Born in Camden City, NJ, he was the son of the late William and Elizabeth Maltman Graves. Raised in Brooklawn NJ, he graduated from Gloucester City High School in 1961. He worked as a chemical technician for Huntsman Polypropylene (formerly Shell Chemical) in West Deptford, New Jersey.
The most important thing to William was his family and hunting. He traveled the world extensively hunting. He was a member of Blakelee United Methodist Church and a former member of the Elks Lodge, NJ, and was a lifetime member of Safari Club International. He served his country proudly in the United States Air Force during Vietnam and was the recipient of the Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon and the National Defense Service Medal.
Bill Cleary Sr., who hunted with Mr. Graves on numerous occasions said he had several nicknames. "There weren't many years that he didn't bring home a deer, which is quite an accomplishment", said Cleary. "Because of his success, he was often referred to as "The Buck". "Ask him about any of his hunting trips and he would go on and on telling you about everything he wore, where he purchased it, the price of the item, what gun he used, the weather, etc. He could spin quite a tale. For that reason, he was given the name "Story Book" in a loving way."
"Mr. Graves was one of the original members of the Gloucester Rod and Gun Club, Gloucester City. For many years he and a group of men from the Gloucester City and Brooklawn area would travel to Maine to hunt deer in the fall. Bill kept himself in shape. Lifting weights and doing other exercises. Some of those trips he took out west required backpacking miles into the mountains or plains. He stayed in shape even into his 60's and 70's," said Cleary.
In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his brother, Dennis Graves, and granddaughter, Gianna Graves.
In addition to his loving wife, Karen Joan Smith Graves, he is survived by son, William (Paula) Graves of Penn Lake; daughter, Suzanne (Ron) Rutan of Manahawkin, New Jersey; sister, Pat Tetta of Chatham, NJ. He will be deeply missed by his loving grandchildren: Quentin Rutan; James and Viveca Graves,
Memorial service will be conducted on Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 11:00 am in Blakeslee United Methodist Church, Blakeslee with Pastor Joseph Healey officiating.
Arrangements by Lehman Family Funeral Service, Inc. White Haven.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory to be sent to the Blakeslee United Methodist Church, Blakeslee.