Robert J. Graves, 76, a longtime resident of Spofford, died at his home in Spofford on Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021, with his family at his side, following a battle with pancreatic cancer.
His parents, Erwin and Rhoda (Harper) Graves, welcomed their son into the world on Aug. 23, 1944 in Greenfield, Mass. Robert grew up in Greenfield on the family farm. He was a graduate of Greenfield High School and attended Greenfield Community College.
Robert enlisted in the U.S. Navy on Dec. 30, 1965, and served his country during the Vietnam War. He was honorably discharged on Oct. 1, 1969, receiving the meritorious unit commendation and the U.S. Navy achievement medal.
At the age of 18, Robert started his work career with Deerfield Plastics Company, retiring after 32 years as their project manager. When not hard at work, Robert took great solace in tending to his peach and apple trees, and meticulously caring for his yard. He could sometimes be found playing on his tractor, digging up rocks and building stone walls.
He enjoyed open water and ice fishing, especially for walleye and crappie. He loved animals, especially his dogs, and had a gentle touch in feeding his chipmunks, sometimes feeding right from his hands. He also loved watching the Boston Bruins.
He will be greatly missed by many, especially his son, Sean P. Graves, and his wife, Heather, of Spofford; his two grandchildren: Tanner and Shelby Graves of Spofford; his daughter-in-law, Amy Graves, of Maryland; a sister-in-law, Jeanette Millar, of Keene; a niece, Judy Alexander, of Swanzey; and his good friend and fishing buddy, Steve Underwood, of Chesterfield; Robert was predeceased by his wife of 45 years, Eleanor A. (Colby) Graves, on Oct. 14, 2010; and a son, Jason R. Graves, on April 6, 2004.
A celebration of life and visitation will be held on Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, from 6 to 8 p.m., in the Foley Funeral Home, 49 Court St., Keene. All those in attendance are required to wear facemasks and to maintain the physical distancing protocols. A graveside service in the Village Cemetery, Westmoreland, will be held privately by the family.
In lieu of flowers, for those who wish, donations may be made in Mr. Graves’ memory to the Disabled American Veterans, P.O. Box 14301, Cincinnati OH 45250-0301.
The Foley Funeral Home of Keene is assisting the family with the arrangements. To offer online condolences to the family or to share special memories, please visit www.foleyfuneralhome.com.