Cover photo for John Pittman Graves's Obituary
1945 John 2023

John Pittman Graves

May 24, 1945 — October 2, 2023



John Pittman Graves Jr., born on May 24th, 1945, at Letterman’s Children's Hospital in San Francisco, California, to parents John P. Graves and Clara Uddenberg Nightingale, embarked on a remarkable journey through life that touched the hearts of many.

In his early years, John found joy in the hills of Placerville, California, where he ran freely, chasing sheep and playing with his friends. His father, a Naval Captain of the USS Preble from World War II, transitioned into an extension agent role for Cal State Berkeley, supporting local farms. It was on those farms that John cultivated his love for livestock and orchards, following in his father's footsteps.

As a youth, John discovered his passion for swimming while enjoying hot summer days by the family pool. His life took a transformative turn when he was introduced to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at the age of 17, marking the beginning of a lifelong spiritual journey.

John was not only spiritually inclined but also athletically gifted, participating in football and wrestling during his time at Eldorado Hills High School. His dedication to sports led him to Brigham Young Academy in Provo, Utah.

John's desire to serve his faith led him to the Bavarian Mission in 1964, where he primarily served in South Germany. His missionary work was a source of immense pride, and he often shared stories of his experiences with enthusiasm.

After his mission, John returned to Utah, working in a gas station in Ogden and attending Weber State University. Fate intervened when he was introduced on a blind date to Carol Thurgood, leading to a love story that began with a chance encounter at Sears. Three weeks later, John proposed to Carol, and they were married and sealed by Spencer W. Kimball in the Salt Lake Temple on October 12, 1967.

Their life journey took them to various places, including Pleasant Grove, Meridian Idaho, and back to Provo, as they balanced work, family, and their shared dreams. They ventured into the dry cleaning business and became involved in the local community, even servicing the Donny and Marie Show as well as the 1984 Footloose.

John's commitment to family extended to his children: LaDawn, Michael, and Beau. In the midst of life's challenges, they found joy and unity. John deeply loved his eternal companion Carol. He taught us all what it meant to be respectful and work hard. John would always do what he needed to in order to provide for his family. He never shied away from overtime or working several jobs to pay bills, pay for missions, schooling, or family trips.

John's career path included a role at BYU as a facility manager where he had the opportunity to travel with Carol to Jerusalem in 1999 to refinish the floors in the Jerusalem Center. John eventually submitted a proposal for the creation of "Activities Support," which was fueled by his unwavering support for BYU Athletics.

A devout BYU sports fan, John never missed a big game and held season football tickets for decades. Some of the best memories the boys have of John happened together including the 1991 Miami game, the 1996 Texas A&M game, the renaming of Cougar Stadium to LaVell Edwards Stadium, and many others. He cherished family traditions centered around good food and football games, which brought the family closer together.

John was able to serve in the bishopric twice, and the high council several times earning a reputation as a sweet, fun, and compassionate individual. John and Carol were blessed with grandchildren and a great-grandson. Their retirement years revolved around family, vacations, travel, camping, and long drives to see small towns and eat good food.

John's passion for writing and poetry led to the creation of over a hundred poems, shared with loved ones and friends. His love for Western movies, especially those featuring John Wayne, added to his larger-than-life personality.

John's kindness, leadership, and love for exploration left an indelible mark on those fortunate enough to know him. John is survived by his wife Carol, his children, LaDawn, Michael, and Amy (Daughter-in-Law), and Beau and Jenalee (Daughter-in-Law) as well as 5 grandchildren, (Marrisa, Rope (grandson-in-law), Jordyn, Claralee, and Beau Duke) and one great-grandson (Lucas Clay Ryan). He is preceded by his Father John Pittman Graves his Mother Clara Uddenberg Nightingale, his brother James Walter Graves, and his grandson Clay Mitchell

John Pittman Graves passed away peacefully at home on October 2, 2023, in Springville, Utah, at the age of 78. A viewing will be held on October 8, 2023, from 6-8 p.m. at Wheeler Mortuary, with funeral services on October 9, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at the LDS Stake Center located at 760 North 400 East in Springville. The service on Monday will be preceded by a viewing from 9:30-10:30 a.m. at the Stake Center. John's memory will forever live on in the hearts of those he touched along his extraordinary journey.

Condolences for the family may be expressed on this page.  


For those unable to join us in person, you may view the Services via YouTube on Monday, October 9th beginning at 11:00 am at the following link:




To send flowers to the family in memory of John Pittman Graves, please visit our flower store.

John Graves(After conversion).mp3

Service Schedule

Past Services

Evening Viewing

Sunday, October 8, 2023

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Mountain time)

Wheeler Mortuary - Springville

211 E 200 S, Springville, UT 84663

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Daytime Viewing

Monday, October 9, 2023

9:30 - 10:30 am (Mountain time)

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Funeral Service

Monday, October 9, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Mountain time)


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