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Gary Wayne Graves


Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

Gary Wayne Graves

Gary Wayne Graves, 58, went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Monday, November 29, 2021, after his courageous battle with COVID.

Gary was born on June 4, 1963, as the eldest son of Cecil Gene Graves and Mary Dean. After graduating from Goddard High School in 1981, Gary went to the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy to achieve his dream to serve his country and become a patriotic Police Officer. This was his dream since he was a tiny little kid. Gary loved Jesus with all of his heart and liked to go to church with his family. Gary first worked for the Hagerman Department of Public Safety, the Roswell Police Department, Mountainair County as Sheriff, Cuba Police Department, and the Angel Fire Police Department.

When Gary was elected Sheriff by the people of Fort Sumner, NM, he aided in the investigation of Billy The Kid’s life history together with Tom Sullivan and Steve Sedarwall. He moved on to serve the people of De Baca County. Being the type of Sheriff that liked to read the Bible in front of his deputies, he shared the Gospel of Jesus, prayed before everyone started their shifts. Gary believed God could help the community and with God he and his deputies could serve the people.

Gary rode the “The Last Ride Of Billy The Kid” on horseback and would have loved for it to become a yearly trek from Lincoln County to Fort Sumner. He lives on the ranch where Billy the Kid once visited the very place. The legendary outlaw supposedly scratched “THE KID” onto a rock, which was placed in downtown Fort Sumner years later. He wore Billy’s likeness on his official uniform, which is something special when he drove down Billy the Kid Road to the cemetery where tourists from around the world took pictures of Billy the Kid’s grave.

In 2017, Gary met Irish Janile Graves on Facebook and they both fell deeply in love with each other. After one year of a long-distance relationship, by the grace and mercy of God, Gary flew to the Phillippines to be with his future bride. He returned to the States with Irish on August 14, 2018. Gary proudly introduced his bride to his family and friends. On August 22, 2018, Gary married his beloved bride, Irish Janile, and together they made a lifetime commitment before God in front of their Pastor, family, and friends. As a couple, Gary lived the best life with his wife Irish, making lots of memories with his family, especially with his wife, traveling around the US seeing the beautiful country. Gary enjoyed hunting gold, and metal detecting with Irish and friends, often going to a mine seeing the precious history of old miners, wishing he could to talk to them, riding on a trail, having a blast sharing adventures and laughter together. Gary enjoyed camping together with Irish, and having a campfire every night, thanking God every day for His love for us. Gary also enjoyed pistol competitions, steel challenge competitions, and archery competitions. In 2018, ASA WESTERN REGION inducted Gary to the Hall of Fame.

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Gary was preceded in death by his dad, Cecil Gene Graves, and mom, Mary Dean Graves. He is survived by his beloved wife, Irish Janile Graves; brother, Larry Graves and spouse Matilda; and his nephew, Tyler Graves.

Gary poured his heart and soul into his work, and all the people he worked with absolutely admired him. There truly wasn’t anything that Gary couldn’t do. He loved God with all of his heart. Gary touched everybody’s lives by talking about Jesus and made it a point to make all those he encountered feel so special. He wanted to see everybody go to heaven and be with God. Gary showed up when it mattered, had their back, gave to those in need, and would defend and stand for God, his beloved wife, and family. He kept us safe and made sure that his we were taken care of. Gary had no problem standing strong for his country and fighting for it.

In lieu of flowers, please donate in Gary’s name to Anderson Bethany Funeral Home. The money will be donated to the Tabernacle Baptist Church and Calvary Chapel Estancia Valley to help further the Kingdom of Christ.

A viewing will be from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM on Tuesday, December 7, 2021, at Anderson Bethany Funeral Home, 2609 S Main St, Roswell, NM. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM on Friday, December 10, 2021, at Calvary Chapel of Roswell, NM, 2901 W 4th St, with Pastor Mike Nasci of Calvary Chapel officiating. Interment will follow at South Park Cemetery.

A Reception and meal in Cecil and Gary’s honor will be held following the service at La Iglesia Apostolica de la Fe en Cristo Jesus, 2600 South Union, Roswell, NM. Our family would appreciate your presence.

“You never said I’m leaving, you never said goodbye,

You were gone before we knew it, and only God knew why.

A million times we needed you, a million times we cried.

If love alone could have saved you, you never would have died.

ln life we loved you dearly, ln death we love you still.

ln my heart you hold a place that no one could ever fill.

It broke our hearts to lose you, but you didn’t go alone

for part of us went with you, the day God took you Home.”



Please take a moment and share a kind thought or memory with Gary’s family at www.andersonbethany.com.

Gary’s Tribute was written in his honor by his loving wife, Irish Graves.

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