Funeral services for Opal O’Dell Graves, 91, of Murphy, North Carolina., were held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014, at Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church. The Reverends Edward Carter, Fred Lunsford and Jim Ross officiated. Following the service, interment was in the church’s cemetery. She died on Monday, September 15, 2014, after an extended illness.
Mrs. Graves was preceded in death by her husband, William Ralph Graves, Sr.; a son, William (Bill) Ralph Graves, Jr., who was killed in Vietnam; her parents, Scott and Lela Lovingood O’Dell; and all of her siblings, Myrtle Genell O’Dell, Mae O’Dell King, Mattie O’Dell Mintz, Warren O’Dell and David O’Dell.
Survivors include five children, Carolyn Derden (John) of Swainsboro; Frances Vaitha (Pravin) of Dalton.; Tom Graves of Murphy; Helen Graves (and special friend, Bob Mitchell) of Social Circle.; and Bob Graves (Betty) of Old Fort, North Carolina; six grandchildren, Robb Hembree, Bill Hembree, Mark Derden, Melanie Derden Farrant, Madison Graves, Jiten Vaitha and Amanda Fisher; and eight great-grandchildren, Brynna Hembree, Layne Hembree, Matthew Hembree, Bryson Derden, Radix Vaitha, Austin Bell, Casey Bell and Evan Bell.
Pallbearers were Brian Graves, Morris Graves, Danny Lollar, Dwight Lovingood, Mike O’Dell and Kenny Thomas. Honorary pallbearers were Wayne Dockery, Norman King, Jimmy Mintz, Gilbert Mintz, Rodney O’Dell, Ronnie Graves, David Graves (of Georgia), Joe Thomas, Matthew Lambert, David Graves (of Ohio), Johnny Graves and Danny Graves. Singers Sonny, Cindy Allen, Margaret Reighard and Jeanne Wilson performed Mrs. Graves’ favorite hymns.
Mrs. Graves’ family is grateful for the loving care provided by the Abbey Hospice team.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Abbey Hospice Foundation, 215 Azalea Court, Social Circle, GA 30025 (770-464-5858), or to the Wounded Warrior Project, P. O. Box 758518, Topeka, KS 66675 (also by phone to the office in Atlanta: 855-448-3997 and online: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Townson-Rose Funeral Home of Murphy was in charge of all arrangements.