Gilbert Graves, Jr. went to be with the Lord on November 24, 2018. He was born on July 28, 1936 to Gilbert Graves, Sr. and Rose Rojo Graves in Corpus Christi, TX. He always said he was a “home-grown” tomato.
Gilbert was a 1955 graduate of Ray High School where he played percussion in the Ray High School Band and was a member of the track team. After high school graduation, he attended Del Mar College as a music major. He graduated from Texas A & I with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music in 1959. While at Texas A & I Gilbert played in the Texas A & I Band and was named “Man of Music”. In the band he was featured as a marimba soloist. His senior year he was featured soloist while on tour.
During his senior year at Ray High Gilbert enlisted in the U.S. Marine Reserves. After eight years as a Marine Reservist, he received an honorable discharge.
Gilbert became the band director at Palacios, TX. after graduation from Texas A & I and was employed there for three years.
Gilbert met his future bride, Lamarr Silva, and they were married on July 29, 1962. This July they celebrated their 56th Wedding Anniversary. They had two daughters, Michelle and Jennifer.
Gilbert was employed by CCISD from the summer of 1962 to the summer of 1998. He was employed as a Band Director at Wynn Seale Jr. High and Assistant Principal at King High School, Wynn Seale Jr. High, and at Moody High School. After retiring from CCISD in 1998 Gilbert continued as a substitute teacher at Moody High for another six years. Altogether Gilbert worked as an educator for a total of forty-five years. He also played at dance jobs as a drummer and also played as a percussionist with the Corpus Christi Symphony.
Gilbert’s hobbies included shooting and hunting and he was a member of the Corpus Christi Pistol and Rifle Club as well as the National Rifle Association. He was a staunch believer in the second amendment. His passion was teaching Hunter Safety Education classes through the Texas Parks and Wildlife. He began teaching hunter education in 1988 following his father’s footsteps. He certified and assisted to certify over 4,000 students. He also certified and assisted to certify over two hundred Hunter Safety Instructors. In 2003 Gilbert was inducted to the Texas Hunter Education Instructor Hall of Fame and in 2016 he was selected as the Texas Education Instructor of the Year by Texas Parks and Wildlife.
Gilbert was a man of faith and was very close to the Catholic Church. He, his wife and family were members of Most Precious Blood Catholic Church. He served as an Extraordinary minister in church and served as co-coordinator with his wife to the Palms Nursing Home and the Solstice Senior Living. At MPB Parish Gilbert was a charter member of the Knights of Columbus Council and was also a 4th degree member of the MPB Assembly. He was a member of the Parish Council and served at many church BBQ fundraisers.
He is predeceased by his parents Gilbert Sr. and Rosie Graves, his grandmother Sara Lechuga, his grandfather Edward Rojo, his father and mother-in-law Dionicio and Catalina Silva, and his daughter Michelle Graves Smith.
He is survived by his wife of fifty-six years, Lamarr, his daughter, Jennifer Graves Hiss and husband Ben Hiss from Prairie Village, Kansas; his grandchildren, Grant, Jacob and Emma Hiss; and Zach Graves Smith; his brother Roland Graves and wife Dina; his nephews Roland Graves, Rod Flower, Ron Flower, Danny Melendrez, niece Stephanie Flower; and foster sister Rose Heruth; as well as many friends.
Many thanks to Roland Graves, Gilbert’s brother who was constantly helping Gilbert and to Dina Graves his wife and Gilbert’s sister-in-law who cared for Gilbert and Lamarr always; the many friends from the Incarnate Word Associates, KC, MPB, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Schoenstatt Movement for their prayers, food sent, flowers, and many other forms of expressing their love and care for the family. Thank you, Peggy May for the love and care you showed Gilbert and Lamarr and for being there for us at all times. Many thanks to Bea Blomquist for her thoughtfulness, generosity of her time and very special care of Lamarr and Gilbert during the last two weeks of Gilbert’s life. Much gratitude to Father Bob and Deacon Frank Newchuch for their many prayers and spiritual support. Also thanksgiving for the Altus Hospice for the wonderful care this group gave Gilbert as well as always making sure he was as comfortable as he could be.
A Visitation will be held at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 2, 2018 at Seaside Funeral Home Chapel. A Rosary will be recited at 7:00 p.m. that same evening. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, December 3, 2018 at Most Precious Blood Catholic Church. Inurnment will follow at Seaside Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, donations to Mother Teresa’s Shelter or the charity of your choice would be appreciated.