John Thomas Graves

Friday, August 31, 2012

John Thomas "Tom" Graves of Red 'Arc Farm, Northwest Lamar County in Texas, died Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012, at the age of 78. Mr. Graves was born in Marked Tree but spent most of his life as a Texan. He was a graduate of Weatherford High School (1951), Texas Wesleyan College (1955), Perkins School of Theology at SMU (1958), and University of Edinburgh (1959). He received an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas in 1979.

He is survived by his children, Lauren Shaw of Plano and Mark Graves and daughter-in-law Michelle Graves, also of Plano; three grandchildren, Preston, Collin, and Melinda Shaw of Plano; his brother-in-law, Dick Crawford, and his wife Eleanor of Paris; his nieces, Julia Trigg Crawford and Allison Crawford of Direct, Texas; and a nephew, Paul Crawford of Davis, Calif.

Mr. Graves was preceded in death by his wife of 44 years, Linda Crawford Graves, and his parents, Guy Crawson Graves and Louise Jester Graves.

Tom served the North and Central Texas Conferences of the United Methodist Church for more than 50 years as an ordained elder. He pastored several congregations and also served as a District Superintendent of the Sherman McKinney District. He served on the Executive Committee of the Board of the Texas Methodist Foundation and was chairman of the Grants Committee. In 2010 he was the recipient of the "Medallion of Merit", Texas Methodist Foundation's highest award. During the last 10 years Tom wrote a series of books reflecting on his life experiences in ministry.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be sent to the Grace Avenue United Methodist Church Building Fund specified for Tom Graves Hall or the Thanks Giving Fund with Texas Methodist Foundation, Austin, Texas.

A memorial celebration of his life will take place at Grace Avenue United Methodist Church located at 3521 W. Main Street in Frisco Saturday, Sept. 8, at 1 p.m. with Reverends Billy and Laura Echols-Richter officiating. Private interment will be in the family cemetery at Red 'Arc Farm on Sept. 9. Arrangements are under the direction Dannel Funeral Home.