Business feature: Funeral director switched career path from medicine

Freedom New Mexico

Scott Reeves planned to be a doctor but feels he answered a higher calling.

Reeves owns Wheeler Mortuary.

The business has been around since 1924 and has been helping families through difficult times. Reeves and his wife Debbie run the business.

“I felt it was better to become a funeral director rather than a doctor,” Reeves said. “My motives for being a doctor were prestige and money. My motive for being a funeral director was to help people and (it) allows me the satisfaction of bringing comfort to families in need.”

In the beginning, Ernest N. Wheeler Jr. hired Reeves in 1968, while he was a student at Eastern New Mexico University.

Reeves said Wheeler had to two sons who became doctors. Wheeler sold the business to Reeves and Preston Dunn in 1976.

“So I became the, quote, adopted son,” Reeves said. “I went to Eastern so I could go to pre-med school.”

After working 40 hours a week at night as a hospital orderly, Reeves felt it was time for a change. Wheeler offered Reeves a job working with the ambulance, when funeral homes provided ambulance service.

“So I worked with the ambulance due to my Red Cross training and my experience with the hospital,” Reeves said. “Over time I became more involved with the funeral side of things.”

After graduating from ENMU in 1970 he became an apprentice and Wheeler sent him to mortuary school in Dallas.

When there is a death in the family Reeves said they try to determine the needs of the family.

“We consider many, many, many families to be our family,” Reeves said. “Many families in Roosevelt County consider us to be family.”