried the next day with his immediate family and closest friends at the Central Coast Veterans Cemetery.

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Funeral Ceremony

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Thursday, March 7, 2024
Benito & Azzaro Pacific Gardens Chapel
1050 Cayuga St
Santa Cruz, California, United States
831 423-5721

Graveside Service

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Friday, March 8, 2024
Califoaria Central Coast Veterans
2900 Parker Flats Road
Seaside , California, United States
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