Oct. 24, 2008

Happy 100th Willard!

Willard and Helen Graves (left) married on Nov. 1, 1941, the week before Pearl Harbor.

Willard, as a boy, (right) with his calf in front of his home in Berthoud.

"The Berthoud Boys" (middle) back in the day. From left: Willard, Jay, LeRoy, Charles (aka "Chick"), Myron and their dog, Major.

Grandson Matt Graves (bottom left) introduces the newest addition to the family, baby Sawyer, two weeks old, to Willard and Roy Graves.

"The Berthoud Boys" (bottom right) celebrate Willard's 100th birthday with a family reunion at the Derby Grill, Saturday, Oct. 18.  From left: Jay Graves, 89, of Denver; Willard Graves, 100, of Berthoud; and LeRoy "Roy" Graves, 92 of Hygiene.

Willard Graves was born in a railroad car Oct. 15, 1908 in Minnesota. His family soon moved to Colorado and settled first in Longmont and then Berthoud, where he now lives. After graduating from Colorado College of Agriculture (now Colorado State University) he spent most of his career with meteorology and soil conservation. After retirement, he and his wife, Helen, spent time traveling and “snowbirding” in Arizona.

The Graves family is very large. Four children: Tom, Caroline, Marilyn and Linda; eight grandchildren: Emily, Michael, Rachel, Jeff, Matthew, Adalyn, Jessica and Della; and 11 great-grandchildren Bryce, Melissa, Alexander, Cecilia, Alexander, Andrew, Henrick, Helena, Gillian, Wyatt and Sawyer.

Most of Graves' family came to Berthoud to celebrate his 100th birthday with food, photos and fond memories. On turning 100, he said, "I'm kinda glad I made it."