Posted: Mon 11:13 AM, Aug 19, 2013
March 1, 1931 - August 8, 2013
Don Richard Graves passed away peacefully on Thursday, August 8, 2013 at his residence in Gainesville, Virginia, with his wife and daughter by his side.
Born in Brownwood, Texas, to Ruby and Casey Graves March 1, 1931, Don was introduced to flying airplanes at a young age by his uncles. He was a student athlete, captain of the track team, and a 1952 graduate of Texas A&M University. As a commissioned Army officer, he flew artillery spotting missions during the Korean War. He later returned to service as an instructor pilot, training helicopter pilots bound for Vietnam.
Don was known for his love of flying, friends, and family. He supported Aggie sports through his life and was a member of the Letterman's Association. Hunting and fishing as frequently as possible, Don had a special love and respect for nature and the outdoors. He made many happy memories with his family on his farm near Washington-on-the-Brazos, where he later based his crop-dusting business and cultivated a small peach orchard. He was very proud to serve the family farmers of the Navasota-Brazos river bottom for more than twenty-five years through Graves Flying Service.
Don is survived by his wife of 61 years, Neta (Dillin) Graves; his two daughters and sons-in-law, Donna and Paul Shireman, of Houston Texas, and Holly and Allen Murray, of Gainesville Virginia; three grandchildren, Schuyler, Casey, and Mackenzie; his brother-in-law and good friend, George Dillin; his sister-in-law, Suzanne Dillin, both of Flower Mound, Texas and three nephews.
A memorial service with friends and family will be held at a later date in Texas. Expressions of sympathy can be made to Capital Caring Hospice, of Manassas Virginia, in his memory at www.capitalcaring.org www.capitalcaring.org.