Kenneth Paul Graves
On Friday, April 24, Kenneth Paul Graves, 65, Waterville, passed away at home, his beloved wife Shannon by his side. Born May 1, 1954, he was the eldest son of Esther (Vickers) Graves and the late Jack Graves. Ken ("Kenny" to those closest to him) lived and grew up in Kentville. He attended Central Kings High School, where he enjoyed hanging out with his friends, playing on the soccer team and sometimes even showing up for class! During his childhood, he stayed with his grandparents in Cape Breton for much of each summer vacation, spending many happy hours exploring, hiking, and fishing with his grandfather and uncles. He always spoke fondly of those times, so in 2018, he and Shannon revisited many of those spots while on a camping trip around the Cabot Trail, loving every minute of it! One of his most memorable adventures took place when he was still a teenager, during the summer of 1970, when he and a few friends decided to hitchhike across Canada. Needless to say, when he got back he had plenty to talk about, especially when asked the familiar question "What did you do over summer vacation?" A few years later Kenny met his wife, Shannon, and the rest, as they say, is history. Their marriage lasted more than 46 years, during which time he made it his purpose in life to always protect and take care of her, all the while loving her unconditionally. They had a special bond and their relationship was one of true commitment, teamwork, and dedication. Early in his married life, Kenny worked at Hostess Foods as an extruder operator. He also worked for several years at the Kings Regional Rehabilitation Centre in Waterville, where he was known for his patient, calm, compassionate, and gentle ways while caring for the clients. Always one who believed in learning new skills, Kenny took time to go back to school to learn the carpentry trade, working in that field for a few years both with Roscoe Construction and Viking Ventures. His last job was working locally for two security companies, Ennis and Paladin. Kenny had an amazing strength of character. He was the strong one, always putting others’ needs before his own. He was a genuinely generous person who gave his loved ones some small gift nearly every time he saw them, even at times when he had very little himself. There was not a selfish bone in his body. His incredible sense of loyalty and commitment made his family feel supported through the ups and downs that came with everyday life. Kenny was deeply devoted to family. When his children were growing up he did his best to teach them how to be independent, and he was always willing to help out when they needed him. He had an abundance of patience, as well as being a good listener, and always tried to give sound advice. He was very proud of his children’s accomplishments in their chosen fields of work and took great pleasure in the knowledge that they were both doing well — Matthew most recently as a community TV producer in the Vancouver area, Samara as a successful paralegal in Victoria. He also enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren Sara and Truman, who were very special to him, and he looked forward to the birth of his daughter’s first child, Nadirah, who arrived just a few days before Kenny’s death. Although Kenny was weak and tired by the time Nadirah was born, when he saw an image of her his face lit up with the most beautiful smile. Kenny’s deep interest in his family history led him to spend many hours researching and documenting any information he could find about his genealogy, sometimes even contacting strangers in different parts of the world to track down or confirm connections he had found, and he enjoyed passing that information on to other family members. Kenny had many hobbies and interests, one of them being the great outdoors. When his children were small, he used to take the family on camping trips, their favourite destination being Kejimkujik Park, where they spent many happy hours making lifelong memories. He also enjoyed spending time with his hunting buddies, Gary and David, trekking through the woods for hours searching for the "big one," sometimes being lucky, sometimes not. Either way, there was never a shortage of storytelling around the fire every season. He greatly enjoyed fishing and was looking forward to doing just that with his friend and fishing buddy, Ib. He also loved gardening, especially growing his own vegetables. Feeding the many birds that flocked to his yard every year was important to him as well, and he loved to study them while taking pictures of them in their habitat. Kenny had a creative side, woodworking being one of his interests. Over the years he and Shannon created many unique garden and Christmas ornaments, which he enjoyed selling at local flea markets as well as to Michelin for the yearly children’s parties. His latest passion was working with metal and gemstones. As Shannon developed her successful business as a jewellery-maker, Kenny worked alongside her, providing invaluable knowledge as well as taking a hands-on role in her endeavours. He became a familiar face at the Berwick Community Market, helping Shannon set up her weekly displays (on stands that he designed and built), all the while thoroughly enjoying the company of the new friends he made there. In addition to being Shannon’s biggest fan and supporter, Kenny became a skilled jewellery designer and engraver in his own right. He especially loved rock-hounding and enjoyed studying and learning about various specimens, gaining a vast knowledge of them while amassing quite a collection. In the final decade of his life, he learned how to extract precious metals from reclaimed or found materials, and spent many happy hours absorbed in this pursuit. It is typical of Kenny’s character that he was always convinced that there was a bit of gold hidden somewhere within the dross — and, to his credit, he was usually able to find it. Besides having a wonderful character, Kenny was a character. He had a great way with words and always talked in stories, delighting his listeners with colourful and witty renditions of some otherwise mundane occurrence he had just witnessed. Ken was also very intuitive and could read people almost immediately, a trait which served him well during his time as a security officer. His final months at home were spent puttering in his workshop while listening to CBC News and his favourite show, Randy Bachman’s Vinyl Tap, while enjoying some great music. During that time, Shannon stayed by his side, taking care of him during his final journey. Always "Kenny" to her, he was her best friend and the love of her life. He will be greatly missed, but fondly remembered for the special person that he was. He is survived by his wife, Shannon (née Nowlan), Waterville; son, Matthew (Pam), Ladner, B.C.; daughter, Samara (Noman), Victoria, B.C.; granddaughter, Sara; grandson, Truman; and granddaughter, Nadirah, the newest addition to his family. He is also survived by his mother, Esther, Kentville; brothers, Jack "Sonny" (Mira), Ottawa; Bradford (Lorna), Kentville; Lloyd, Kentville; Eldon, Kentville; and Kevin (Micheline), Kentville; and sister, Darlene (Danny), Moncton. In addition to his father, Kenny was also predeceased by his infant daughter, Jasmin. We would like to thank the palliative-care team, VON, and the paramedics, whose support made it possible for Shannon to care for Kenny at home. Cremation has taken place and there will be no visitation by request. A private graveside service will be held. A celebration of Kenny’s life will be held at a later date. Donations in his memory may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society. Arrangements have been entrusted to the White Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Kentville.