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Van Vechten Breese Graves

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Van Vechten Breese Graves 1906 - 2009 BENNINGTON Mr. Van Vechten Breese Graves passed away peacefully, following a short illness at 103 years old. He was a distinguished Attorney, Judge and World War II veteran who proudly served in the European Theater. Mr. Graves was born in Bennington, Vt., on May 20, 1906, the youngest of three sons of Collins M. Graves and Florence Quackenbush Graves. He attended local schools and graduated high school from Pawling School. He graduated from Brown University in 1929. While at Brown he was a member of the DKE fraternity. Following graduation he was employed for several years by the old National City Bank of New York in its Far East Division. He returned to Bennington and commenced to study law in the office of his brother, Cebra Q. Graves and worked for the firm of Jerome, Graves and Graves. He was admitted to the Vermont Bar in 1936. He then practiced law with his brother and the late William Travers Jerome, Jr. until the firm was dissolved due to the War. Mr. Graves married the former Ella Fitzgerald in Bennington on Nov. 4, 1939. Mr. Graves was an Army veteran. He entered the Army in May of 1943 and served overseas for two years with the 12th Criminal Investigation Division. During that time he served in many posts including Ireland, England, France and Luxemburg. Mr. Graves was also a member of the Vermont State Guard. Following the end of World War II, Mr. Graves was engaged in the private practice of Law and for 12 years served as Probate Judge for the District of Bennington from 1949 until 1961. Noted for his interest and love of town politics and history, Mr. Graves also served several years as Attorney for the Village of Bennington. For many years he was Director of the old County National Bank of Bennington and was a Vice President of the institution. He was a member of the local Selective Service Board in earlier years. In addition he also served on the Board of the Putnam Memorial Hospital, the Bennington Library, and the Charles Cooper School. He retired from the practice of law in 1972. Mr. Graves was a member of the St. Peter's Episcopal Church and had served on the Vestry. He was a member of the Bennington Elks Lodge 567 and longtime member of the American Legion Post 13. He was pre-deceased by his beloved wife Ella Fitzgerald Graves on January 20, 2005, not before they celebrated more than 60 years of marriage. He was also pre-deceased by brothers Cebra Q. Graves of France, George M. Graves of Shaftsbury, and William R. Graves of Pownal. He leaves his only son, Peter Q. Graves of Bennington, and his fiancée, Cami Thompson, two cherished grandchildren; Katherine Bowen, and her husband, Mark of Putney, Vt., and Willy Graves of Putney and his much loved great grandchild, James M. Bowen of Putney. He also leaves a nephew, John Y.C. Graves of East Hampton, N.Y., and numerous cousins and relatives. FUNERAL NOTICE: The funeral will be held from Saint Peter's Episcopal Church in Bennington on Monday, Oct. 19, at 2 p.m. Burial with military honors will take place in the family lot in the Old Bennington Cemetery in Bennington. At the request of Mr. Graves there will be no calling hours. If friends desire contributions in memory of Mr. Graves may be made to Kurn-Hattin Home or the VNA and Hospice of Southwestern Vermont Health Care, through the office of the MAHAR AND SON FUNERAL HOME 628 Main St. Bennington, VT 05201 Guest book condolences may be made at www.maharandsonfuneralhome.net.
Published in Bennington Banner on Sept. 30, 2009
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