Our beloved husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, uncle, brother, and friend, Joseph “Joe” Talmage Graves, peacefully passed away, with his wife, Winona, and friends at his side, on May 2, 2013, in Bountiful.
Joe was born in Newry, South Carolina, to Fred and Oree Herbert Graves, on October 5, 1931. Until his 15th year he grew up in Clinton, South Carolina.
His family moved to Salt Lake City in October, 1945. He attended Jackson Junior High School and graduated from West High School in June, 1949. During high school, he worked at LDS Hospital. After high school he worked at Safeway super market on Sixth Avenue and later at Rusco Window. He was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in which he served in many positions. He was called from the Jordan Park Ward, to serve a mission for the Church in the Western Canadian Mission from 1951 to 1953. Upon his return, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and served at Ft. Ord, California until his discharge in 1955. That Fall, he began studying at the University of Utah.
In the Summer of 1955, his Army buddy, Lowell Gould, introduced him to Diane Christensen, from Brigham City, Utah. She became the light of his life and they were married on June 8, 1956 in the Salt Lake Temple. He resumed his studies at the University of Utah, and received his Bachelor’s Degree on June, 1959. He continued his education at Utah State University where he received his Master of Science degree and began his studies for his doctorate. He was an accomplished educator at the secondary and college level.
In October, 1972, Diane died. In April 9, 1993 he married Winona Blood Hepworth. They made their home in Bountiful.
Joe was a talented actor; he loved theater. He appeared in many plays in Utah community theater, LDS Church productions, Lagoon Theater productions. He had a good singing voice which he used in choruses and quartets.
All his life he was a sports enthusiast. He played baseball and basketball, and was a tough competitor. His enjoyment of sports led him to work for the University of Utah sports programs, Utah Jazz, and the Salt Lake Bees. During Summer months he umpired for local baseball teams.
He was loyal and devoted to his family and friends, of which he had many. He was kind and caring to all who knew him, and was a positive influence for many. This grew from his love of all people. He was known for his compassion; always willing to help anyone in need. He felt service was a divine privilege. He possessed a keen wit and a vibrant sense of humor. He was a happy man and enjoyed making others happy. His wisdom cast him in the role of trusted mentor to one and all. He was a gifted teacher in school and in his Church. All will remember him as an accomplished and loving storyteller and writer. He touched many lives with his inspiring spirit. His mother in one of her pieces of poetry written for him, she advised: “Be happy, my son, all the way through the span of your life. Be kind, friendly and nice.” He stayed true to that counsel, as numerous friends will attest.
Joe and Winona especially treasured the time they served together in the Bountiful Temple.
Even though he will be greatly missed, his influence, love, and spirit will continue to be felt by those who were blessed to know him.
He is survived by his wife, Winona; three children, Jody (Richard - deceased) Heaps, of Cedar City, Utah, Todd (Chris) Graves, of St. George, Utah, and Kelly (Mary) Graves, of Spokane, Washington; step-children, Bryan (Joan) Bowles, Mikki (Sandy) Anderson, Jonan (Steve) Williams, Rob (Lisa) Blood, Derek Blood, York (Bonnie) Blood, Tad Blood, and Jenny Blood; sister, Virginia Hawkins (Grover), brother, Charles (Annette) Graves, brother-in-law, R. L. Black (Bernice), numerous nieces and nephews, 40 grandchildren, and 34 great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by wife, Diane, parents, Fred and Oree Graves, and sister, Bernice Black.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, May 8, at 11 a.m. at the Stone Creek LDS Chapel, 1475 N. 300 West, Bountiful. Viewing will be held Tuesday, May 7, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Russon Brothers Mortuary, 295 North Main, Bountiful, and Wednesday morning 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., prior to the funeral service. Interment Bountiful City Cemetery. Online guest book at www.russonmortuary.com.