Joseph Matthew Graves, born Feb. 5, 1980, passed away Jan. 22, 2021.  Joe was born and raised in Abilene, KS, attending Abilene schools until graduation. 

He then attended Salina Area Vo-tech where he learned the beginning of his welding career. He worked for different companies using and growing his welding skills. Some of the places he worked were  in Salina at Vortex, Blue Beacon and Power Vac and in Abilene at Great Plains and finally at Ft. Riley for the U.S. Dept of Defense-Dept. of Public Works-Engineering Division as an inspector. He also had his own welding business on the side and welded for so many friends and derby drivers all over the state. 

He had a gift and left people in awe of his skills. He later married Kari Hood and her three daughters Alexis, Bailey and Taryn. They then had two sons together William Joseph Graves (Will-13) and Cole Michael Graves (10). They later divorced and Joe dedicated all of his spare time to his sons. Joe was their coach, their Boy Scout leader, wanted to take them hunting, camping fishing and all things outdoors that he loved. His sons were his heart and treasure. 

Joe was the son of (deceased) William Albert Graves  and Melba Jean Moyer, brother to Sherry (Andy) Delay, David (Brenda Gunder) Rikard, Nancy (Mitch) Brandt, and Jeff (Amanda) Graves. He was Uncle Joe to Ashley and Emily Delay, Tony (Tabatha) Rikard, Jake (Shelby) and Matt Davis, Dalton, Dylan and Brooke Graves, and great uncle to Ryder Davis, Brendyn Rikard and Tucker Davis with another great nephew Graves to come in February. 

He is also survived by his special friend Amanda Renea Parson her children Corbin, McKenzie, Cooper and Kory. He so enjoyed spending time with all of these children as even as they were adults working side by side, playing, wrestling, fishing, swimming and watching movies. He was so good with all of our children.

Funeral Services for Joe will be 2 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021 at Life House Church in Abilene.  Burial will follow at the Abilene City Cemetery.  Family will receive friends Tuesday evening from 5 to 7 p.m. at  Martin-Becker-Carlson Funeral Home in Abilene.   In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Grave’s Memorial Fund for his son’s needs and college expenses in the future. 

 Memorials may be dropped off at Pinnacle Bank in Abilene or mailed to Martin-Becker-Carlson Funeral Home, 414 N.W. Third Street, Abilene, Kansas 67410.  Online condolences may be sent to


Contact Tim Horan at

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