James Graves, 67

James Graves

James Walter Graves passed away on March 13, 2021. He was 67 years old.
Jim (“Jimmy”, “Wally”) came into and left this world in a big way on Oct. 21, 1953. Literally, as he showed up as a whopping 11 pound bouncing baby boy and didn’t come across a single person in life that he didn’t go out of his way for. As condolences roll in, there is a common theme across them all, giving. He gave everything he could, to everyone he could. Whether you were a friend in need of a new roof, a stranded stranger with a flat tire, a neighbor that needed a ride or just a person looking for support, he stopped everything he was doing to give what was needed by others. He gave his life to his Lord and Savior at a young age and exemplified what Christian love is for the following 50+ years.
He was a gentle giant that loved life, his Lord, his family and friends – and of course his hound dogs (all of which were named Sam). He had a great love for the outdoors from an early age and would much rather find himself sitting in a blind or fishing boat than anywhere else. He was a wizard of all projects deemed impossible. There wasn’t a wall that couldn’t be moved, a tool that couldn’t be invented, or a basement that couldn’t be built under a standing home. If you couldn’t solve a problem, he always could. He never asked for payment, nor would he accept any given. His reward was always being able to help another human.
He retired from Oxford Schools where he served as a head custodian and head bus mechanic. Notably the only custodian that made the local papers by showing up in a full tuxedo to crack a smile. His laugh was as large as he was and you could feel the joy he exuded when he was telling a terrible “knee-slapper” dad joke or playing a prank on someone. His love for life was palpable.
He was the most kind and loving father and grandfather that anyone could ask for. In the last 2 years, his favorite thing to do was spend time with his daughter, son-in-law and his best buddy, his only grandson and namesake, Aidan James. It should be noted that he was also always available to be a “second dad” to all of his daughter’s dear friends, most prominently, Megan (Squires) Van Norman, Rebecca Rathburg and Alesha Page.
Jim is survived by his mother, Gladys (Stewart) Graves (at the young 98, she is on pace to survive us all), his sister, Pamela (Graves) Phelps, his daughter, Angie (Peter) Kolar and his grandson, Aidan. He was an uncle to 10 (The Robinsons: Jeffrey, Jared, Shawn and Timothy and the Phelps: Tony, Bob, Ryan, Preston, Lisa and Matthew). He was a great uncle to dozens, decades long best friends with Dianne Squires and Rod Johnson and a dear, dear friend of LeeAnne Hicks.
He is preceded in death by his loving father, Walter Graves and beloved sister, Patricia (Graves) Robinson.
His love and legacy of selfless giving will carry on in the broken hearts of those that will always remember him with a smile and an ill-timed joke.

2 Responses to "James Graves, 67"

  1. Ann Parker, Meixner   March 16, 2021 at 2:52 pm

    Jimmy, you made me laugh every day when we worked together at the bus garage and high school. I remember the day you hired in. Always friendly and helpful and so darn funny.
    I can imagine how much your family will miss you.
    You can now entertain the other Angels in Heaven.
    God Speed!

  2. Penny (Schuman) Warden   March 17, 2021 at 6:17 pm

    Although it has been years, I will never forget all your help and kindness. And of course, all the good times. You will be truly missed.


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