LeRoy Graves of Hygiene died Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2009 at Longmont United Hospital. He was 92 years old.
Born in Longmont to Charles Roscoe and Mabel Meta (Molsberry) Graves, he grew up on a farm west of Berthoud where his family moved when he was very young. All his life he loved farming and when people remarked on observing his overalls that he must be a farmer, he would reply “and proud of it.”
Graves graduated from Berthoud High School in 1934 and married Ruby Hall on Dec. 29, 1938 in Longmont.
After he grew up, he operated the family farm with his brothers until 1968, when he moved to Steamboat Springs where he operated a ranch with his brother for several years. The couple later moved to Hygiene, where Graves worked on two dairy farms until he retired.
The Graves lost their only child, Dorothy Mae, in 1962 but always retained their love for children. They raised several foster children, and former residents still remark on how the two were like grandparents to their children.
Graves was also a charter member of the Little Thompson Grange.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Ruby, in 1997; daughter, Dorothy Mae Hancock; his parents; three sisters, Reva Bradney, Alice Crosby and Hazel Coler and three brothers, Willard Graves, Charles Robert Graves and Oscar Myron Graves. He is also survived by one brother, Jay, of Denver; numerous nieces, nephews, foster children and close family friends.
Cremation is being handled by Ahlberg Funeral Chapel and Crematory. Contributions can be made to Friends of the Lyons Depot Library and sent to Ahlberg Funeral Chapel. Share your condolences at www.ahlbergfuneralchapel.com .
Per Graves’ wishes, no services are scheduled.
Willard D. Graves, of Berthoud, died Monday, Feb. 2, 2009 at Hospice Care in Louisville. He was 100.
Born Oct. 15, 1908 in Spring Valley, Minn., to Charles Roscoe and Mabel Meta (Molsberry) Graves, the family moved to Colorado a few years later, where he and his seven brothers and sisters grew up on a farm west of Berthoud. Graves loved nature – the trees and grasses, wildlife and especially birds. He was dubbed “Tweet” by his sisters because of his expertise in whistling and bird calls.
Graves graduated from Berthoud High School in 1927 and played the baritone in the BHS marching band. He majored in Forestry Management at Colorado A&M in Fort Collins and received his Bachelor of Science degree from the old Aggies Warner College of Natural Resources in 1936. He was a member of the Civilian Conservation Corps and worked several jobs in forests in the west, including a stint as a “smokechaser” on a one-person fire lookout in Idaho.
In the late 1930s, Graves began a 30-year career with the Department of Agriculture’s newly formed Soil Conservation Service (SCS). As a range conservationist with a specialty in grasslands, he helped develop vegetation recovery plans and other erosion control for farms and ranches following the Dust Bowl.
On Nov. 1, 1941, he married Helen Dolores Hall of Trinidad, Colo. Their newlywed plans abruptly changed when Pearl Harbor was attacked the next month. Graves joined the Army Air Corps where he served stateside as a meteorologist. Following the war, the couple and their two toddlers moved back to the Fort Collins area where he returned to his work with the SCS and began raising their family of four children. In 1957 they moved to Littleton, where Graves resided until moving to the Berthoud Living Center in September 2007.
Graves was preceded in death by his wife Helen in 2002; his parents; three sisters, Reva Bradney, Alice Crosby and Hazel Coler; and two brothers, Charles Robert Graves and Oscar Myron Graves. A younger brother, LeRoy, died one day after Willard’s passing.
He is survived by one brother, Jay, of Denver; four children, Tom Graves of Clark, Marilyn Graves of Indian Hills, Carolyn Landes of Cortez, Linda Graves of Littleton; eight grandchildren; eleven great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He was a wonderful father and grandfather and is deeply missed.
Per Willard’s wish, no formal services are scheduled. A family celebration of his life is planned for next summer in the mountains near Clark.