Donald Eugene was born to Cecil and Vida (Griesel) Graves April 5, 1920, in Randolph, Neb. He passed away Friday, July 8, 2016, in his home in Dallesport, Wash., surrounded by family.
Don’s parents moved their family to Yakima, Wash., when Don was about 6 years of age.
Don enlisted in the Army Air Corps in July 1941. He served in Texas as a flight engineer in the glider pilot training during World War II.
When Don returned from the service he worked as a foreman for the Yakima Sheep Co. in Lyle, Wash., until the sheds closed.
He married Betty Lou Dewalt June 16, 1949 and they began their family. They moved from Lyle, Wash., to Dallesport, Wash., in 1958.
Don worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at The Dalles Dam before taking a job with Bonneville Power Administration and working there for over 25 years.
He planted a test plot of grapes in 1969 with the guidance of Dr. Walter Clore from Washington State University. With the results of the varieties that thrived in Dallesport’s climate, he planted his vineyard. Don tended his vineyard until his passing.
Friends and family called Don by many names, Dad, Grandpa, Sir Dodgenald and Chief to a few honored men in his life. Don’s family was the light of his life. He loved nothing more than to gather around his table and enjoy a meal full of laughter, stories and wine with friends and family. He will be greatly missed, but always cherished in the memories of those he loved. He made sure to instill in his family the value of hard work, humor, table manners, honesty and that there isn’t anything a little snort of cough syrup can’t cure.
Don was predeceased by his son, Gregory Graves. He is survived by his wife, Betty Lou Graves; and children, Douglas Graves; Kip Graves and his wife, Julie; Robin Urness and her husband, Timothy; Tami Toth and her husband, Andrew.
He is also survived by seven grandchildren, namely, Delena Graves and her husband, Cory Gordon; Taralee Graves; Crystal Puerto and her husband, Angel; Lisa Graves; Jill Hogberg and her husband, Adam; Kiffanie Phillips and her husband, Trever; and Eric Urness and his wife, Genevieve.
He is survived by 13 great-grandchildren. Don had four siblings whom all predeceased him; Mildred Dayton, Kenneth Graves, Vance (Bud) Graves and Dwain Graves.
A Celebration of Life will be held at the home of Don and Betty Graves, 1621 Dallesport Rd., Dallesport, Wash., on Saturday, August 13 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
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