CSM Thomas George Graves was born on October 14, 1943, in Cherrystone, Virginia. After a long life, he was called home to the Lord on March 11, 2022, in the comfort of his own home.
Thomas was the son of the late Edward W. Graves, Sr., and Maybelle Graves Spady. He was educated through the Northampton County Public School system where he graduated from Northampton High School. After high school, he was drafted into the United States Army from Cheriton, Virginia on November 3, 1964. During his tenure with the Army, he attended St. Leo College and graduated with an Associate Arts degree and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology/History.
During his military career (regarding his overseas assignments), he served two combat tours in South Vietnam, two tours in Panama, one tour in Hawaii, Germany, and South Korea. He had special duty assignments in Europe, Central and South America, Iran, Guam, Korea, and the Philippines. During his stateside assignments, Thomas was stationed at Fort Rucker and Redstone Arsenal, Alabama; Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Meade, Maryland; and Fort Ord, California. After 27 years, Thomas retired from the Army on September 1, 1991, while serving his last assignment at Fort Eustis, Virginia.
After the Army, Thomas continued to work and support his family. He worked at Canon as a Security guard for over 15 years. He worked with a passion and was never late. In his eyes, supporting his high-school sweetheart in marriage for over 55 years, Ethel Mae Graves, and their two sons, Marcus and Jason, is what mattered to him the most.
Thomas had many passions in life. During his time in the Army, he loved fixing helicopters and fixed-wing aircrafts as a mechanic. Doing his job to the best of his ability was most important to him. As a Command Sergeant Major, he enjoyed leading Army personnel and making them strong as a unit. In his past time, he loved keeping his cars cleaned and shined. His old Volkswagen always was looking at its best. He loved music and spending time with his family.
In addition to his parents, Thomas was preceded in death by his brothers, James Graves, Edward Graves, Jr., and Theodore Graves. Thomas Graves is survived by his wife, Ethel Mae Graves; two sons, Marcus (Jacqueline) and Jason Graves; grandchildren, Austin and Ariyah Graves, and Fred Nicholas; sister, Beverly Davis of Painter, Virginia; and a host of nephews, nieces, cousins, and many friends around the world to cherish his memories.
Thomas George Graves was a humble, hard-working man until the end while dealing with Parkinson’s disease. He always had a smile on his face no matter what he was going through, telling everyone to "Be your best self."
We would like to thank his care providers, Dr. Shantha Das, Dr. Lloyd Hitchings from the Veteran’s Hospital in Hampton, Martha Jones (his nurse’s aide), and the Riverside Hospice Team from Riverside Hospital in Newport News, Va.
A funeral service with full military honors will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, March 26, 2022, at Whiting's Funeral Home, with Rev. Dr. Peter A. Evans officiating. Live stream will be available at the beginning of the service. CSM Graves may be viewed on Friday from 6:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. in the funeral home. Facial covers are required at all services.
Professional services entrusted to the staff of Whiting's Funeral Home, 7005 Pocahontas Trail, Williamsburg, Virginia 23185. 757-229-3011 whitingsfuneralhome.com
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