Dennis Graves
Dennis Graves

Obituary of Dennis Lee Graves

On Friday, June 4, 2020, Denny Graves, loving husband and father, passed away to be with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, at the age of 84. Denny passed peacefully of natural causes with his family by his side.

Denny was born on May 25, 1936 in Burns, Oregon to Morrie and Mildred Graves. In 1946, just after WWII, the Graves family transitioned to Gold Beach, Oregon, where the family made a living in the fishing and outdoor industries.

Dennis married the love of his life, Linda Woyak in 1972, raising two sons (Wilbur and Terrence Graves), and three daughters, (Lauri Hale, Cindy Graves, and Jodee Wallace). Dennis and Linda were married 48 wonderful years.

From an early age, Denny had a fearless sense of adventure, which, combined with his love of the outdoors, resulted in in numerous circumstances that would make most men retreat in fear.

As a powerful swimmer, Denny was the “go-to” resource for Curry County Sheriff Alan Boice whenever there was a need for a rescue or commercial diver. Denny was accredited for saving at least four lives during both Rogue River and ocean rescue operations.

Denny owned commercial fishing boats out of Brookings in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, including the fishing boats Kingfisher and Moocher. Denny was an avid white- water rafter, fisherman, and firearms marksman.

In 1970, Denny graduated from the University of Oregon with a teaching degree. Denny taught school in Brookings for one year and 28 years at Marshfield High School in Coos Bay, where he also coached basketball and baseball.

Denny retired from teaching in 1998 and moved to Agness, Oregon where he lived out the retirement of his dreams. Denny built boats in his woodshop, fished in his jet boat, hiked the wilderness, raised exotic animals, grew amazing fruit and vegetables, and swam the Illinois River on a regular basis.

Denny was inducted into the Gold Beach Athletic Hall of Fame. He had a basketball scoring record that stood for nearly 40 years.

Denny will be forever remembered for his sense of humor and his love of children and grand-children. Nothing brought more joy to Denny than taking loved ones sturgeon or salmon fishing.

Denny Graves is survived by his wife of 48 years, Linda Graves, son Wilbur Graves (Anchorage AK), son Terrence Graves (Walterville), daughter Lauri hale (Corvallis), daughter Cindy Graves (Lake Shelan, WA), daughter JoDee Carter (Grants Pass). Denny is also survived by 20 grand-children and 7 great-grandchildren.


 Memorial services are scheduled at 1:00 PM on Saturday June 13th, 2020 at the First Baptist Church (29755 Turner St) Gold Beach, where Dennis and his wife Linda have been members for 21 years.

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