Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — GRAND RAPIDS — Russell C. Graves, 81, of Grand Rapids and formerly of Central Lake, died Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. He was born Feb. 2, 1932, in Ann Arbor, the son of Ralph and Jean (Wallace) Graves.
Russ was a 1950 graduate of Albion High School.
On Aug. 17, 1952, in Albion, he married Jean Marie Ford, who preceded him in death.
He earned his bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University and his master’s from the University of Michigan.
He began his teaching and coaching career in Adrian from 1955 to 1961. Russ and Jean then moved to Dearborn, where Russ taught at Edsel Ford from 1961 to 1965. Russ landed his dream job in northern Michigan and became a well-respected counselor, coach, and athletic director in the Central Lake School system for 25 years. He coached baseball for 21 years, earning many conference and district championships, and even lead the team to the state semi-finals in 1975. He was proudly inducted into the MHSAA Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame. Russ also coached girls and boys basketball for many years.
After retirement Russ enjoyed working on his model trains, building model planes, traveling with his loving wife, spending time with his children and grandchildren and enjoying each day on Grand Traverse Bay.
Preceding him in death were his parents; son, Robert; granddaughter, Amber Gleason; and his wife, Jean.
Russ is survived by his children, Deborah (Ronald) Mansfield, of Morenci, Rhonda (John) Vickery, of Dayton, Ohio, Peter Graves, of Grand Rapids, Russell Graves, of Mesa, Ariz., Andrew (Kristin) Graves, of West Linn, Ore., and daughter-in-law, Pamela Graves, of Ivoryton, Conn.; 11 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
A gathering of family and friends will be held Saturday, Sept. 28, from 1 to 3 p.m., at the Central Lake Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes.
In lieu of flowers, please contribute to the Russell Graves Memorial Scholarship, c/o CLPS, PO Box 128, Central Lake, MI 49622.
Please sign his online guestbook www.mortensenfuneralhomes.com.