WO1 Robert L. Graves was a VHPA member who died after his tour in Vietnam on 08/25/2018 at the age of 89.2
Drumright, OK
Flight Class 66-18
Date of Birth 06/20/1929
Served in the U.S. Army
Served in Vietnam with 20 TC CO in 67-68, 1 SIG BDE in 70, 20 TC CO in 70, 520 TC BN in 70
Call signs in Vietnam PIPESMOKE, RED HAT
This information was provided by Obit

More detail on this person: Funeral services are set for Friday, Aug. 31 at 10 a.m. for Robert Lee Graves, 89, of Drumright, at the Tri-County Church of Christ in Cushing. He died on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018 at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, surrounded by his loving family. Robert was born in Big Spring, Texas on June 20, 1929, the second of nine children born to Robert Lee and Delphia Anne (Hamiter) Graves. He attended various schools before dropping out of the ninth grade to go to work. He joined the U.S. Air Force in April 1950 and attended Spartan School of Aeronautics whete he learned airframe and power plant mechanics. On Nov. 11, 1950, Robert was set up on a blind date with Darla Jean Glimp, starting a love affair that has lasted more than 66 years. They were married on Aug. 3, 1952 in Drumright, and later became parents to Karen, Ronald Lee, and Barbara Lynn Graves. Robert and Darla began their life together in Bossier City, La., and his 20-year military career sent them to g{ich places as Guam, California, Hawaii, Texas, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, and Oklahoma. In February 1966, he left the Air Force and entered the U.S. Army with a direct appointment to Warrant Officer. · He served two one-year tours in Vietnam as a maintenance test pilot. On one test flight of a Huey Med-Evac helicopter out of the Cu Chi base, he saw a bus hit an explosive mine that had been meant for some U.S. troops who were coming up the road behind. He landed the helicopter and with the help of the troops loaded injured dvilians onto the helicopter ·and flew them to safety, earning him a Bronze Star. He retired from the Army at the rank of Chief Warrant Officer in 1971 and built his family home atop a hill southeast of Drumright . 9ver the following 22 years he earned his B.S. degree in Trade and Industrial Education from Oklahoma State University, and went on to work for OSHA, C-E Natco, McGill Inc., and Central Tech. Following his second retirement, he also served for a time as Associate Editor of the Drumright Gusher. Finally, he went home and enjoyed his final years on the hilltop with Darla. He had been an active member of the VFW Post 1118 where he served as a member of the Honor Guard for several years. He was also a member of the American Legion Post 108, the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association, and the Disabled American Veterans. As a teen, Robert became a member of the Church of Christ and shared what he'd found with his family, many of whom accepted Christ themselves. He went on to raise his children in the church and had served as an Elder in the Tri-County Church of Christ until his health began to wane. Robert enjoyed many hobbies over the years, including photography for which his favorite subjects were usually his grandchildren. He also enjoyed gardening, amateur radio, wood working, and building all kinds of things including totem poles, guitars, fountain pens, picnic tables, barbecue grills and much more. He enjoyed swapping stories over morning coffee with his buddies in town. Visitors to his home were often served what he dubbed "Bob's blessed, beautiful, boiled brown beans." He had a habit of leaving funny notes, poems and doodles lying around, which his family collected over the years and will now cherish. He had a kind heart and a strong faith. He was extremely down to earth, quietly confident yet humble, with a silly sense of humor and a twinkle in his eye. He was a good man in every possible way, and he will be deeply missed . Survivors include his wife, Darla Jean Graves, of the home; his children, Karen Renee of Tulsa, Ronald Lee Graves and wife Kim of Hot Springs Village, Ark., and Barbara Lynn Vice and fiancee Nick Easter of Tulsa; his grandchildren, Jennifer Bengel, Jason Schooley, Tim Schooley and wife Kristen, Melissa Senters and husband Ryan, Doug Vice II, Bryan Schooley and wife Mandi, Matt Vice and wife Jordan, and Eddie Vice; great-grandchildren, Eva and Clara Bengel, Egan and Ophelia Senters, Landon, Lydia and Elizabeth Schooley, and Sarah and Charlie Vice. He is also survived by two brothers, Tom Graves and wife Margaret of Lexington, S.C., and Alvin Graves and wife Barbara of Fresno, Cali.; three sisters-in-law, Vuna Graves,Jerry Sue Graves and Winnie Graves; one brother-in-law, Willis Witt, plus many nephews and nieces, all of whom were his favorites. He was preceded in death by his parents; four brothers, William Graves, Johnnie Graves, James Graves, and Haskell Graves, and two sisters, Patricia Ross and Pansy Witt. Minister Kyle Wright will officiate, while Robert's grandsons will serve as casket bearers. Interment will follow at Euchee Valley Memorial Park on Hwy. 33 east of Cushing with full military honors. Funeral arrangements are provided by Robert Smith Funeral Home in Drumright.

Burial information: Euchee Valley Memorial Par

This information was last updated 11/08/2018

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Date posted on this site: 03/10/2024

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