Obituary for Jeffrey Scott Graves

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My wife says that I have to tell my story one more time. So here it goes…. I was born a cute, adorable, handsome boy (my wife thinks so) to my parents Kenneth and Geraldine (Taylor) Graves on July 12, 1950. Later my parents gave me my sister Kim. I was raised on the Northside of La Crosse (Northside Rules). I lived my whole childhood in the same neighborhood on Kane Street, and later returned to the same block to raise my family. “Once a Northsider, always a Northsider!”
I went to Roosevelt Elementary School which was only 1 ½ blocks away until they changed the school boundaries and then I went to Franklin Elementary for one year. It was a long walk to Franklin, but good practice for my years at Logan Middle and Logan High School. I was a pretty good athlete in high school. I played football, track, gymnastics, and wrestling. I was willing to try anything at least once. I spent my summers boating, water skiing, golfing and generally having a fun time. When as an adult I took up running and even did a half-marathon.
As a young boy, I was active in Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and accomplished becoming an Eagle Scout. I learned to play the guitar and was in a band. We practiced in my parent’s basement. Boy did we raise the rafters! This was good practice for when I became a Youth Director at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. We had a singing group there called the “Wings of Faith”. My dad taught me many skills such as carpentry, mechanics, electrical and many other skills that were helpful in my life. I passed these life skills on to my children. Who else sends their daughter off to college with a pink tool kit? I taught both my son and daughter how to use those tools.
I loved wood working. I spent many hours building everything from chairs, tables, bookshelves, beds, and anything else someone would ask me to make. I loved house remodeling and renovating.
I always enjoyed the outdoors. Some of our best times were going up to Hayward camping with our children and with our close friends, Terry and Susie Hammond and their two boys, Todd and Billy. I really enjoyed any opportunity to go fishing.
I continued my education after graduating from Logan High School (1968) at Coleman Technical College and became a draftsman. My working career was as adventurous as my school activities. My early careers include: draftsman, apprentice carpenter, silk screen worker, and plant manager (used my hands and mind to work). Then, I wanted to fulfill my dream of being a police officer. This was at a time when most of my friends were already settled in careers. So, I became an officer and worked for the Onalaska Police Dept. and then for the La Crosse Police Dept. as a patrol officer. Then I moved to community service and became a Dare Officer, teaching in the elementary, middle, and high schools on the Northside. Later I became the School Liaison Officer at Logan High School. I was very proud when I retired, because I was able to turn my job over to my son Heath who followed in my footsteps. The school did not have to change the name on the door of the office, because it said Officer Graves. I loved that the students gave me the nickname of OG (Officer Graves). I have had the privilege of working with amazing people at the Police Depts., school system, and especially with my beloved Logan High School family.
I have a wonderful loving family. My daughter, Heather (Parnell) Miles and their children, Jade and Christian Miles. My son, Heath (Sarah) Graves and their children, Arielle (Colt Havlik), Bradey, Quinton and Sadie Graves. My sister, Kim Malcohm and her children, Brian (Mary) and Taylor Malcohm. My sister-in-law Marvel (Michael) Faherty and their children, Dawn (Tom Dostel) Faherty, Erin (Dan) Wuchina, and Bronwyn (Eric) McMullin. My sister-in-law, Liz Riddle and her children, Joan (Ed) Beickman and Stephanie (Vinny Pettibone) Troyer. My sister-in-law Jane Riddle. My sister-in-law Janice (David) Norwood and their children, Michelle (Wayne Holmes) Dennison, Troy Eggen, Julie (Michael) Blagg and Jill (Ronnie) Dye and many great-nieces and great-nephews. I am looking forward to seeing my family waiting for me in Heaven. My parents, Ken and Gerry, my in-laws, Irvin and Lucille Riddle, my brother-in-law, Marvin Riddle, and especially my grand-children, PJ Miles and Sam Graves.
And then there is my wife, Janet Eileen (Riddle) Graves. I first saw her at age 12 at an all school choir performance, but she did not meet me until later in 7th grade. She sat behind me in homeroom and I must have impressed her. I tried to get to know her by using a ruse of teaching her to play tennis. I did get to know her but I never did teach her to play tennis. We connected again between 9th and 10th grade and we were childhood sweethearts. We were married on Columbus Day, Oct. 12th before the government changed the holiday to a Monday.
I would like to give hugs and kisses to my colleagues, friends, and family who have touched my life. Please come Tuesday, August 15th from 4 to 8 pm at Dickinson Family Funeral Home at 809 Gillette St. in La Crosse. Bring a story or memory about me that my family may not know about. I will share my Oreos and M & M’s with you. If you are not able to come, please leave a story or comment at www.dickinsonfuneralhomes.com, so my family can read it. I will be starting a special fund at Logan High School to help students with needs. If you wish, please give to this fund in lieu of flowers. My wife plans to keep me around a while longer. I will rest my head on our special day, Oct. 12, 2017.
And lastly, to my wife, Janet….let’s kitchen dance. I will sing in your ear your favorite song, or you can sing to me. Let’s hold hands and share our soft kisses. Love you forever and always, 40/60. Jeff