Samuel Davis Graves was born to Walter G. Graves, Sr. and Emma Ann Miles Graves on July 28, 1964 in Orange County, North Carolina. He was the third child born to this union.
Sammy, as he was called by family and friends, obtained his education in the Alamance County School System. He is a member of the Graham High School Class of 1983. While in school, he enjoyed playing intramural basketball. Sammy had a great love for sports. His favorite teams were as follows: the Dallas Cowboys and the Carolina Panthers, the Atlantic Braves and the North Carolina Tarheels – college football and basketball teams. Sammy was a loyal fan of WWE – World Wrestling Entertainment or as he laughingly called it, “rasslin’ “. Very rarely did he miss the Monday Night Raw or Tuesday night program WWE Smackdown. He also loved treating his nephew Miles and daughter Tamara to WWE live events when they came to Greensboro Coliuseum.
Along with Sammy’s love of his sports was his love for eating and cooking, in that order. When he was a child, he got a fish bone stuck in his throat. From then on, whenever there was fish night in the Graves household, Sammy’s mother made sure he had his meal of 2 large homemade hamburger patties. He would load them up with his favorite toppings of mayo, lettuce, tomato and cheese. He would allow for fish sticks, but fish with bones were strictly a no-no to Sammy. As for cooking, one of Sammy’s greatest loves was a big bowl of popcorn while watching games or WWE. He knew that if the family smelled it, he was going to have to share…which he did lovingly. The family will also miss Sammy’s lasagna at the family Super Bowl gathering held yearly at each family member’s home. The dish he would use was so deep all you needed was one helping.
Sammy’s love for music was that of a music enthusiast. He appreciated early gospel quartet, gospel R & B, rock and some pop from all eras as early as the 1950. Some days he would spend hours in his room cataloguing his music and just digging through his crates. He would create playlists and record them on CD’s so he would have music he wanted to hear in his car. On occasion he had provided music for family reunions, ministerial functions and some parties of course. He could talk music with the best. If you had an artist and wanted to know the release date on an album or song, Sammy was your man! This was a great joy for him.
On November 18, 1996 Sammy’s life changed forever when his daughter Tamara Lynette Royster was born. While Tamara was in middle and high school, she participated in concert band. Sammy was at every performance. He took great joy in watching ‘Mara Mara’ as he called her, perform her solos and with the rest of the band. When Tamara gained a place in Elon Academy, Sammy was at every opening for camp and every close out. God would have it that Tamara would apply and be accepted at none other than UNC Chapel Hill where she is a Tarheel and Sammy seized the opportunity to be a proud Tarheel parent! Whenever Tamara called, Sammy went! Whatever Tamara needed, like the proud loving father he was, Sammy provided.
Sammy was also known for his loving inspirational Facebook posts and his friendly, comforting smile. He had a disposition that made you feel special to just know him. When you met and got to know him, if you were having a bad day and didn’t have a smile, he certainly had one for you. At the time of his passing, Sammy had been a faithful employee of Honda Power Equipment for 22 years. He loved working at Honda and will be sorely missed by management and teammates alike.
Surviving Sammy are as follows,–one daughter, Tamara Lynette Royster; parents: Walter G.Graves and Emma Ann Miles Graves; three sisters - Faye Jean Rone (Melvin) of Burlington NC; Melinda Carol Johnson (Jerry) of Burlington, NC; Anita Elizabeth Graves Burton (Michael) of Burlington NC; brother – Walter Gwindale Graves, Jr. (Carolyn) of Greensboro NC; an aunt – Lessie Marie Fowler and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Even though Sammy left this life suddenly, his family takes comforts in they have 53 years of memories to reflect upon.