Margaret Hannah (Bowness) Graves passed from this life at the age of 91 on April 19, 2020, at Maryville Living Center in Maryville, Missouri, where she had been recovering from surgery for a broken hip. Other than the two prior years when she had lived at Oak Pointe assisted living facility in Maryville (and six months in Paso Robles, California, before her husband was sent to Japan and Korea, 1952-1953), she was a lifelong resident of the Fairfax, Missouri, area.
Margaret was born on February 6, 1929, to John E. Bowness and Gladys Fay (Cheesman) Bowness at the family home in Dale Township, Atchison County. She was the youngest of five children. Margaret was especially fond of horses, riding, and music. She attended Spring Valley grade school in the former Daleview consolidation, and completed her secondary education at Fairfax High School as a member of the class of 1947. Attending Fairfax public schools enabled Margaret to meet her future husband, Maurice Lee Graves; they were married on June 8, 1947, and celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary shortly before Maurice’s death in February 2010.
Margaret and Maurice Graves were blessed with three children: Dr. Rosalie Jane Graves (Dr. Christopher B. Wallace), Maryville, Missouri; Joyce Elaine Bruna (Duane Bruna), Hanover, Kansas; and the late Ted Alan Graves (Juliann Graves, JD), Liberty, Missouri. They had eight grandchildren: Megan Irene Wallace (Robin Jones) of Albuquerque, New Mexico; Stephanie Faye (Bruna) Sedlacek (Joseph Sedlacek), of Greenleaf, Kansas; Amanda Kathleen (Bruna) Price (Justin Price) of Clarksville, Tennessee; John Clayton Bruna (Terra Bruna) of Hanover, Kansas; Dr. Samuel Vincent Bruna (Kelsey Bruna), of Wichita, Kansas; Lauren Elizabeth Bruna of Hanover, Kansas; Rachel Beth Graves, of Liberty, Missouri; and Meredith Clare Graves (Trevor Shepherd), of Liberty, Missouri. Margaret’s grandchildren, in turn, are the proud parents of six great-grandchildren: Ava Hannah, Noah Joe, Westin Edward, Josie Rose, and Ellie Faye Sedlacek of Greenleaf, Kansas, and Maggie Jo Bruna of Hanover, Kansas.
Margaret was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church of Fairfax where she was the first female ruling elder on the session; she also served as Clerk of the Session and as church secretary. She sang in the adult choir, where she was a frequent soloist, beginning with her marriage in 1947 and continuing until she moved to Oak Pointe in 2018. She also was the director of the choir for several years in the 1970s and was the elementary Sunday school classes superintendent in the 1960s. She served as the treasurer of the Fairfax High School Alumni Society, played cards with the Pinochle Club and was a past member of the 49ers Hobby Club.
Margaret loved growing up on her parents’ farm, and she began studying vocal music in her teens with instructors at Tarkio College. She sang in the opera Turandot as a freshman at Northwest Missouri State College. After one year at Northwest, she married Maurice Graves at her parents’ home in rural Dale Township on June 8, 1947.
Margaret was preceded in death by her parents, John and Fay Bowness; her siblings, Mary Catherine (Bowness) Ball, William Anderson Bowness, John Franklin Bowness, Frances Fay (Bowness) Bilby; and her son, Ted Alan Graves.
Visitation was held Thursday, April 23, at Schooler Funeral Home in Fairfax, Missouri, and a private burial was conducted on Friday, April 24, at Pleasant Ridge Cemetery near Fairfax for family members. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations to the First Presbyterian Church, 500 North Broadway, Fairfax, MO 64446. A memorial service will be held at the church at a later date. Arrangements were under the direction of Schooler Funeral Home, Fairfax.