Elmer L. Graves, Jr., the heart and soul of Salks Hardware Store, the wisdom and compassion of his family, the courage and pride of our country, lived a full and beautiful 91 years before passing away August 20, 2012. He spent more than 62 of those years with his wife, Greta A. (Erickson) Graves, on Hart Avenue in Warwick.
Born in Cranston, the son of the late Elmer L. and Rosella S. (Veranica) Graves, he was proud to call Warwick home for most of his life. A United States Army veteran of World War II, he was a member of the Anzio Beachhead Veterans of WWII, the 45th Infantry Division Association, and the Disabled American Veterans. In addition to the Purple Heart and Good Conduct Medal in 2005, Congressman Langvin presented the following medals to Elmer for his service in European-African-Middle-Eastern Campaign: the American Campaign Medal, Bronze Star and Silver Star, Combat Infantryman 1st badge, Honorable Service, Victory and Marksman badge and machine gun BAR. Mr. Graves was dedicated to his career as the manager of Salks Hardware Store in the Conimicut section of Warwick for 55 years before retiring. Yet, he was never too busy to be a wonderful father and selfless volunteer of the Old Warwick Grange. Elmer was incredibly proud that all three of his children, as well as himself, graduated from college. Elmer was a graduate of Bryant College now Bryant University. His family will miss his innovative designs, funny jokes and kind heart.
Besides his wife; he is survived by two daughters, Christine A. Satterwhite and Deborah G. Graves-Stone, both of Pocatello, Idaho, a son, Leonard P. Graves of Charleston, South Carolina; a sister, Junis Merchant of Modesto, Calif.; four grandchildren, Dana Graves, Nicole Graves, Taylor Graves, and Mackenzie Stone; and great-grandson Owen Atwood. He was the brother of the late Henry Graves and Shirley Peters.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a memorial service at 11 a.m. on Friday, September 7, in Woodbury Union Church, Presbyterian, 58 Beach Ave., Warwick. Visiting hours are omitted. A private burial, with military honors, will be at the Rhode Island Veterans’ Cemetery, Exeter.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to the Memorial Fund of Woodbury Union Church, Presbyterian. Arrangements by Barrett & Cotter Funeral Home, Warwick.