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Reba McEntire’s Father Continues Recovery Following Stroke

Russ Harrington

Reba McEntire‘s father, 84-year-old Clark McEntire, continues to make progress following a stroke, which left him in a coma earlier this year. All smiles, Reba described her father’s road to recovery.

“He’s doing very well. They’ve moved him from the hospital to the rehab center,” Reba tells The Boot. “I’m not kidding you. We have planned the funeral three times. We’ve selected songs. We’ve picked out where he’s going to be buried, and now he’s just done a complete turnaround. I talked to him on the phone. Saturday, we went down to watch [son] Shelby race cars in Barber, Alabama, at a Grand Am race. I called Mama and I told her we were on our way. She said, ‘Well, tell your daddy that. I’m gonna put the phone up to him.’”

Reba was amazed to be able to hear her father’s voice on the other end of the line. “I talked and I talked and pretty soon I heard him clear his throat, and I stopped talking. He said, ‘Well, does it look like he’s got a chance?’ I almost dropped the phone, and I thought, ‘Well, that’s lucid. He knows what I’m talking about.’ He asked me the question and I said, ‘Well, yeah, daddy. He might have a chance. Yeah. He said, ‘Well, alright, tell him to drive fast but safe, you know, stay safe.’ I said, ‘OK.’ He said, ‘Thanks for calling.’ And mom got on the phone, and she said, ‘What’d you think about that?’ I said, ‘Oh my gosh! Can’t believe it!’ [pausing] He wasn’t finished.”

At the beginning of last month, when it was announced that Reba, who has scored 35 No. 1 songs over the course of her career, would be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, the singer was sitting by her father’s hospital bed in Tulsa as he lay in a coma. The country queen had told her beloved father she was going to be inducted just two days before he slipped into a coma, and she wasn’t sure he would be alive for the official ceremony later this year. Now she has hopes the three-time World Champion Steer Roper will be able to make it.

“I’m going to see him day after tomorrow, so I’m going to tell him again. Mama went home to get his clothes. They said, ‘Get him out of this hospital gown and put his clothes back on him.’ And he told Mama, ‘Bring me back my cowboy hat.’ I’ll be telling him again [about the induction] — ‘Get your butt out of this rehab center and let’s go to Nashville.’”

Reba wrapped up the latest leg of her tour dates with George Strait and Lee Ann Womack in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday and has plans to spend much of her summer with her parents in Oklahoma, before heading back on the road this fall.


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