Longtime Longbranch resident John Graves died Feb. 16. He was 92 years old.
Born in Seattle, John attended Franklin High School and joined the Merchant Marines when he was only 17 years old and served throughout Southeast Asia. He enjoyed travel and explorations on Bali and Java, in Japan and on the Korean Peninsula.
He returned to Seattle to earn his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington. After his education, he was stationed in Longbranch, New Jersey, where he met Marise Whidden on a blind date on the Jersey Shore. The couple married six months later and made the trek across the country to begin their new life in Seattle and later on neighboring Mercer Island.
Together John and Marise shared their life passions with their children. John absolutely loved sailing and spent countless hours on Puget Sound and Lake Washington sailing with his kids. He adored road trips and camping, as well as tending his garden and yard. As a young family they made many cross-country road trips, visiting national parks and relatives along the way. Later, without children in tow, John and Marise continued their motorhome travels enjoying all of life’s blessings with friends and family.
John was passionate about the Huskiesfootball games as a season ticket holder for over 40 years. He and Marise attended many Rose Bowl games in California.
John was preceded in death by his wife Marise in May 2018. He is survived by their daughter Gayle (Tex), son John (Joni), daughter Nancy (Blake), grandchildren Memoree, Jackson, Sean, Riley and Natasha followed by great-grandchildren Preston, Malia, Priscila and Marie.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations in John’s name to The Humane Society, Mercer Island Kiwanis Club, Key Peninsula Community Services or Northwest Harvest.
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