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Community says goodbye to Anthony & Tammy Reece

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The first, small measure of closure came today, Saturday, July 23, 2016, to a nightmare week which began with the news that a popular young Adair County couple had lost their lives in a terrible boating accident on Lake Lanier in Georgia where they'd gone with their friends from Mt. Washington, KY for a charity boat race.

The news on Friday, July 15, 2016 of the fears that the Anthony and Tammy Reece may have been killed in a boating accident was met with disbelief and hopes that it could somehow be a mistake or, if they were in an accident, that they somehow survived it, but the confirmation that it was true came in less than a 48 hour wait, one which seemed an eternity to those who still held out hope.

It was confirmed early Sunday, July 17, 2016. The bodies of both couples -- Tammy and Anthony Reece, along with those of their friends Arthur and Melissa McMahan from Mt. Washington, KY -- were found by divers using sonar equipment. The speed boat the two couples were in had reportedly hit a wake and overturned Friday afternoon on Lake Lanier in Hall County, Georgia.

The women's bodies were the first to be recovered Friday afternoon and early Saturday morning. The search was then put on hold during the day Saturday due to heavy lake event traffic, and early Sunday morning officials let word out that they'd found the two men's bodies also.

Through the week there were so many shared, unforgettable moments, culminating Saturday, July 23, 2016 with somber, sacred tributes at joint services and visitation held in the Adair County Middle School to hold the huge crowd of those who loved them, followed by the journey to the couple's final resting place in the supremely peaceful Cane Valley Cemetery, high on the hill near a wooded section of the burial grounds.

This is an umbrella story with links walking us back through the week of news and photos. It may help friends and family members wanting quick access to our local part of the greater story as well as in future genealogist research. Organization will be updated over the next few days. Links follow:

  1. Adair awaits fate of two, Lake Lanier speedboat accident on with several outside links. This story was posted on 2016-07-15 18:51:41

  2. Larry Smith: Anthony & Tammy Reece in Lake Lanier boat crash on, with links. This story was posted on 2016-07-16 10:25:51

  3. Latest - Worst fears confirmed on fate of Reeces: CBS 46 link on This story was posted on 2016-07-17 09:32:15, with links

  4. Community grieving for losses of Tammy and Anthony Reece on Photo. 2016-07-17 - Coburg, Adair County, KY - Photo of the couple at Anthony's Auto Sales.

  5. Escort group being organized to meet hearse bearing Anthony & Tammy Reece with photo.

  6. Services for Anthony & Tammy Reece will be at Grissom-Martin on This story was posted on 2016-07-18 05:18:38

  7. Anthony Reece, 45, Adair County, KY (1970-2016) on with photo. This story was posted on 2016-07-19 14:33:01

  8. Tammy Reece, 44, Adair County, KY (1972-2016) on This story was posted on 2016-07-19 15:11:58

  9. Butch still shows up for breakfast, but knows something amiss.. Photo by Melissa Moore.

  10. Preparing to escort Anthony & Tammy Reece home, photo of Doug Hatcher and Bobby Downey. Posted 2016-07-19 - Columbia Walmart, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener.

  11. Link: Atlanta Constitution identifies names of Lake Lanier boat occupants on This story was posted on 2016-07-16 09:56:24

  12. Remembering Anthony & Tammy Reece: They loved life on An aunt's beautiful first tribute. By Brenda Henson. This story was posted on 2016-07-18 05:30:02

  13. Insights from aunt: Anthony was worker, a fanatic on cleanliness on A Classic Story by Brenda Henson, tenderly told with the humor she and her sister Barbara were renowned for. Posted on 2016-07-20 05:49:20

  14. Always the showman, Anthony Reece had flair for publicity. on 2016-07-17 - Coburg, KY - Photo by Tammy Reece of Anthony Reece delivering truck to famed NASCAR and Busch Series race car driver, Sterling Marlin

  15. Butch still shows up for breakfast, but knows something amiss on

  16. Stacy Melton thanks all for tribute to Anthony & Tammy Reece This story was posted on 2016-07-19 10:06:01 on

  17. Columbia PD extends prayers to families of Anthony & Tammy Reece by Ofc. Josh Brockman. This story was posted on 2016-07-18 13:55:26, with Columbia Police Department photo by Josh Brockman.

  18. Links: Boating tragedy, Lake Lanier, Georgia This story was posted on 2016-07-16 08:11:59 on

  19. Hearse carrying Anthony & Tammy Reece home at Livingston, TN at 2:30pmCT This story was posted on 2016-07-18 14:37:54 on

  20. Security tightens around Anthony's, as worst is confirmed Photo. Posted on 2016-07-17 - Coburg, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener, (c).

  21. Procession for Anthony & Tammy Reese. Posted 2016-07-18 - Burkesville Street at Adair County Veterans Memorial Highway - Photo by Linda Waggener on

  22. Remembering Anthony & Tammy Reece Photo of Vicky Hatcher, Sherry Patrick, Cindy Patrick, and Debbie Ward, from procession from Walmart to Grissom-Martin Funeral Home on Posted 2016-07-19 - Columbia Walmart, 2988 Burkesville Rd, Columbia, KY 42728 - Photo by Ed Waggener.

  23. Speed a 'major factor' in deadly Lake Lanier boat crash . Link to outside story in Atlanta Constitution,, posted 3:01 p.m. Monday, July 18, 2016, by Tyler Estep.

  24. Brenda Henson: Thanks for community support for Reece family. Thank you note from Anthony's Aunt Brenda Henson.
The links will be updated and many photos from today and yesterday will be linked to this page.

This story was posted on 2016-07-23 23:34:56
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Grissom-Martin Funeral Home
Located one block off the Square at 200 Campbellsville Street in Columbia, KY.
To reach David and Cathy Martin, phone (270)-384-2149, or e-mail:
Large enough to serve comfortably; Small enough to serve personally.

G & G Monuments
Todd and Mandi Green and Jared Conover
1670 Liberty Road, Columbia, KY. email:, 270-634-0359
First Quality Marble and Granite

Stotts-Phelps-McQueary Funeral Home
Established 1922 | 210 Greensburg St., Columbia, KY 42728 | Jeff Jessie, Owner
270-384-2145,, email

Anthony and Tammy Reece honored with many good memories

2016-07-21 - Brimstone - Photo by Leslie Coffey shared by Shamarie Harper.
Anthony and Tammy Reece are being remembered with a huge outpouring of love and admiration by a lifetime of family and friends. This is one of the photos being shared around the world by those who were close to the couple. Shamarie Harper posted it with her note of heartbreak when she got confirmation of their deaths because, she said, "it is so them -- Anthony with no shoes on, those big smiles on them both, it was taken at Brimstone." The couple's joint funeral service will be held Saturday, July 23, 2016 at 10amCT at the Adair County Middle School Gymnasium, 322 Gen. John Adair Drive, Columbia, KY. Visitation is after 3pmCT tomorrow, Friday, July 22, 2016, at the Adair County Middle School Gymnasium and after 7amCT Saturday until time of the funeral service.

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RZRs, Side-by-Sides in procession to Cane Valley

2016-07-23 - Campbellsville Road, Columbia, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener, (c).
Off road vehicles were in the funeral procession carrying Anthony & Tammy Reece to their final resting place in Cane Valley, Adair County, KY.

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Carrying Anthony & Tammy home to Cane Valley

2016-07-23 - Campbellsville Road & Adair County Veterans Memorial Parkway - Photo by Linda Waggener, (c).
Columbia City Police protect the passage of the hearses carrying Anthony & Tammy Reece to their final resting place in Cane Valley Cemetery passing through the intersection of Campbellsville Road and the Adair County Veterans Memorial Parkway. Vehicles stretched as far as could be seen behind them. Photo Saturday, July 23, 2016.

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After saying goodbye to Anthony & Tammy Reece

2016-07-24 - Cane Valley Cemetery Road at Old Cane Valley Road, Cane Valley, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener, CM photo.
After the committal service at the exquisite Cane Valley Cemetery, vehicles of all kinds exited. Anthony & Tammy Reece are buried in a newer section of the cemetery, to the right at the top of the hill. His mother, the late Barbara Hatcher, is interred in the old section of the cemetery, and is easily visible from the new lower parking lot. - EW

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Waiting for monuments; after committal rites

2016-07-24 - Cane Valley Cemetery, Cane Valley, KY .
Late Mid afternoon, Saturday, July 23, 2015, after mourners had left to join family meal, the freshly covered graves of Anthony & Tammy Reese where marked with floral tributes. Their final resting place is in a beautiful new wooded area of the cemetery. - EW

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At Cane Valley Cemetery: Barbara Hatcher monument

2016-07-24 - Cane Valley Cemetery, 135 Cane Valley Cemetery Road, Cane Valley, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener, (c).
She was one of the most delightful personalities ever in Adair County. The late Barbara Hatcher's monument (See: Barbara Hatcher obituary) with her sons, including, upper left, Anthony Reece (1970-2016). The marker stands out from the new parking lot on the north side - old section - of Cane Valley Cemetery. Another son's monument is to the left, south, of this monument. (See Ricky Eugene Murray, Russell County, KY (1958-2014)) Photo Sat 23 July 2016. Clicking Read More accesses "Community says goodbye to Anthony & Tammy Reece."

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Frank and Darlene Burke offered help in Cane Valley

2016-07-25 - Cane Valley, KY - Photo by Linda Waggener,
Frank and Darlene Burke said, "of course", to all asking for assistance Saturday, opening their large front lawn to folks who needed a place to park during the final services for Anthony and Tammy Reese. The Burkes live directly across the road from the Cane Valley Cemetery where the Reeces were buried. They said there were probably 100 or more cars in the funeral procession that passed their home. Darlene is a native of Cane Valley, the daughter of Gilbert Harmon. Frank is a native of eastern Wayne County, the Green Ford community. His mama still lives there but he has been an Adair Countian since 1989 when he came here with his work. Frank and Darlene joined hundreds of people mourning the Reeces who were killed in a speed boat accident in Georgia.

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