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Ernest Graves, 93, died peacefully in his home and went to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on Wed., Oct. 31.
He was born May 21, 1919 in Pinetta, FL. He joined the Navy and served in the South Pacific during WWII and served again during the Korean Conflict. When he returned to civilian life he became a pump mechanic with Standard Oil, where he worked until his retirement in 1984. His job took him to Jacksonville and Orlando before he and his wife settled in Panama City in 1956. They raised two sons.
Ernest loved the outdoors and spent many years of his retirement breeding, training and showing Arabian horses. He was an avid gardener and planted a spring and winter vegetable garden every year. His passion was music, singing and playing the guitar, and playing the fiddle, until a small stroke gave him limited use of his left hand. Determined to make music, he took up the harmonica. Right up until his death, he played in a band three to four days a week, performing at local nursing homes.
Mr. Graves was preceded in death by his wife, Ora Leigh; his parents, Charles and Willie Lou Graves; and his three siblings, Henry Paul Graves, Charles Hansel Graves and Doris Graves Elmore.
He is survived by his two sons, Kenneth Graves of Panama City and Shelton Graves of Tallahassee; and other extended family.
Ernest has been a member of the First Baptist Church of Deerpoint Lake for the last several years, and before that he was a long standing member of the First United Methodist Church.
Visitation is this Sunday from 5-7 p.m., and the funeral is Monday at 10 a.m., both at Kent Forest Lawn Funeral Home. The Rev. Richard Elliott will conduct the service. Interment will follow at Evergreen Cemetery.
2403 Harrison Ave.
Panama City, Fla. 32405
Published in Panama City News Herald on Nov. 3, 2012