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Floyd Graves

1922 - 2011 Obituary Condolences
Floyd Graves Obituary
Floyd Graves, 89

Floyd Graves of Mountain Home passed away Monday, August 15, 2011. He was an engineer, well known and respected for construction projects all over the world. Born in Smokey Lake, Alberta, Canada, May 27, 1922, he grew up on the family farm there with two brothers and five sisters.

Mr. Graves went to Vancouver, British Columbia, where he learned the U. S. Army engineers were interviewing potential workers for the Alaska Highway. When he applied for a position, he was hired on the spot.

Mr. Graves lifelong dreams were to become an engineer and to see the world. At twenty-one years of age he had secured the job that would provide both opportunities.

Soon Mr. Graves became responsible for a crew of men twice his age. They accepted his leadership because of his excellent performance and motivational ability. Even though much younger than his crew, he was respected for his kindness, energy, knowledge, and dedication. Within a few years, Mr. Graves became second in command of the entire St. Lawrence Seaway project, a joint venture with Cornwall, Canada, and Massena, New York.

Upon completion of his first construction job, Mr. Graves was encouraged to pursue further education in engineering and given the opportunity to go from the Yukon Territory to Arkansas to work on Bull Shoals Dam. That is when Mr. Graves achieved another goal: to become a naturalized citizen of the United States.

During the construction of Bull Shoals Dam, this dashing young man brimming with charm and good looks met Mary Clinkingbeard, a native of Mountain Home. She became the love of his life, and they married January 31, 1950. He promised to show Mary the world and spent his life keeping his promise. Their first home was in Oregon where a job awaited Mr. and Mrs. Graves' imminent arrival.

Eventually the Graves family established residence in a total of sixteen states and five countries. Their sons can enumerate the various schools they attended in British Columbia, the U. S. Virgin Islands, and Labrador from kindergarten through high school. Mr. and Mrs. Graves lived in Indonesia and Saudi Arabia during their sons' college years.

Work on dams required relocation to Texas, Canada, and Oregon. Mr. and Mrs. Graves lived near Oakland, California, where Floyd worked on the 12th Street Station in San Francisco for the Bay Area Rapid Transit System (BART). They relocated to Florida for a nuclear plant on Hutchinson Island, and to Indonesia for a water treatment plant. Other projects took them to Brazil and Labrador.

Mr. and Mrs. Graves spent five and one-half years in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for the King Kalid Airport. While there, periodically-required furloughs provided sight-seeing tours of thirty-five countries.

Finally, Mr. and Mrs. Graves settled down in California for almost twenty years before retiring to Mountain Home.

In his last months, one of Mr. Graves' great pleasures was listening as his loving wife read aloud from the journals she meticulously kept throughout their life together.

Mr. Graves will never be forgotten because, most of all, he loved his family. He was preceded in death by his parents, both natives of Austria; all his siblings; and a very special friend, Dr. Gene Harrell, his golfing and deer-hunting buddy.

Besides his wife, Mary, of sixty-one years, Mr. Graves is survived by two sons, Duane of Mountain Home and Dean (Peggy) of Houston, Texas; six grandsons: Dustin, Nicholas, and Jacob, of California, with their mother, Madge; and grandsons, Peter, Robert, and Patrick of Texas; many nieces and nephews; a special cousin, Marie Rusnak, of British Columbia, Canada; a sister-in-law and her husband in Missouri; a brother-in-law and his wife in Calico Rock, and another brother-in-law and his wife in Cotter; and so many friends cultivated over the years by Mr. Graves, a 32nd degree Mason and Shriner.

Mr. Graves was a wonderful man, a much-loved husband, father, and grandfather. All who knew him will miss him. Yet they find comfort and peace in knowing his suffering is ended and he is with his Savior. They eagerly look forward to seeing him again.

Visitation will be held from 1-2 PM Saturday, August 27, 2011 at Roller Funeral Home. A Celebration of Life Service , conducted by Reverend Tommy Cunningham will follow at 2 PM. Arrangements by Roller Funeral Home. Online guestbook:www.rollerfuneralhomes.com.

Published in Baxter Bulletin on Aug. 20, 2011
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