Mary Catherine Graves, 74, of Ridgefield, Washington, passed away on April 19, 2023. She was born on June 1, 1948, in Long Beach, California, to Calvin and Ardyce Tipton. Mary was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother and friend.
She moved to Ridgefield when she was 4 and lived in five different houses on the same street her entire life. She attended Baker Elementary School, where she met the love of her life in first grade. Mary knew from the first moment that she would marry Tommy some day. He finally caught on in high school and the rest was history. Married for 52 years, three kids, six grandkids, tons of animals, and a home of chaos and happiness.
Mary dedicated 34 years of her life to teaching kindergarten and first grade students in the Ridgefield School District. She was an amazing teacher, who could brighten anyone’s day with a smile and had a knack for turning anything into a song. She was frequently requested by many parents and earned the honor of teacher of the year.
Mary was an avid baker and loved to cook large meals for her family and friends. She also loved baking pies and would bring 20-plus pies to school each year for “Friday surprise.” She was a 4-H leader and superintendent for the Clark County Fairgrounds, where she shared her passion for animals and baking with the community. Mary enjoyed shopping, playing bunco, and spending time with her family on the small farm that she and her husband, Tom, built together. Over the years, they had everything from horses, cows, goats, pigs, chickens, rabbits, cats, dogs and even deer.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents, Calvin and Ardyce Tipton, her grandson Liam Stewart- Graves, and her in-laws Howard and Alpha Graves. She is survived by her husband Tom Graves, daughter Tammi Graves, son Todd (Nichole) Graves, daughter Tina (Nick) Krause and her grandchildren Jade Stewart, Hazen Stewart- Graves, Olivia Krause, Adam Krause and Sidney Krause.
Mary will be remembered for her fun loving attitude, positive energy, unwavering dedication to her family and community, and her love of baking and 4-H. She will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her.
A funeral service will be held at Northwood Park Funeral Home on May 5, 2023, at 1 p.m. A celebration of life will follow at Manor Grange 1101 from 3 to 5 p.m. Come share your stories and memories with us.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Alzheimer’s Association for Oregon and Southwest Washington.
Rest in peace, Mary.