Saturday, August 6, 2016

Obituary: Lowell Thomas Graves, 68, Genesee, PA

Lowell Thomas Graves, 68, of Genesee, PA, passed away on August 4, 2016 in the Buffalo, NY Veterans Association Medical Center. Lowell was born the second of seven children of Myron T. and Lillian Hulse Graves on August 28, 1947 in Genesee, PA. He was also half brother to four siblings born to Lillian from a previous marriage. Lowell spent the majority of his life in Genesee living with his beloved wife Bonnie J. O’Connor Graves in their picturesque homestead on the hill. 

Of the things that mattered most to Lowell, his family and his home were paramount. He took immense pride in his home and land and dedicated countless hours to developing his property into a welcoming gathering place for his entire extended family to enjoy swimming, fishing, relaxing and bonding into a close knit and loving family unit. Most recently, Lowell spent his final fourth of July at the pavilion by the pond visiting with family and friends and proudly watching his grandchildren laughing, playing, and carrying on with family traditions such as feeding the fish and gathering around the campfire.

Lowell was a dedicated patriot who served in the United States Army as an Artilleryman during the Vietnam War. While at war, Lowell was awarded the Purple Heart after sustaining a significant injury that rendered one leg mostly useless. Never one to quit, Lowell endured years of pain in his leg and knees, but remained an extraordinary worker and caretaker for his family. Following the war, Lowell went on to work for over thirty years at Dresser-Rand in Wellsville as an expert pipe welder. In his off time, Lowell loved to “play in the dirt” as he operated bulldozers, backhoes, dump trucks, and virtually any other type of equipment necessary to build his vision of paradise in rural Pennsylvania.

When Lowell was diagnosed with cancer he never complained or sought any kind of pity for his circumstance. His only worry was for the well being of the friends and family that he held so dear. As the consummate warrior, Lowell pushed himself to remain positive and to fight the disease. Ultimately Lowell succumbed to the cancer with his wife and children all by his side. He was able to maintain a smile and laugh all the way through those final hours. If Lowell were here to speak to us he would remind each of us to work hard, be honest, and to cherish the goodness of life and family

Surviving besides his wife, Bonnie, are: two sons, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Cory (Leslie) Graves of Springfield, VA and Brent (Renee) Graves of Genesee, PA; two loving step-daughters, Nicole (Adam) Schulenburg of West Henrietta, NY and Lorrie (William) Wales of Millerton, PA; six grandchildren, Alex Schulenburg, Ryan Schulenburg, Nolan Graves, Callie Wales, Jenna Wales, and Lucas Vandergrift; six siblings, Maude (Jim) Goodenough, Charles (Charlotte) Sutton, Barney (Marie) Sutton, Lynn (Judy) Graves, Linda (Roy) Thomison, and Lucy Copp; brother-in-law, Richard Nelson; and sisters-in-law, Sheri Graves and Debbie Graves; nieces and nephews. Lowell was predeceased by his parents; a granddaughter, Charlotte Graves; two brothers, Leo Graves and Leon Graves; and two sisters Dorothy Nelson and Louise Payne.

A wake in Lowell’s honor will be held at his residence in Genesee on Sunday, August 7th from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. Military Rites will be accorded by members of the Potter County Honor Guard at 1:30 p.m. All family and friends are invited to celebrate Lowell’s life and his journey home.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to one of the organizations that Lowell was proudly a member of, including the Disabled American Veterans, The American Legion, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Arrangements are entrusted to the Olney Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Ulysses, PA.

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