Aug. 14, 1934 - Jan. 20, 2011
MISHAWAKA - William F. Graves Sr., 76, passed away on January 20, 2011, in his home.


Bill was born in Princeton, Indiana, but had lived in Mishawaka since 1960.


Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. and Mrs. (Polly) O.M. Graves Sr.; a brother, Dr. O.M.Graves Jr.; and one sister, Dee Peters.


He was a graduate of Culver Naval Summer School in 1951 and was a graduate of Princeton High School, class of 1952. Bill graduated from Indiana State University in 1956 with his Bachelor's and 1960 with his Master's. He served in the U.S. Army from 1957-1959 and was an Education Specialist at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico where he taught the GED Program to those in the military. Bill taught one year at Fowler High School before coming to Mishawaka where he taught elementary classes in the P.H.M School Corp for almost 30 years. Early in his career he helped organize the Indiana State Teachers Association at P.H.M. Over his career he taught at Kennedy, Elm Road, Bittersweet and Elsie Rogers Schools. He was also the swimming and life saving instructor/supervisor for the P.H.M. summer pool program. Bill retired from active teaching in 1988. In semi-retirement Bill worked security at the Notre Dame Snite Museum, Sacred Heart Basilica, and J.C. Penney at the UP Mall.


Bill is survived by his wife, Loretta J. (Bower) Graves, whom he married in 1961 in Gary, Indiana. Mr. Graves leaves a son, William F. Graves, Jr. (Gina) of Naples, FL; a daughter, Denise L. Dimos of Mishawaka, IN; her children, Benjamin C. Ford, Hailey C. Ford and Chad W. Dimos; and a son, Edward C. Graves (Melinda) of Las Vegas, NV, and their son, Mason D Graves; along with a sister, Mona Fearheiley of Mt. Carmel, IL.


 Bill served as VP & President of the Mishawaka American History Group. He was also a member of the Mishawaka Masonic Lodge #130 F&AM, along with York Rite and Scottish Rite Masonry. Bill was also very active with his church, 1st United Methodist, Mishawaka. He served for a long time as a teacher of Sunday school classes, along with singing in the choir, former mission chairman of the church, as well as the local coordinator of the blood donors group. Bill was also a longtime tutor in the St. Joe City Adult Literacy Program, a Cub Scout Master and Weblose Master. In addition, Bill served as a docent at Studebaker Museum and served on the Board of the Mishawaka Children's Museum.


He was a wonderful, loving and thoughtful husband for 49 years, and a great dad and grandfather.


Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. with a Masonic Service at 7 p.m. today, January 23rd, in Hahn Funeral Home, 505 W. 8th Street, Mishawaka.


Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m., with visitation one hour prior in church on Monday, January 24th, in First United Methodist Church, Mishawaka, with Rev. Larry Whitehead officiating.  


(Note added:  Burial was in Blythe Chapel Cemetery, Union Twp., Gibson County, Indiana.)