Cover photo for Charles M. Graves's Obituary
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1931 Charles 2024

Charles M. Graves

February 14, 1931 — March 24, 2024


Charles Monroe "Charlie" Graves, 93, of Pryor, passed away on Sunday, March 24, 2024, in Claremore. He was born on February 14, 1931, to Thomas R. and Lottie Graves in Adair. He was welcomed home by one brother, Bob. They were raised in rural Adair until the family moved to Pryor. He graduated from Pryor High School in 1950. Upon graduation, he and Bob joined the military together. Bob chose to join the United States Air Force and Charlie chose to join the United States Navy, along with his childhood friend, Jerry Stites.  After completing basic training in San Diego, California, he was assigned to the U.S.S. Mount McKinley. He served aboard Mount McKinley his entire military service. His first voyage was to the Orient as the Korean conflict was breaking out. He obtained the rank of Seaman 1st Class and was honorably discharged in 1953. While home on leave, he married Wanda Walker on August 21, 1951. After his discharge, they settled in Pryor, where he worked for Bestwall Gypsum Paper, later becoming Georgia Pacific, where he worked until his retirement in 1987. They raised their children, Tony, and Tanya in Pryor. While working shiftwork at GP, he and his dad built the house where he and Wanda raised their two children until 1972. He then purchased a small acreage north of Pryor; where he raised horses and enjoyed team roping. After Wanda's death in 1994, he married Ida Allen. With this marriage, he gained three stepchildren, Gina Watkins, Jane Allen, and Merle Allen. Along with grandchildren, Erin Watkins, Krystina Heath, and LB Watkins. After a few years, they bought another home with acreage where they lived until her death. After a time of living alone, he married Ruth Willis on September 1, 2010. With this marriage he gained two stepdaughters, Vickie, and Rhonda. Charlie and Ruth share 4 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren and are members of the Creekside Church in Pryor.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, March 29, 2024, at Creekside Church in Pryor with Reverend Andrew Rehbein officiating. Burial will be held at Graham Memorial Cemetery with Russell Graves, Matt Taylor, Rhett Taylor, Todd Graves, Escal Thornton, Raymond Greninger and Deacon Greninger serving as casket bearers. Honorary casket bearers include Coy Alexander, Bill Smith, and Leonard Poppino. Visitation will be held from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., Thursday, March 28, 2024, at Shipman's Funeral Home in Pryor. To leave his family a message, please visit his Tribute Wall at Arrangements are under the direction of Shipman's Funeral & Cremation Service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Creekside Church building fund or the Claremore Veteran’s Center.

Charlie is survived by his wife, Ruth Graves; son, Tony Graves and wife Tommy Pryor, Oklahoma; daughter, Tanya Nicolae and husband Florin of Tulsa, Oklahoma; stepdaughter, Rhonda Barrett of Pryor, Oklahoma; sister-in-law, Ann Graves; grandchildren, Russell Graves and wife Tiffany, Emily Taylor and husband Matt, and Jennifer Nicolae; great grandchildren, Kendall and Augustine Graves, Rhett and Blair Taylor, and Aurora Nicolae; and many other relatives and friends. He is preceded in death by his wives, Wanda Graves and Ida Graves; parents, Thomas R. and Lottie Graves; brother, Bob Graves; stepson, Merle Allen; stepdaughter, Vickie Hummingbird; grandsons, Andrei Nicolae and LB Watkins; and great granddaughter, Addison Jennings Taylor.  

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, March 28, 2024

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Shipman's Funeral & Cremation Center

1204 N. E. 1st St., Pryor, OK 74362

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Funeral Service

Friday, March 29, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

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Graham Memorial Cemetery

W Hwy 20, Pryor, OK 74361

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