Alma Darden Graves

June 25, 1921 - May 22, 2010
Alma Darden Graves

Alma Darden Graves

Alma Darden Graves passed away on Saturday, May 22, 2010, in her sleep, with her son Preston by her side.

She was born on June 25, 1921, the daughter of the late Dr. J. C. and Nellie Henderson Darden, and was preceded in death by her brother, Julius, and her sister, Louise.

Alma graduated from Hollins College and worked as a schoolteacher. She was a reading tutor at the Grymes Memorial School in Orange, Virginia. She loved to read books and play the piano and was a prolific knitter of sweaters and scarves for her children and grandchildren.

Born and raised in Salem, Virginia, Mrs. Graves lived a glorious life filled with family and friends. As the wife of an army officer, Colonel Robert Preston Graves, she and her family moved frequently and, over the course of her life, she lived in six U.S. states and four foreign countries. After her husband’s retirement from the military, Alma and Preston moved to Woodberry Forest School, near Orange, Virginia, where Preston was on the faculty of the school. They lived there for many years before relocating to Wilmington, N.C.

Alma and Preston first met during their second year of elementary school. They wed on August 22, 1942, and were married for nearly sixty-eight years.

In addition to her husband, Mrs. Graves is survived by five sons: Robert Preston Graves Jr. and wife Nancy of Fort Smith, AK; James Ashby Graves and wife Sharon of Belmont, MA; John Marshall Graves and wife Christy of Lake Mary, FL; Mark David Graves and wife Becky of Clemmons, NC; George Dickerson Graves of Wilmington, NC; one daughter: Annabel Darden Ratley and husband Griffin of Tucson, AZ; daughter-in-law: Shawn Best; and a special friend of the family, Ginnie Kuhn; thirteen grandchildren: Preston, Paul and Julie Graves; Griffin, Emily and Steven Ratley, Ian and Peter Graves, Betsi Akerstein and Erin DeVane, Jessica Nguyen, Kendall and Alec Graves; and three great grandchildren. Also surviving are Alma?s nephew Pat Darden and wife Elva, niece Beverly White and husband Paul, nephews Joe Rice and Everett Rice, and niece Lucy Rice.

Alma?s years in Wilmington were enriched by her church, Saint Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran; her pastors Rev. John Misenheimer and Rev. Mark Opgrand; and her loving and gracious Renovah Circle neighbors.

A memorial service will be held at Saint Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church on Thursday, June 17 at 12:00 p.m. with internment in Virginia at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Lower Cape Fear Hospice (1406 Physicians Drive, Wilmington, NC 28401) would be appreciated.

A service of Village Road Memorial Chapel.


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