Ovid “Duane” Graves, age 85, of Ray, OH, peacefully crossed over that Jordan River into his eternal home with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020 surrounded by his loving family in the comforts of his home. After treading through a long and toilsome journey, he took that flight to his heavenly home in the sky. Duane knew there was a better home awaiting, “in the sky, Lord, in the sky” as he sang the song, “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” every waking hour of his latter days. With the passing of our beloved husband, father, and grandfather our “circle” has been momentarily broken, but through our faith we know that someday our circle will once again be unbroken.
Duane was born on Oct. 17, 1934 to the late Carl and Naomi Graves of Ray, OH. He grew up with seven brothers and one sister. At the age of 17 Duane met his surviving, lifelong soulmate and devoted wife, Janice “Sister” (Warrens) Graves, whom he married on Jan. 30, 1954. He is survived by their four children: daughter, Beverly (Don) Clark, of Savannah, GA; son, Kenny (Debi) Graves, of Chillicothe, OH; daughter, Diana (David) Moss, of Sissonville, WV; and daughter, Loretta (Terry) Jenkins, of Jackson, OH. In all, he was blessed with 13 grandchildren, 33 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren. He is also survived by brothers, Todd Graves and George (Bo) Graves; sister, Jan Snyder, and a host of numerous nieces, nephews, family and friends.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brothers, Sam Hill, Ernie Graves, Delno Graves, Bill Graves and Paul Smith.
Duane was a longtime member of Little Flock Old Regular Baptist Church, since 1983, where he met a multitude of lifelong friends, brothers and sisters in Christ. He dedicated a large portion of his life to his church, camping and worshipping with the associations, his faith, and as a devoted witness through the years.
At age 18, Duane went to work at Meade Paper in Chillicothe, OH where he later retired in 1996 after 44 loyal years of employment.
Although no longer with us, he has made an everlasting impression on so many. He set an unimaginable legacy that will never be forgotten. Duane had a passion for all children and deeply loved them as if they were his own. From the long walks, to the deep talks, from the loving kisses, to the stern switches. From the campfire stories while whittling sticks, throwing rocks in the creek, how fast the clock ticks. Teaching the children to ride bikes down the hill, the lessons he’s taught, we all remember still. The battle he fought he just couldn’t let go, of all the love that will always flow. Through his hands you could read quite a story, from callouses and lines, they showed years of hard work and worry. With calloused, strong hands, he embraced ours too, during our frequent walks that he loved to do. As the years went by and the children grew, we held his hand gently as he taught us to do. Oh, how he left his mark engraved in everyone’s lives. The imprints he made on each and every person he encountered leaves sacred precious memories that will linger forever. With our hands so big and his so weak, we held his tight so soft and sweet. Praying together down the long-traveled road, we knew it was time we just had to let go. Go home our beloved husband, father, grandpa and friend, we will be right behind you, we will all meet again.
Friends may call Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020 from 4 to 8 p.m. and again Wednesday, Sept. 9, from 11 a.m. until the time of the funeral at 1 p.m. at the Lewis & Gillum Funeral Home of Jackson. Burial will follow in the Warren’s Family Cemetery off Route 35. Per CDC guidelines and governor recommendations, everyone is asked to wear a mask while indoors and practice proper social distancing procedures. Online condolences may be sent to www.lewisgillum.com