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Raymond V. Graves

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Sergeant Major Raymond V. Graves, United States Army, passed away at age 94 on Wednesday, August 20, 2008, while living at the Tennessee Veterans Home in Knoxville, TN.

Raymond was born on January 20, 1914 in Fort Worth, Texas. As a child of the depression he learned the lesson of self discipline and personal responsibility as well as the value of hard work early in his life. A man of honor and integrity, Raymond worked various jobs throughout his life, ever mindful of his need to support himself and his family and to "pay his own way". He was a printer's assistant for a local newspaper, drove wagon loads of nitroglycerine for construction crews and was a cook in a small restaurant. That is where he met the love of his life and his wife of 52 years, Genevieve Collard Graves. It is said that she fell in love with his raisin pie.

Raymond's main career was the United States Army. While he was certainly proud of his Reserve Commission of Captain, he was proudest to have been one of the first promoted to the rank of Sergeant Major when it was reinstated in the Regular Army. Raymond served in World War II, where he was twice wounded and received the Bronze Star, among other awards.

After the Korean "conflict" he served as the Administrative Assistant to the Labor Section, 8th US Army, filling that post from 1 June to 8 November, 1953. His dedication to duty and his intelligence won him a commendation from the Commanding General of the ROK Army, Brigadier General Paik Hong Suck, who noted that Raymond's "exceptionally meritorious service will brighten the history of the ROK and will forever be remembered by the ROK Army Soldiers." His loyal and dedicated service to the United States of America lasted 32 years.

More than the Army, though, Raymond loved his six children, five of whom survive him. He wrote many poems over the years that reflected his love of family and his love of life. Echoing the way he lived much of his life, Raymond's heart stopped in the middle of a good laugh, surrounded by new friends. He will be deeply missed by his children, their spouses, his 18 Grandchildren, 30 Great-Grandchildren and three Great-Great-Grandchildren.

Graveside services will be held at Glen Oaks Memorial Park, Veterans Court, on Sunday, September 14, 2008, at 10 a.m.
Published in Chico Enterprise-Record on Sept. 10, 2008
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