Courage, in the form of Caleb C. Graves, was born on Wednesday, March 8, 1922. He was the second son born to Burrell Graves and Sarah Hanks Graves in Independence, Washington County, Texas. Living in a household where his father was a preacher, Caleb’s introduction to Christ came at an early age. In San Antonio, he joined New Union Baptist Church and later united with New Mount Pleasant Baptist Church under Pastor J. Carlton Allen in 1971. Caleb was always a generous giver for the advancement of God’s kingdom and was even honored as Man of the Year in 2002.
Not afraid of hard work, Caleb collectively served 25 years in the Army Reserves where he earned the rank of Master Sergeant. He also worked Civil Service at Kelly Air Force Base for over 20 years and barbered for 60 years until he retired eight years ago. One of Caleb’s mantras was, “If you don’t work, you don’t eat.” As a result of his work ethic, commitment, and entrepreneurship, Caleb took pride in caring for his immediate and extended family.
Caleb was living life to the fullest when he met the woman of his dreams, Ileyia Cooper, in 1945. Ileyia was pretty, quiet, and had just completed Beauty School. After a short courtship, Caleb was convinced that Ileyia was his queen for life and wasted no time popping the infamous question. Caleb and Ileyia married in 1946 and spent 56 years together operating their individual businesses and making the community a brighter place. They were always generous to anyone who needed assistance and later added six children to the world. Caleb, along with his wife Ileyia, were doers of Matthew 25:35-40 on a regular basis. As a result, blessings and favor fell on his life.
Caleb’s queen, Ileyia, two children, Brenda and Charles, parents Burrell and Sarah Graves; brothers: John, Burrell, and Taylor and son-in-law, James precede him in death. Left to honor Caleb and remember his love and lessons are daughters: Ileyia McDavid, Sandra Lockett (Aaron), Felicia Antwi (Patrick), Damita Graves, and sister-in-law/daughter, Alma Thomas; granddaughters: Ileyia MaKelle, TraiShon, Myah, and Caleyia; grandsons: Mykel (Connie), Daniel, Kristopher, Khian, and Lohn; great-grandchildren: Kierra, Maya, Dontrell, Caleb, Mykel Justus, Gerald, Kyia, TaRiyah, Brooklynn, Clyde and Jermaine; great-great-grandchildren: Aubrey, Lex, Kayson, and Felicity; special niece and caregiver, Mary Thomas (Don), brother-in-law, Ralph Cooper, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, church family, friends, and patrons.