Obit: Graves, Shirley J. (1924 - 2003)

Contact:  Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

----Source: Published by the Banner Journal of Black River Falls, WI. September 10, 2003


Shirley J. Graves, age 79, of Alma Center, formerly of Neillsville, died Friday, September 5, 2003, at the Black River Memorial Hospital.

Shirley was born August 12, 1924, in rural Colby, daughter of Clifford "Ray" and Mabel "Blanche" Austin. She was married to Darwin B. Graves on November 10, 1944, in Merrillan, WI. Darwin preceded her in death on March 31, 1984.

Shirley centered her life around her family, friends and church. She was a school secretary for the Neillsville School District for 24 years. She loved family gatherings, and touched everyone who knew her with her kindness and sincerity. She was a member of the Neillsville Methodist Church for 67 years, having served as superintendent of the elementary Sunday school, having taught Sunday school and sang in the choir. She also was a member of the United Methodist Women, and the Mary and Martha Circle, having received the World Mission pin from the church in 1981. She was chosen Woman of the Year for the city of Neillsville, in 1985. Throughout the years she also served as a Cub Scout and Girl Scout leader. The Neillsville FFA Chapter selected her for the Honorary Chapter Degree.

During the past 18 years, she has made her home with her daughter Mary and Frank Laufenberg of rural Alma Center, WI.

Survivors include two daughters, Linda Graves, Menomonie, and Mary (Frank) Laufenberg, Alma Center: two sons, Craig (Viv) Graves, Highwood, MT and Steven (Elizabeth) Graves, Lone Rock. Also surviving are 10 grandchildren, Scott (Melissa) Laufenberg, Kari Laufenberg, Jason Laufenberg, Travis Graves, Kayla Graves, Tara Graves, Brent (Larissa) Laufenberg, Iris Laufenberg, Steven Graves, Stephanie Graves, and four great grandchildren, Brett and Ian Laufenberg, Josh and Veronica Graves: also a sister Mildred Ajer, Boyceville, WI; a brother Elwood Austin, Michigan; and other extended relatives and many friends.

Shirley was preceded in death by her husband; a son, Bradley Graves, a grandson, Kurtis Graves; her parents, and sisters Dorothy Upton and Eleanor "Tiny" Gile, and two brothers, Dale and Don Austin.

A celebration of her life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept 20, 2003, at the United Methodist Church, Neillsville, with the Rev. Craig Conklin. Burial will be made in the Oakwood Cemetery at Merrillan, WI. The family expresses their sincere appreciation to Dr. Dean Delmastro, the staff of Sacred Heart Hospital and Cancer Center and to the Black River Memorial Hospital who gave our Mother such wonderful care during her years of illness. She will be deeply missed by those who loved her. Cremation Society of Wisconsin helped the family with the arrangements.



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