Jack Carl Graves Sr., 91, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family at the Evergreen Hospice Center in Kirkland, Washington on August 12, 2016.
Jack was born February 3, 1925 in California to Harry Churchman Graves, Captain, USN and Verrel Palmer Graves. Some of his best childhood memories were from the family farm in Sheridan, Oregon. He spent his formative years attending Roosevelt High School in Seattle and the University of Washington, where he was a member of the Alpha Delta Phi Fraternity. He later attended the US Navy Academy at Annapolis and did his post-graduate work at Cal Tech in Aeronautical Engineering.
It was at the University of Washington where he met the love of his life, Katherine Ann Davison, on a blind date. They were married March 8, 1946 and headed to their first Navy post as a married couple in Philadelphia. Twenty years in the Navy took them to many interesting places, from Philadelphia to Rhode Island, California, Hawaii, and Florida, and allowed them to make many great friends. The family grew with the addition of five children, each born at a different base. His Navy career included working as ground control and tracking for NASA in the early years of the Space Program, where he worked with the astronauts of Project Mercury.
Jack retired from the Navy after 20 years as a Commander and moved back to his home in Seattle to complete his career at Boeing. At Boeing, Jack was the director of the Lunar Orbiter Program (a model currently hangs in the Smithsonian Space Museum) and eventually became president of Boeing Engineering and Construction International in London. In this role he directed the precision installation of oil rigs in the North Sea and then managed the design and construction of the largest wind turbine system in the world in 1977.
Although he had an illustrious career, family was the most important part of Jack’s life. He was an avid outdoorsman, fishing at Ross Lake, Washington every year with his father and sons. He built a large home at Birch Bay, Washington for his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to play and visit. Fishing, crabbing, and clamming were the family activities loved by all.
He was dedicated to his children and grandchildren’s education. To let them know how proud he was, he and Kathy attended every grandchild’s graduation from high school, college, to graduate school.
Jack was preceded in death by his brother Richard, and beloved sons, Jack Jr. and Gary Richard. He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Katherine (Emerald Heights, Redmond Washington); three daughters, Sally Machlis (Moscow, Idaho), Susan Sullivan, (Carnation, Washington) Barbie Bond (Seattle, Washington); nine grandchildren, Sarah Pierce, Allison Meyer, Brian Kearns, Jennifer Graves, Gwendolyn Santamaria, Maggee Bond, Natalie Graves, Katelyn Kearns, Simon Bond; two step-grandsons, Dane and Reid Sullivan; and nine great-grandchildren, Hailey, Julia and Jack Pierce, Henry and Robbie Meyer, Eva Kearns, Nicolas and Clara Artes-Graves and Addison Santamaria.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association www.alz.org or Evergreen Hospice http://www.evergreenhealthfoundation.com/.
A graveside memorial service will be held at Greenacres Memorial Park, Ferndale, WA, Saturday, August 20, at 10:00AM.