Marion “Fay” Graves, of Muskogee, Oklahoma passed away Friday, June 14, 2013, at 2:05 a.m., at the age of 84. He was born in Delaware, Arkansas and was the youngest of three siblings born to Marion Monroe Graves and Ada Faye Stinnett Graves. He grew up in Boynton, Oklahoma where he attended school and graduated in 1944. Marion was an all-state basketball player and led Boynton High School to a state championship. He loved basketball and continued to play until his 40’s. He also loved his OU Sooners and OKC Thunder.
Marion married his high school sweetheart, Hazel Wilson, in 1950. Their first daughter, Shirley, was born in 1951 and their second daughter, Debi, was born in 1960. Marion worked at Basolo Auto Parts for 20 years and was known as the best “parts man” in town. He could remember any number given to him and still could at the time of his death. He later worked at BF Goodrich and then opened his own restaurant, “The Lunch Box,” all the while serving as a minister of music. Marion eventually would answer the call into full time ministry.
His first church was Timothy Baptist where he served for over 10 years and then to Wainwright First Baptist where he served for over 20 years. His whole mission in life was to preach the gospel and win people to the Lord. He didn’t care what their circumstances were; their race, age, soul status – all he cared about was witnessing to whoever would listen. Even though his heart was in bad condition from the age of 57, nothing ever stopped him from preaching the gospel. He loved to sing and play the guitar which many of those songs were ones he wrote. Marion would also go and sing with a local quartet until his health would not allow him to do so. He also enjoyed visiting Armstrong Bank, where his daughter worked, and would sit in the lobby, eat popcorn, and talk to the “girls.”
Recently, Marion started having hip pain which incapacitated him. He still preached every Sunday at Northside Baptist Church, in spite of the pain, until the day he died. He knew the hip surgery was risky, but he said if he couldn’t serve the Lord then he would be much happier in Heaven. The first thing he said right out of surgery was, “When can I preach again?”
Marion loved life and enjoyed nothing more than coaching, watching his grandkids and great grandkids at their sporting events and activities. He was most noted for his ministry at hospitals and nursing homes of whom, in most cases, he didn’t even know the people he was visiting.
He loved his two daughters, Shirley Hilton and Debi Ousley more than one can imagine. They frequently gave him sermon topics! Both his daughters were very proud of their father and how he was always there for anyone in need.
Marion was preceded in death by his parents, Marion Monroe and Ada Faye Graves; his wife, Hazel Marie Graves; his granddaughter, Kristen Ousley; and his grandson, Austin Ousley.
He is survived by his two daughters, Shirley Hilton, Debi Ousley and husband, Brian; his grandchildren, Whitney Hilton Thomas and husband, Rusty, all of Muskogee, Nick Hilton of Phoenix, AZ; Morgan Ousley, Brooklynn Ousley of Muskogee; his two great grandchildren, Aubrey Ousley and Reagan McKee of Muskogee; his two sisters, Wanda Denney of Council Hill and Gilbretta Graves of Oklahoma City; numerous brother-in-laws, sister-in-laws, nieces, nephews, and friends, that were like family.
Funeral services celebrating the life of Marion will be 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, June 18, 2013 at First Baptist Church in Muskogee with Pastor Kent Kellogg and Rev. Bob Shoemake officiating. Interment will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery in Muskogee with Nick Hilton, Jordan Ousley, Jim Webb, James Webb, Matt Webb, Chris Atwell, Gary Atwell, Tommy Wilson, and Jimmy Wilson serving as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers will be his special friends: Joe Kelley, Bob Shoemake, David Brown, Ed Raley, Lee Gibson, Zane Harding, Bob Denton, and Ron Ziegler.
Services are under the direction of Cornerstone Funeral Home and Crematory, 1830 North York Street, Muskogee, Oklahoma. Condolences may be made to the family at www.cornerstoneofmuskogee.com