Gladys Pearl (Stewart) Graves was born on December 2, 1922 and passed away exactly 99 years later. She lived a quiet and contented life grounded in her faith, family and pride of country.
She is survived by her Daughter, Pamela Graves Phelps Mate. Grandchildren, Angela (Peter) Kolar, Tony (Lori) Phelps, Bob (Lana) Phelps, Ryan (Cindy) Phelps, Preston (Rachel) Phelps, Lisa Phelps, Matthew Phelps, Jeffrey (Sandy) Robinson, Jared (Jessica) Robinson, Shawn Robinson, Timothy Robinson and Gail Simpson. She is also survived by 19 Great-Grandchildren and 10 Great-Great Grandchildren.
She is preceded in death by her truly beloved husband, Walter Graves and children, Baby Girl Graves, Patricia Robinson and James Graves.
She was born in her grandmother’s home in Oxford, on Hovey Street, which her grandson currently resides in. While in Michigan, her father machined parts for Henry Ford. She spent her youth in New Mexico, where her father owned a gas station on Route 66. It was here that she went to a revival and gave her life to her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. She moved back to Oxford in her teen years. Working first as a cereal boxer, and then as a bagger for the local grocery store.
The story is told that a handsome young man waited outside the grocery store. He daily requested to escort young Gladys home which lead into full courting. She agreed and she and her beau, Walter, fell quickly in love. His draft into the service prompted a quick proposal. She (like her granddaughters to follow) had an independent streak and fought to stay single, but their love was just too great. They were engaged before he left for the war and she started driving army trucks for GM.
When Walter returned from the war, they had a summer wedding decorated by field-picked daisies. After a short stay in an apartment, they bought farmland on Lakeville Road where they spent the next several years building the home of their dreams. They would spend the rest of their lives in the home they built together. God blessed them with three wonderful children. Gladys spent her life serving God as a wife, mother, grandmother and friend. She was active in the First Baptist Church teaching Sunday school and supporting the church in building a Christian school.
Her faith carried her throughout her life. She was proud to share her testimony to anyone that would listen (we are certain the spam callers enjoyed this). She was a devout Christian who loved her family. To the grandchildren and their friends, she was the epitome of what a Grandma should be. She never let a stomach go hungry, always had Christian music playing and baked all of the best things. Her chocolate chip cookies were legendary. She never seemed to notice when the grandkids would clean out the cookie jar and then raid the backup supply in the freezer.
She was there for every family event. She always portrayed a loving presence. The joy of her salvation exuded from her in the form of pure happiness and love. To know her was to love her. She was funny and quick witted. She always found the humor in situations and would deliver one-liners that would catch everyone off guard.
In 1996, Gladys lost Walter after 53 blessed years of marriage. She has longed for their reunion ever since. Her eyes have been set on her eternal home while she worked out her faith here with us. Her family mourns her loss, loves her memories and rejoices that she is home with her Lord. We are so grateful that she was important to you too.
A funeral service will be held on Monday, December 13 at 11 a.m. at LakePoint Community Church, Oxford.. The family will receive friends for a visitation on Sunday, December 12 from 2 to 5 p.m. at Sparks-Griffin Funeral Home, Lake Orion.