Victor L. Graden, 89, of Grinnell, Iowa, formerly of Bettendorf, Iowa, and Cape Girardeau, Missouri, died Tuesday, May 5, 2015, at Mayflower Community Health Care Center in Grinnell.
He was born July 11, 1925, near Cape Girardeau, the seventh of 11 children, to Louis and Ella Graden. He was raised on the family farm and educated at country schools near their home. He graduated from College High School in 1943 and subsequently attended Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau.
Victor honorably served his country as a U.S. Merchant Marine from 1944 to 1946. He entered into service in the U.S. Army in 1946, later was separated from service and attended college two years. He was recalled to active duty at Fort Riley, Kansas, in 1950 as a staff sergeant during the Korean War.
He was united in marriage to Wilma Adele Maxton April 12, 1952, at Christ Evangelical and Reformed Church in Cape Girardeau. The couple resided in Manhattan, Kansas while Victor was stationed at Fort Riley. Following his discharge, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in industrial engineering from Kansas State University in 1954. The couple moved to Bettendorf soon after his graduation, and Victor began his longtime career of 30 years as an industrial engineer at Alcoa Davenport Works. They moved to Grinnell in 2008 and have resided at the Mayflower Community.
Victor held a strong love for his family and his faith. He cherished the times the family went camping together, especially at Pilgrim Heights Camp in Montour. He was very active at Faith United Church of Christ in Davenport and the United Church of Christ-Congregational in Grinnell. At Faith Church, he served on the church council, sang in the choir and was a Sunday school teacher several years.
He also was active as a Boy Scout leader who enjoyed going on canoeing and camping excursions with his sons and enjoyed gardening with his daughter. He loved doing things with his grandchildren. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, woodworking and traveling, especially overseas trips with his wife to England, Germany, Ireland and the Holy Land. He will be remembered for his great sense of humor, patience and his kind, gentle and loving way.
Victor is survived by his wife of 63 years, Wilma Graden of Grinnell; two sons, Roger (Julia) Graden of Ames, Iowa, and Barry (Lela) Graden of Greenville, South Carolina; a daughter, Lori (Tim) Lockhart of Tarpon Springs, Florida; six grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; a sister, Esther Morie of Cape Girardeau; a brother-in-law, Ralph (Martha)Maxton of Cape Girardeau; and a sister-in-law, Ruth Mathis of Picayune, Mississippi.
He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings Paula, Stella, Edna, Ruby, Helen, Emma, Earl, Ruth and Marguerite.
A celebration of his life will be at 11 a.m. Aug. 1 at Evangelical United Church of Christ in Cape Girardeau. Interment will be at 1:30 p.m. Aug. 1 in Salem Cemetery near Cape Girardeau.
Memorials may take the form of contributions to the Evangelical United Church of Christ in Cape Girardeau, or Salem Cemetery.
Announcement by McCombs Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Jackson.
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