Dale G. Graves

Graves—Dale G. Graves, 73, on December 10, 2018, in Indiana. Dale was born on September 7, 1945, in San Francisco, Calif. to Arnola Buffett and Francis Graves. At the time his father was in the U.S. Coast Guard. Dale grew up on farms near Marshalltown, Iowa, where his father worked as a hired man, his family keeping to their faith in spite of some rough times. He graduated from Grinnell High School in 1963 and worked for a year in a glove factory to make enough money to enroll at William Penn College. There he met Sylvia Mills, and they married in 1967. He graduated from William Penn in 1968 with a double major in math and physics and moved to Mooresville, Ind. He taught at Mooresville High School and coached wrestling, cross country, and track. In 1973, he received a master’s degree from the National Science Foundation-sponsored Physics Institute at Purdue University and briefly left teaching in 1973–1976 to serve as the Christian education director for Western Yearly Meeting in Plainfield, Ind. He also taught classes at Ivy Tech Community College. He retired from Mooresville High in 2007, but continued to teach at the Short Term Offender Program in Plainfield.

A member of West Newton Meeting in Decatur Township, Marion County, Ind., he served multiple terms on the Board of Quaker Haven Camp and was several times a camp director and counselor. He led many projects; volunteered hundreds of hours on renovation of the meetinghouse, the Boys Staff House, Hunt Lodge, and Friendship Lodge; and helped in the construction of the Activity Center. One can hardly walk around the camp without seeing his handiwork. He worked on Friends United Meeting projects in Belize, Kenya, and Cuba; was a leader in Quaker Men International and Friends Disaster Service; and served on the board of the local free health clinic in Mooresville.

Until January 2018, he was interim director of the Belize Friends School and managed the project to relocate and renovate the school and Friends Center. He became very close to students and staff and encouraged their potential and enthusiasm for a better life. His hobbies included ceramics and photography, especially photographs of the sunrise. Eden Grace, Friends United Meeting’s global ministries director, wrote, “Each morning in Belize, Dale would rise before the sun and set out on a jog along the seashore. This morning routine was not only a time for physical exercise; it was a time for spiritual sight, in which he attuned himself to the beauty and wonder of his surroundings. Many mornings, he would return from his run to post a breathtakingly beautiful sunrise photograph on Facebook as testimony to the glory of God and the gift of a new day.”

Dale’s parents died before him. He is survived by his wife, Sylvia Mills Graves; two children, Maria Graves Ditman (Jason) and Eric Graves (Laura); four grandchildren; a sister, Francene Graves; and a brother, Harvey Folsom. In lieu of flowers, friends are invited to honor Dale with a donation to Friends United Meeting, 101 Quaker Hill Drive, Richmond, IN 47374 (designate the gift for the Belize Friends Ministries), or to Quaker Haven Camp, 111 Ems D16C Lane, Syracuse, IN 46567.

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