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Elmer L. Graves

Posted 2020-05-16 by mhenderson
Published in The Miner on May 12, 2020 -
Kingman, Arizona -

Elmer L. Graves was born in Kingman, Arizona on Sept. 17, 1925 and
passed on 10 May 2020 at the age of 94. His mother, Jane (Janie) Grigg
Graves, was also born in Mohave County, making Elmer a second-
generation resident. Of interest, the Grigg and Graves families have
resided in Mohave County since the 1890’s. His maternal grandparents,
William and Bessie Grigg, immigrated from Cornwall, UK, before
settling in Mohave County.

For a number of years they operated the Grigg’s Ferry for crossing the
Colorado River. The family home, sometimes referred to as Grigg’s
Hideout, was eventually covered by the back water from the Hoover Dam.
Elmer’s father’s family arrived in Arizona from Lewiston, Missouri in
the early 1900’s. His father, William Bryan Graves, met Janie Grigg at
Hackberry, Arizona, and they were married shortly after he returned
from World War I. Elmer and his two brothers, William and Harold,
attended Kingman grammar and high school. His father was a building
contractor who built many structures around northern Arizona, to
include the school gymnasium at Ashfork, Arizona. Unfortunately,
William died relatively young leaving Janie to raise their three sons.

Elmer served in the Navy as a combat air crewman from 1943–1946.
Elmer’s aviation unit was assigned to the North-South Coast of the
Atlantic, performing anti-submarine (ASW) patrol, and to utility
squadrons transporting war supplies along the Brazilian coast. As a
lifelong aviation enthusiast, Elmer received his aircraft pilot
license and was a founding member of the Kingman Civil Air Patrol
performing search and rescue missions in Mohave County in the 1950s.

After his active duty service in the Navy ended, he came back to
Kingman where he was president of the 20-30 Club, which was a service
organization for young men in Kingman. As a life-time member (75
years) of the American Legion, he also served as District Commander
for the American Legion in 1950. He initially worked in the Studebaker
and White Motor Company dealership as a mechanic and ultimately the
service manager. In the ‘50s, he branched out and opened his own
service station on Route 66 located on the corner of 5th and Andy
Devine, where he has conducted business continuously for over 70
years. Of local interest, Elmer established Kingman’s first U-Haul
Rental Agency, which is one of the oldest franchises within U-Haul.

He was a long-time pillar of the community having served as American
Legion Post 14 commander and as president/member of the Mohave County
Union School Board. Additionally, he was a member of the ELKS, Eagles
and VFW organizations. Elmer was a prominent member of the Kingman
Downtown Merchant’s and the Route 66 associations. He also donated his
time to the Salvation Army serving as the collection and dissemination
point for the yearly bell-ringers collections and for the distribution
of donated turkeys.

He is survived by four of his five children (William Bryan of Colorado
Springs, Colorado, Kitty Jo Cirulli of Buffalo, New York, Craig Lane
of Mesa., Arizona, and Katie Marie Kubes from Indianapolis, Indiana)
from his first wife (Helen Carrara Graves), five grandchildren and
three great-grandchildren. His other son, Dale Austin, passed away in
1964. Elmer and his second wife (Charlene) led an active life and
managed the Smoke House Bar for many years. In his retirement years
Elmer remained engaged with his various businesses and keeping up with
his favorite sports teams, the local ELKS and American Legion.

Due to the pandemic and the geographic distribution of his family, his
internment and “A Celebration of Life” will be announced later. In
lieu of flowers, donations in memory of his name can be made to either
the Kingman American Legion Post 14 or the Mohave Museum of History
and Arts.

Note: These obituaries are transcribed as published and are submitted by volunteers who have no connection to the families. They do not write the obituaries and have no further information other than what is posted within the obituaries. We do not do personal research. For this you would have to find a volunteer who does this or hire a professional researcher.

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