Darla went to work for Mary and knew it all. She was a great source of information for me and had the "low down" on various personalities that passed through Jim Reeves Enterprises. Just recently I ran across one of my taped conversations with her on the phone. She was privy to financial matters, and was a trusted confidant of Mary's, who knew many of her secrets. Ginny King and Joyce Grey Jackson likewise worked in the Reeves office during some of those years. Darla also traveled with Mary on big trips out of town on occasion.
She was bluntly honest and was anxious for the truth about various situations to come out. I promised Darla I would include some of her stories in the next edition of my book.
Many fans around the world had contact with Darla by mail, phone and when they visited Nashville, as I did when I'd go to see Mary. I remember one day when I was in the Reeves office (when I was a teenager), Darla was particularly concerned that I hadn't had lunch and sort of looked after me while Mary was momentarily preoccupied.
The last time I was in touch with Darla earlier this year she was sharp as a tack, and then she went into the hospital for COPD and while there developed dementia, which progressed rapidly. Soon she was in hospice care.
I know how delicate this sort of situation can be within a family so I did not mention anything about it on the Fan Forum at the time. I just learned tonight she passed away a few weeks ago. I'm very saddened by this.
Darla Dorris, as she came to be called, kept up to date on Reeves estate matters and was one of Mary's heirs, whom Mrs. Reeves provided for in her will (though the lawyers have gotten millions of dollars and the heirs have gotten ZILCH). Darla also helped me confirm and fill in the details of stories that I did not include in the first edition of my book, but which I plan to put in the next printing. And she sent me extensive paperwork documentation.
She resided in Gulf Shores, Alabama and I extend my condolences to her family -- including daughters Marilyn and Kelly -- and many friends.
We never know when a new year begins what the future holds for any of us, and it is always shocking when someone who is so alive and vibrant one minute suddenly and unexpectedly succumbs to illness and is no longer among us.
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