Private funeral services were held.
Shuda Funeral Service of Stevens Point assisted the family with services. Condolences may be offered online at www.shudafuneral.com.
Mr. LaGraves was born Jan. 27, 1929, a son of the late James and Lessie (Kealiher) LaGraves. He graduated from P.J. Jacobs High School in 1944.
He served in the U.S. Navy from 1944 to 1949 aboard the USS Brush, seeing action in the islands of the Philippines, Guam, Wake Island and Japan. After the Japanese surrendered, his ship saw action off the shores of China. While serving in the Navy he was exposed to nuclear radiation as a result of Bikini Atoll atomic tests in 1947.
Following his military service he returned home, acquiring a business education degree at Mid-State Technical College.
He was married to Eileen Louise Redding 1951. She died in 1981.
He worked for nearly 10 years for the Soo Line railroad in the traffic department before going into the grocery and meat distribution business with his brother-in-law in the early 1960s. They operated the business under the name Bergies Market on Jefferson Street through the early 1990s when each retired.
Mr. LaGraves was an avid letter writer to local newspapers. He was elected several times as a supervisor in the town of Dewey, and at age 67 ran unsuccessfully for the School Board in Stevens Point. He lobbied the state Legislature for tighter monitoring of student behavior in the state’s high schools.
In his retirement years he focused his efforts on volunteer community service, serving on the School Board’s Reappointment Committee, and he was a Cub Master and Scout Master with the Boy Scouts. In the 1960s he was a Little League coach, a league bowler, counseled youthful offenders in the Portage County jail system, and in his later years was a reader to first-graders at Madison Elementary School.
In recent years he spent the winter months in Florida.
Survivors include two daughters, Cathy Koenig, Wakefield, Mass., and Susan Duchek, Algonquin, Ill.; two sons, Keith, Wakefield, Mass., and Christopher, Hermantown, Minn.; 11 grandchildren; and his fiancé, Sandy Gollon, Hommosassa, Fla.
He was also preceded in death by one son, Kevin; and one brother, James.