Douglas Dean “Doug” Graves, son of Jerold and Louise (Vander Pol) Graves was born October 15, 1952, in Sheldon, IA. He grew up around Sanborn, IA and attended school there. As a young boy, he helped his father on the family farm, learning firsthand to appreciate the changing seasons, the challenges and the great rewards associated with farming.
He was married to Sharon Dotson in October of 1970; they later parted company. From this union two children were born: Melissa and Jason.
Doug farmed in the Sanborn, Hartley, and Everly areas the bulk of his life. In the 90’s, he added a trucking company to his ag venture, making weekly over-the-road trips to California. However, spring and fall were still dedicated to planting, harvesting and fieldwork. He owned and operated D & G Express until 2000, when he sold the truck and devoted all his time to his main passion - farming. On December 7, 2002, Doug was united in marriage to Roxanne Ohrt at the Little Brown Church in Nashua, IA.
As with most people involved with agriculture, “free time” is a rare thing, and Doug was no exception. When there was a little break, he liked to escape to the rivers and lakes in Minnesota for a few days of fishing. Quite often, he was accompanied by his good friends or his brother, Randy and son, Jason. Wild fish tales were created, and memorable times were had just sitting in a boat.
When his health dictated a change, Doug retired from farming, only to take up a scaled-down version – gardening. (You can take the boy out of the farm but you can’t take the farm out of the boy.) He simply took what he had learned about growing things and applied it to different crops. Of course, friends and family benefited from all the produce he generated every year!
One of Doug’s favorite pastimes was taking his beloved Jack Russell terriers – Bennie and Simon – for a ride in his Chevy pickup at the end of the day. He found it relaxing to amble down familiar gravel roads admiring other farmer’s work, stopping along the way to visit friends and share a cold beer or two. He was awfully proud of his Chevy pickup – still purring with 440,000 miles to its credit.
On Saturday, May 27, 2023, Doug was released from this life at the age of 70 years. He is reunited with his parents, Jerold and Louise Graves; his brother, Randy Graves; father-in-law, Leonard Ohrt; and nephew, Eric Graves.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Roxanne Graves of Hartley, IA; his children: Melissa (Scott) Reiss – Tyler and Connor of Bennington, NE, Jason Graves of Omaha, NE, Kyle Gross – Olivia, Emma and Layne, Andrea (Troy) Schlotman – Carter, Keaton, and Cooper all of Cedar Falls, IA; brothers: Larry (Jill) Graves, Mark (Amber) Graves; sisters: Sharon (Ray) Kemp, and Twyla Vogelaar; other relatives and many friends.