Obituaries

Vernice Smith
B: 1943-08-15
D: 2018-11-12
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Smith, Vernice
Sheila Ford
B: 1960-01-19
D: 2018-11-09
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Ford, Sheila
Mable Jackson
B: 1941-11-22
D: 2018-11-04
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Jackson, Mable
Harriette Kearney
B: 1921-10-23
D: 2018-11-03
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Kearney, Harriette
Robert Drake
B: 1961-10-22
D: 2018-11-03
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Drake, Robert
Mildred Harrell
B: 1933-03-08
D: 2018-11-01
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Harrell, Mildred
James Joyner
B: 1958-03-22
D: 2018-10-29
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Joyner, James
Deloris Lyons- Hoggard
B: 1940-07-26
D: 2018-10-27
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Lyons- Hoggard, Deloris
Evangeline Vann
B: 1934-02-10
D: 2018-10-25
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Vann, Evangeline
James Howard
B: 1946-02-28
D: 2018-10-25
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Howard, James
Marjorie Royster - Mitchell
B: 1963-08-11
D: 2018-10-25
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Royster - Mitchell, Marjorie
Karl Hill
B: 1957-04-16
D: 2018-10-25
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Hill, Karl
Montavion Moses
B: 2018-10-25
D: 2018-10-25
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Moses, Montavion
Robert Drake
B: 1938-09-06
D: 2018-10-24
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Drake, Robert
Beatrice Tripp
B: 1934-09-27
D: 2018-10-24
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Tripp, Beatrice
Bobby Jones
B: 1945-09-08
D: 2018-10-20
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Jones, Bobby
Franklin Perkins
B: 1946-03-27
D: 2018-10-19
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Perkins, Franklin
Willie Harris
B: 1925-08-09
D: 2018-10-16
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Harris, Willie
Shirley Banks
B: 1928-12-27
D: 2018-10-15
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Banks, Shirley
Herman Gatson
B: 1957-09-20
D: 2018-10-15
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Gatson, Herman
Lorenzo Goodwyn
B: 1955-09-27
D: 2018-10-13
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Goodwyn, Lorenzo

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1631 Church Street
NORFOLK, VA 23504
Phone: 757-622-1085
Fax: 757-624-1508

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Our Funeral Directors & Staff


Thomas "Tom" Graves Jr., Owner & CEO

'Tom', as he is called, is the Founder and CEO of Graves Funeral Home. He is licensed by both the National and States Boards of Funeral Directors and Embalmers in Virginia and North Carolina.

Tom was graduated from the Eckels College of Mortuary Science in Philadelphia, PA. His above average scholastic record earned him a spot in the Lamda Zeta Nu Honorary Scholastic Fraternity.

Graves Funeral Home was established in 1953. It was the first funeral home designed and built to service the African-American Community. His 'motto', 'Your Satisfaction Is Our Ambition' has remained throughout the years.

Tom is the father of Tommy and Lorraine and grandfather to Thomas, IV and Jason.

Mrs. Graves is Vice-President of the company. She assisted her husband, “Tom” in establishing the funeral home in 1953. She was a teacher in the Norfolk Public School System and the same time.

Mrs. Graves is a product of the Norfolk Public Schools and a graduate of Virginia State College with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Elementary Education.

In the early years, she served as Secretary/Treasurer and Bookkeeper for the company. Mrs. Graves is truly the Matriarch of the organization, although modest in her demeanor.She is also mother to Tommy and Lorraine and grandmother to Thomas, IV and Jason.

Thomas "TOMMY" Graves, III, President

was a standout in Football, Basketball and Track and Field at Lake Taylor High School in Norfolk, Virginia. He was All-State in each sport and went on to have a very successful Football career at Michigan State University. He was a member of the All Big-Ten Team and was ultimately drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers where he was a part of the Champion Super Bowl XIV Team. Tommy graduated from Michigan State University with a Degree in Urban and Metropolitan Studies and a Minor in Business Administration and Coaching. In 1980, Tommy joined the firm as an Apprentice. After completing his apprenticeship, he enrolled in the American Academy, McAllister Institute of Mortuary Science in New York City. He excelled in the accelerated one year course and graduated CUM LAUDE in September 1984. Immediately thereafter, he passed both the National and Virginia State Boards of Funeral Services and was licensed to practice as a Funeral Service Provider. Tommy is the proud father of two sons: Thomas, IV, a licensed Funeral Service Provider and Jason, a graduate of Virginia State University and a licensed Funeral Service Provider as well. Tommy is also extremely proud to be a first time grandfather to his grandson Thomas E. Graves V; better know as T5. Tommy is an exceptional professional who is there to service all your funeral needs.

Mildred O. Graves, Vice-President

Lorraine E. Graves, Secretary/Treasurer

Lorraine E. Graves is an honor graduate of Lake Taylor High School and went on to earn her Bachelor of Science Degree with Distinction in Ballet in three years from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. After graduation, she joined the world-reknowned Dance Theatre of Harlem in New York. There, she rose to the rank of Principal Dancer within one year and remained with the company for seventeen years. As a member of Dance Theatre of Harlem, she had the opportunity to perform for the likes of Nelson Mandela, the King of Norway, Princess Diana, Princess Margaret, President and Mrs. Ronald Reagan in honor of British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher and for President and Mrs. Bill Clinton as well as celebrities such as Bill Cosby, Michael Jackson, Prince, Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Golberg and many others. She was also fortunate enough to meet many in the business field including Microsofts Bill Gates. Lorraine returned home in 1996 to become involved with the family business. She continues to teach and coach dance nationwide and locally at the Governors School of the Arts and the Todd Rosenlieb Dance Center. She is resident guest faculty at the Virginia School of the Arts in Lynchburg, Virginia and guest faculty for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. She is permanent guest faculty with Dance Theatre of Harlem and is resident teacher for the Dance Theatre of Harlem/ Kennedy Center pre-professional residency program. She is a member of Whos Who in America, Whos Who in Entertainment and Whos Who Among Women. She is also a member of the Norfolk Chapter of the Links, Inc., the Mayors Downtown Task Force, serves on the Board of Directors for Todd Rosenlieb Dance and is the Chairman of the Norfolk Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

Thomas E. Graves, IV, Licensed Funeral Director & Embalmer

Thomas E. Graves IV is a licensed Funeral Service Provider in the state of Virginia. He is a 2002 graduate of Indian River High School in Chesapeake VA. He is a December 2006 graduate of Ferrum College with a degree in Sports Management and Business Administration. He also played football for the Ferrum Panthers and was a captain and senior member of their 2005 championship team. Thomas began his formal training at Graves Funeral Home in February of 2007 as an apprentice, and attended Tidewater Community College earning his Associate of Applied Science Degree in Funeral Services. Thomas, the grandson of "Tom" and son of "Tommy",  sets his sights on maintaining and building on the legacy his grandfather established since 1953 and father helped to grow in the mid 80's. Thomas is the father of one, a son, Thomas E. Graves V affectionately called "T5".

Jason S. Graves, Licensed Funeral Service Provider

Jason S. Graves is grandson to Thomas E Graves Jr. and son to Tommy Graves III. Jason along with his brother Thomas IV are the third generation of Graves in the family business. Jason is a 2004 graduate of Indian River High School in Chesapeake VA. He is also a 2008 graduate of Virginia State University in Petersburg, Virginia with a degree in Business Management. Jason also obtained his Associates Degree in funeral services from Tidewater Community College; where he graduated CUM LADE. Jason has completed all the requirements to become licensed; successfully passing the national and state board exams and as of August 2012, he is officially a Licensed Funeral Service Provider! He is proud to be serving the Tidewater community and upholding the legacy his grandfather started in 1953  

Michael Washington, Funeral Service Attendant

Michael Washington is a native of Norfolk, Virginia and a product of the Norfolk Public School System. He has been a loyal employee at Graves Funeral Home for over 40 years as a Funeral Service attendant.

George Vines

George has been a loyal employee with us for 13 years, making first call removals and serving as a funeral attendant. He is a graduate of Granby high school, and a member of Tidewater lodge 106 and Arabia Temple #12. And a US Army Veteran.

Dionne Wright, Office Coordinator

Born in Anne Arundel County, Maryland to Proud Army Parents. Dionne has proudly provided services in the death care industry for almost 17 years from Counseling to Management; after obtaining a degree in Business Management with a Concentration on Computers, Dionne learned that being dedicated to the care, concerns and satisfaction of others proved to be the most vital point in any business environment. Today, she is the proud parents of two adult children, who help inspire her with their dreams, aspirations and accomplishments. She is supported by a loving mother and driven to become better with every life experience by a younger brother. She strives with purpose as a dedicated member of New Mount Vernon Baptist Church of Portsmouth, VA; where she serves on multiple ministries. Her life verse is Isaiah 40:31, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”  This life verse shows even in the Work Environment of Graves Funeral Home. The Life Legacy and History of Graves Funeral Home makes her truly proud to be a part of a family owned and operated business that is modeled with integrity helping in the community to serve families with excellence. Simply put, she is Dionne, a woman for all seasons, loving life. And we are very blessed for her to be a part of Graves Funeral Home family!

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