Mario LaShawn Graves

Published 2:41 pm Friday, January 23, 2015

Funeral services were held Saturday, January 17, 2015, at W.C. Graves Multipurpose Center in Bassfield, for Rev. Mario LaShawn Graves, age 41, who died Sunday, January 11, at Covington County Hospital, Collins. Rev. Ernest Lee Thompson officiated with Bishop Thomas Brown, Sr. eulogizing. Interment was in the Sweetwater CME Church cemetery. Johnson Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Rev. Mario Graves was born to Mildred Faye Graves in Bassfield, Mississippi. He was reared by his mother, grandmother, Hertie Mae Graves and great-grandmother, Annie Mae Graves. He joined Sweetwater CME Church.

Rev. Graves attended Bassfield Elementary School and was a 1991 graduate of Bassfield High School. He continued his education at Hinds Community College and Jackson State University. He was taught by his grandmother the importance of working, starting his own garden at the age of seven. He later worked various jobs starting in high school. His work experience included Choctaw Maids of Cathage where he was supervisor; Southern Hens of Moselle where he was supervisor, and Lady Forest of Forest where he was a supervisor, superintendent, manager.

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He exemplified his love for cars at the age of three, he fulfilled his passion when he began selling cars part-time for Killens Motors in Forest and Woolwine Ford in Collins while working at Lady Forest. While working full-time with Woolwine Ford, he served as sales consultant/manager of Buddy’s Automotive, a subsidiary of Woolwine Ford. He also shared his love through volunteer work; one of which was being a board member of PAC for Deaconess Home Health.

He was married to Anquanetta McNair in December of 2008; two children were born to this union, Feana and Keana Graves.

Rev. Graves was called into the ministry and preached his first sermon on February 22, 2009, under the leadership of Rev. James M. Paige at his home church where he served as a local minister. Later, he was assigned to Rev. Linda Fairley at Duckworth Chapel. He was a true man of God thriving constantly to do God’s will. His ministry supported by all denominations. He was assigned as pastor to Cottrell Memorial CME Church of Hattiesburg prior to being admitted on trial or completing the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church’s Pastor Course of Study. He was assigned by Presiding Prelate of the 4th Episcopal District, Rev. Dr. Thomas L. Brown, Sr.

He is survived by wife, Anquanetta McNair Graves; daughters, Feana and Keana Graves; parents, James and Mildred Faye Graves Price; cousins his mother reared, Darryl and Byron Graves; natural father, Johnny C. Reese, Sr.; paternal grandmother, Mary Reese; brothers, Daryl Lilly, Broderick and Gerobe Peters, Johnny C., Leslie J and Rodney Reese; sisters, Venitia Peters, Ashley and Rhonda Reese; mother-in-law, Betty McNair; uncle, Hulon “Sonny” Graves; aunt, Febra K. Graves; godchildren, Amber McNair and Aaron Harper; godbrothers, D’Mario Grifith, Owen Hall and Christopher Johnson; godsisters, Nyla Jacobs and Hallie Arnold; special aunt, Martha Farver Apqar; special cousins, Bernice Harper, and Orlando, Kevin, Jason and Robin McLeod; special extended families, Cottrell Church Family; Richard Woolwine and the Woolwine Ford Family; spiritual comrade, Rev. Milton Oatis; five brothers-in-law; four sisters-in-law; many other relatives and friends.