Keary Landon Graves passed away on 3/3/2013 at Bryan Medical Center in Lincoln after a hard fought battle due to complications of his myotonic dystrophy a rare form of muscular dystrophy. He had been at Madonna Rehabilitation Center since July 16, 2013.
Keary was born on Dec. 10, 1967 in Whittier, CA to Michael and Sally Graves. Keary played little league and was a member of the boy scouts. He has lived in southern and northern California. While his father went to college Keary spent many afternoons on the back of his dad’s bike going to classes until he himself started school. He spent many hours bird watching, going along on afternoon fishing trips and throwing baseballs at an old rubber tire in the backyard. After his dad graduated, he went with his parents to Reno, NV. From there they moved to Arkansas, then to Texas, to Washington state and then to western Nebraska to his mother’s family.
When Keary was growing up he enjoyed playing little league baseball and remembers playing a game in the blowing snow in Reno, NV before they finally called it. Keary enjoyed his friends and was pretty much a normal kid. He went to grade school in Reno, NV. Mena, AR., and Arlington, TX where he graduated from eighth grade. He started high school in Arlington and moved to Washington State where he graduated from high school. Keary graduated from Kentridge High School in 1987 at Kent, Washington. He tried working in the fast food industry, worked in a few machine shops; he decided with a little persuasion to go to Renton Vocational school where he studied in the culinary arts program and was able to obtain positions with the National Parks as a prep cook after receiving his certificate. One season he worked at the Crater Lake National Park in Oregon, he also worked for Yosemite National Park in California and also worked a season at Grand Canyon National park in Arizona. After breaking his ankle near the end of the season at the Grand Canyon he was not able to return to working because of his rare form of muscular dystrophy.
As Keary’s disease progressed he became more and more house bound, only going out for doctors appointments and the occasionally haircut. His favorite thing became movies. He was a Sci-Fi fan and liked the Star Wars, Star Trek movies along with the Twilight series. He watched Auntie Mame so many times that he knew the dialog by heart. He loved hummingbirds and was always hoping to see one out the front window where we had a feeder hung and did finally see a couple. He used to see them in Washington State in the back yard by the dozens.
Keary had a sense of humor and was very proud of his Irish roots. Of course he was given an Irish name to remind him of that and the stubbornness that goes with it. Keary was overall a gentle person, but wouldn’t let you run over him either and in school he stuck up for the underdog. He loved the color green for his Irish heritage and purple. He also loved the cars especially the corvette and wished to have a 1967 for his own. He also enjoyed music by artists such as the Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, Ricky Nelson and other similar artists.
Keary is survived by his parents Michael Glenn Graves and Sally Louise (McDuffie) Graves of Crawford, NE. Uncle Edward J. McDuffie & Cheryl, his Aunt Jackie LaRene Weiland and Greg, uncle Patrick L. Graves, his grandmother Anna Mae Graves; a niece and nephews and many cousins.
Honorary pallbearers are Edward (Jimmy) McDuffie, Greg Weiland, James L. Metzger, and Patrick L. Graves.
A memorial has been established for the Myotonic Dystrophy. Donations may be sent to Chamberlain Chapel, PO Box 970, Chadron, NE, 69337.
Chamberlain Chapel of Chadron is in charge of arrangements.