Frances Graves, age 84, of Santa Anna, died Wednesday, April 26, 2023, at Holiday Hill Nursing Home with her family by her side.
Family and friends are invited to a memorial service celebrating her life at 6:00 p.m. Saturday, April 29, 2023, at Calvary Church, 585 W. Commerce, in Brownwood with Charles Graves and Pastor Bob Smithson officiating. Services are entrusted to Stevens Funeral Home, 400 W. Pecan Street, in Coleman.
She was born Troy Frances Patton on May 21, 1938, in Morganton, North Carolina to Charles Henry “Jack” Patton and Troy Throneburg Patton. At a young age, her family relocated to New Jersey where Frances spent her childhood. In 1963, she married the love of her life, James Raymond Graves, and celebrated many years together until his death in 1981. Frances was a medical secretary for area hospitals before devoting her time to her children as a stay-at-home mom. She also served as a Sunday School teacher at First Presbyterian Church of Woodbury Heights for over forty years until moving to Texas in 2002 to be closer to family.
Frances had a gift for serving others. She gave out of the abundance of the love of Jesus in her, without expecting anything in return. While in Texas, she volunteered for eight years at Loaves and Fishes Ministry, cooking and helping to maintain a food pantry. She also volunteered for seven years at three school libraries, keeping the collections organized and greeting students with her infectious smile. Frances loved being a mother and grandmother. She enjoyed the many adventures with her oldest son and his family, traveling across the U.S. visiting national parks and other landmarks. She also enjoyed two decades of Friday night lights, following her son and grandsons and their football teams to rural six-man fields all over Texas. Additionally, Frances was a voracious reader. She read just about anything she could get her hands on, often reading books others had tossed aside. She never met a book she didn’t like, or at least find interesting. She also enjoyed crossword puzzles and doing laundry, even though she might have shrunk a few items. Her kindness, wit, and unconditional love will be forever missed. Her tiny stature and huge capacity for love made her a truly unforgettable presence in the lives of all she touched.
Preceding Frances in death are her parents; her husband, James Raymond Graves; and her son, James Raymond Graves, Jr.
She is survived by her son, Charles Henry “Jack” Graves and wife Alyssa of Santa Anna; four grandchildren, Charles Graves, Ryan Graves, Johnny Graves, and Hannah Graves; one sister, Joyce Maginnis of Mullica Hill, New Jersey; nephew, Michael Maginnis and nieces Rose Raiken and Lena Sturgis; and extended family in North Carolina.
We invite you to share fond memories and words of comfort and condolence with the Graves family by signing the virtual guestbook on France’s tribute page at www.stevensfuneralhome.com. Stevens Funeral Home is honored to serve the Graves family.
The family requests with gratitude that memorial contributions be made to the family in care of Stevens Funeral Home, 400 W. Pecan Street, in Coleman. Floral tributes are also welcome for the service.
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