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Robert “Bob” A. Graves
1940-2024

Robert Alan “Bob” Graves, 84, of Hutchinson, and of many names and even more accomplishments, passed away on June 17, 2024. He was born February 11, 1940, in Salina, the heart of Kansas, to Harold “Bill” and Dorothy (Snider) Graves.

Bob’s journey was marked by resilience, drive, success, wit, and a passion for community. He graduated from Hutchinson High School in 1959, Emporia State University in 1963, received a Master’s Degree in Chemistry from Wichita State University in 1965, and was a PhD candidate at Wichita State University. Bob would call himself a “home builder,” but that only scratched the surface. He was also a high school chemistry teacher; plant manager at Superior Boiler; Lead Chemist at Barton Salt, board member of Graves Brothers Oil and RAG Industries; owner of Graves Builders, Graves Pool and Patio, Westside Autos, Bob Graves Excavating and Construction, Graves Roll-offs, Graves Enterprises; and an executive on St. Elizabeth’s Square Homeowners Association board.

Other notable achievements include: founding member of Radicals Car Club in high school; President of Hutchinson Home Builders Association, during which he oversaw the construction and donation of the Home Builders shelter in Carey Park; Central Distributor of Sea Blue HTH pool products and participated in the design and construction of Fun Valley water park; dirt track racecar driver; AHRA drag racer; Hot Rod-er; instrument-rated private pilot; member of Central Kansas Landlords Association, Prairie Pups Motorcycle Club; Salt City Cruisers Club; Hutchinson Moose Lodge #982; and Sky Ryders Drum and Bugle Corps.

Bob went by many nicknames to his friends and family, including “Bob,” “Bobby Boy,” “Bobcat,” “Bob the Builder” and “SpongeBob.” He often downplayed his expertise, abilities, and achievements. At times Bob would tell people at conferences where he was speaking that he was not really supposed to be there, but came for the free buffet, and that he was a proud ditch digger from Puckerbrush, KS, all while wearing a $100 bill as a bow tie.

Bob was quick with a joke or serious advices. He was a shrewd negotiator and businessman, but was always willing to invest in people and causes he saw potential in. Bob had an aptitude for all things mechanical and could fix almost anything. He loved watching NASCAR in person, and later in life on TV, and was a fan of Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Bob also loved to travel in his private plane. He loved vacation spots in Hawaii, Alaska, Cancun, and Bermuda.

Through his businesses, Bob supported multiple philanthropic causes, including: Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, multiple local youth and adult sports teams, local stock car racers, and Hobart-Detter field, where his father coached youth baseball.

Bob was preceded in death by: his parents; sister, Patricia Friesen; and wives, Betty (Hiebert) Greever and Barbara (Snellings) Graves.

He is survived by: his sons, William Graves, Jon David Graves and wife Amy, M.L. Snellings and wife Dana; daughter, Kathy Graves-Speir and husband Bryan; grandchildren, Robert Graves II, Brock Stewart, Tyler Speir, Theoren Speir, Lauren Paige Speir, Isaac Speir, Grayson Graves, Campbell Graves, Jenesis Gorgas, Jenna Dooley, Colton Adams, Dakota Adams; 6 great-grandchildren; and many extended family members.

Funeral service will be 10 a.m. Friday, June 21, 2024, at Elliott Chapel. Burial will follow in Roselawn Memorial Park in Salina. Friends may call from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at Elliott Mortuary. The service will be livestreamed and the link to view it will be active beginning at 9:45 a.m. the day of the service.

Click here to view the service

Memorial donations may be made to Dementia Society of America or Hutchinson Home Builders Association Scholarship Fund, in care of Elliott Mortuary, 1219 N. Main, Hutchinson, KS 67501.

Bob, you may have been a proud ditch digger from Puckerbrush, but to us you were a legend. Farewell, SpongeBob.

Service/Mass

Elliott Mortuary & Crematory
1219 N. Main St.
Hutchinson, Kansas 67501
(620) 663-3327
Website

Funeral Home in Charge

Elliott Mortuary & Crematory
1219 N. Main St.
Hutchinson, Kansas 67501
(620) 663-3327
Website