Lawrence R. “Larry” Graves, aged 75, of Fair Play, Missouri, passed away on June 26, 2024. Born on May 6, 1949, in Ventura, California, Larry led a fulfilling life marked by dedication to Jesus, education, military service, and community involvement. Larry served in the Air Force from 1968 to 1972, where he was stationed in Turkey, Thailand, and Minot, North Dakota, serving as Military Police. After his honorable discharge, he transitioned to a career in Education, beginning as a PE teacher and coach for baseball and basketball. His passion for education led him to roles as a High School Administrator and eventually a Superintendent of Schools, a position he held for 19 years. He pursued higher education fervently, earning degrees from UM-C in Education Administration, an M.S. from MSU in Education, and a B.S. in Education from UCM. Larry’s commitment to education was paralleled by his active participation in his community and his faith, attending Aldrich United Methodist Church, Morrisville Lighthouse of Hope, and Brighton Assembly of God. Larry was a gentle giant, known for his wit and kindness. He was an avid reader, muscle car enthusiast, and enjoyed weight-lifting, famously lifting all the plates/weights on 13 machines at the YMCA just a year before his passing. He also found tremendous joy in cattle farming. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Jannette Graves, his children Sherry Vaughn (Trennis), Crystal Long, Lawrence Graves (Terra), and Elizabeth Mangiapanello (Tony), along with numerous Grandchildren: Victoria Stutzman (Whitney), Luke Vaughn, Lauren Vaughn, Mark Vaughn, Shawna Tripp, Lillian Long, John Phillip Long, Lawson Graves (Arwen), Corbin Graves, Carter Graves, Logan Causey, Grace Mangiapanello, Layna Mangiapanello, Sophia Mangiapanello, Quinn Mangiapanello, Claire Mangiapanello, Joseph Mangiapanello; and Great-grandchildren: Benham Stutzman, Brim Stutzman, and Delaney Stutzman. He leaves behind his siblings Linda Lahmon, Harry Graves (Shelly), Joyce Dennis (Michael), and Russell Graves (Lori), and many beloved nieces and nephews. Larry now joins in heaven his parents Curtis and Ruth Graves, siblings Jewell Graves and Richard Graves, grandchild Cayman Tripp, and nephew Casey Dennis. Visitation and funeral services will be held on July 1, 2024, at Brighton Assembly of God, 5403 Hwy F, Brighton, MO 65617, with visitation at 1:00 p.m. followed by the funeral at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Larry’s memory can be made to the Missouri Council of the Blind and the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

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