Stephen Bennett Graves





 Steve and Peppi
Steve and Peppii

 Steve 1986


 Steve and Sam
Steve with Sammy 1982

 Steve and Trisha 1995
Steve and daughter Trisha 1995

 October 1998
Steve with his brother Richard and wife Judy
and friend Carol, October 1998

  CUMBERLAND - Stephen Bennett Graves, 53, of John Small Road, Chebeague Island, died unexpectedly Sunday at his home.

He was born in Portland, a son of Richard S. and Barbara Ross Graves Jr., and graduated from Gorham High School in 1965. He attended Northeast Aerotechnical School in Massachusetts.

He served in the National Guard.

Mr. Graves worked for Graves Tractor Co., Gorham, before moving to Chebeague to become a lobsterman in 1979.

He enjoyed gardening, often selling his vegetables at the local store, and he enjoyed assisting local residents with their mechanical problems and tinkering in his workshop.

Surviving are his mother of Chebeague Island; a daughter, Trisha Anastasoff of Standish; and a brother, Richard S. III of Hebron; nephews and neices, Richard S. Graves IV, Joanna Graves, George Graves, Sarah Graves, and Martha Graves.

Visiting hours will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Lindquist Funeral Home, Yarmouth, where a funeral will be held at 1:30 p.m. Friday with the Rev. Robert Leon officiating. Following the service there will be a gathering at the Parish House on Chebeague Island. Spring burial will be in Chebeague Island Cemetery.

If desired memorial contributions may be made to Chebeague Island Rescue, c/o Lewis Ross, rr 1, Box 4, Chebeague Is., ME 04017.

 In Tribute to Steve Graves

I first met Steve Graves in the summer of my twenty-fourth year. My aunt,
Bertha Graves, introduced us at his parents home in Gorham. I liked Steve
from the very first. He was warm, sincere. We had a nice time getting to
know one another a little. When I left Maine the next day, I wasn't to see
him for many years.

Almost twenty years ago now, we met again on Chebeague. By that time he was
living on the island and lobstering. We talked briefly, and once again I
was struck by what a kindly man he was. Steve had a gentleness that shone
through like a beacon. But when we parted, there was no indication whether
we would ever see each other again.

Then, as fate sometimes steps in, I saw him this past Thanksgiving while
visiting Bertha and Charles. We decided to try and keep in touch this time,
not lose track of one another. And so, during the last few months of his
life, we spoke often. We renewed our friendship and talked about many
things. It was a nice time for me as I came to know Steve a little better.

When I traveled back to Maine to attend my aunt's funeral, we planned to
meet, to visit in person. But it was not to be. He died before that could

I will carry the memory of his friendship with me always. Steve was one of
the kindness, most decent people I have ever known. And I shall miss him.

Lynne Climo Finta

By Beverly Ross Murray

"Why did God take him"
"It's too soon", most would say.
So kind, warm and caring
and then taken away.

The world has it's mysteries.
So much we don't know.
It's easy to question
why those we love go.

Our time here is precious.
Not a moment to waste.
But compared to forever,
this life's but a taste.

We are told if we live
with our hearts filled with love,
we will live for eternity
up in Heaven above.

It's teeming with gardens and fields!
What a sight!
It's filled with the warmth
of God's glorious light.

We can only imagine
the joy we will feel.
No more pain, tears or sadness.
We'll live life with gret zeal!

We're told we'll meet loved ones
who've gone on before.
We'll follow their love light
that leads to Heaven's door.

We don't know why Steve
was chosen so young.
In his great song of life
'seems more words could be sung.

But, perhaps he had learned
all the knowledge he sought.
He had jumped every hurdle
that this life had wrought.

It could be that he
had completed his quest.
He had braved every demon
and passed every test.

His friends--there were many!
Countless good deeds were done.
He was a warm, loving Father
Uncle, neighbor, and Son.

And the gardens he tended
were a sight to behold!
His strong hands could fix
almost anything, I am told.

He enjoyed hauling traps...
being "one"with the sea.
And how he groomed his fine lawn
is a marvel to me!!

When his time here on Earth
came near to a close,
he stepped from his body
and his spirit then rose.

He walked to the shoreline
and looked out at the bay.
He heard the cry of the seagulls
and smelled the salt spray.

Then, on the horizon
came a wonderous sight!!
A boat filled with loved ones
who had passed into the light!

The reunion was splendid!
The great journey began.
They cruised off the island
and into the Promised Land.

By Beverly Ross Murray

A fisherman's pride
this boat has become.
An old wooden hull
filled with bait and oil drums.

It's more than just a tool of the trade.
It's a friend-a place where all his dreams are made...
or lost, depending on one's state of mind.
Some days she's a "curse", some days she's a "find".

He welcomes each day awhistling a tune.
No break from his work, until lunch about noon.
He fixes some coffee, then off to wash up.
Rest won't be earned until just before "sup".

Sunlight has yet to brighten the sky.
A cormorant stretches it's wings out to fly.
The fisherman treks to the shoreline of reeds.
He pulls in his dinghy and cleans off seaweed.

Like a graceful waltz he propels his two oars.
The blades dip and rise as he leaves from the shore.
The silhouette of the vessel looks black against dawn.
He rows along side and then, using his brawn...

He effortlessly climbs up her massive wood frame.
The mooring chain's raised each day, just the same.
The briny essence empowers the air.
This massive old boat is his own private lair.

The windows aboard her are salt-streaked and old.
Through them, he's watched many a long day unfold.
He knows her complete, and feels akin with this craft
from the tip of her bow, to the stern of her aft.

He fires the engine, it growls now to life.
She cuts through the waves like a fine, well-honed knife.
Her structure is sleek, well-proportioned and trim.
Her only life's purpose is to proudly serve him.

This man throught the years has cared for his "friend".
He's caulked and he's painted--her every need he would tend.
They have a relationship some whish that they shared
with their spouse, or their child, or their Mom or their Dad.

Together, they've brought in an average day's pay.
A hard way of living, some people might say.
But this man has cherished the freedom it wrought
and the pride that he's taken of each lobster caught.

Some men may wonder why a man would sweat so.
To live off the ocean would be a hard road to go.
But with envy, still others may look at his choice
to be "one" with nature and to hear your own voice.

They'd gladly trade-in all the fine suits and coats
to earn their day's wages aboard their own boats.
To smell the salt air and to hear the gulls"scold"
is worth more to them than all the world's gold.