Meadville Tribune

Obituaries (Archives)

July 10, 2014

Elder James Avern Arthur Graves

MEADVILLE — Elder James Avern Arthur Graves, 81, of 793 Kennedy St., Meadville, passed away Tuesday, July 8, 2014, at Meadville Medical Center.

James was born in Alberta, Va., on June 22, 1933, a son of the late Otis and Leola Tucker Graves.

On Oct. 20, 1979, James married Sharon R. Boyd; she survives.

James was a devoted member and elder of St. John Missionary Full Gospel Baptist Church, Meadville. He loved God and his church, serving them tirelessly at whatever work needed to be done. James had also been in many leadership positions in the church, including superintendent of Sunday school, trustee, deacon, minister and finally as an ordained elder. He was also a member of the Hospice/Prison Ministry.

Following his graduation from St. Paul High School in Alberta, James joined the U.S. Army where much of his service time was spent in England and Germany. Upon his honorable discharge in 1956 he enrolled in trade school where he became a diesel mechanic, and moved to Pittsburgh. He later moved to Franklin and worked 26 years at Joy Manufacturing until his retirement in April 2000.

An avid motorcyclist, James was a member of the Christian Motorcycle Association. He loved gardening and sharing his vegetable harvest with many. He also enjoyed fishing and hunting. James will be dearly missed.

In addition to his wife Sharon Boyd Graves, of 34 years, James leaves behind a son, Courtney B. Harris of Meadville. He also leaves to mourn a sister, Sarah Olivia Sweetwine of New York; four brothers, Robert Graves, Richard Graves, Roosevelt Graves, all of New Jersey, and Clarence Graves of Virginia; and a host of nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

In addition to his parents, James was preceded in death by a sister, Georgia Bland; a brother, Edward Graves; and an infant sister.

Family and friends are invited to call on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at St. John Missionary Full Gospel Baptist Church, 792 N. Main St., Meadville, where, following military honors by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2006, a Homecoming service will be held at noon, with Bishop Stanley Smith, pastor, officiating.

Elder James A. Graves will be laid to rest in Greendale Cemetery, West Mead Township.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Yolanda G. Barco Oncology Institute, 16792 Conneaut Lake Road, Meadville, Pa. 16335.

Arrangements are under the direction of Stephen P. Mizner Funeral Home & Cremation Services Inc., 404 Chestnut St., Meadville.

Share your condolences at miznerfuneralhome.com.

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