Robert Joseph Graves, Jr., age 49, “BJ” “Makwa” which means “Bear”, of the Eagle Clan began his journey to the spirit world on Saturday, February 8th, 2020 from his home in Redby, MN. He was born on November 28, 1970 to Floreen (Thomas) and Robert “Bobby Joe/BJ” Graves, Sr.
BJ was a loving and caring man with a great sense of humor. He loved being around children. He made friends everywhere he went. BJ had a big heart and helped raise his nephews and nieces, Matt Sr., Nano, Rana, Matthew Jr. and Kenna. He was a strong man who fought a tough battle with cancer. BJ was a good host at family/friend’s gatherings (cheers).
BJ worked as a blackjack dealer at the 7 Clans Casino in Warroad and was also a pizza maker at the Redby Store. The most rewarding job he had was caring for his nieces, nephews, sister and especially his mother.
He played pee-wee football in Minneapolis when he was six years old, which grew into a lifetime of playing sports. In 1982, he was part of Copperas Cove City Championship team for baseball and they traveled to Waco to compete in the regional tournament. Before graduating in 1990, BJ helped Red Lake High School make it to its first and only state high school tournament for baseball. In school, he played football and joined the varsity team when he was is the 8th grade. BJ also played basketball and baseball. As an adult, he played co-ed softball, co-ed volleyball and he really enjoyed playing pool.
Family that welcome BJ to the spirit world are his father, Bobby Joe/BJ, Sr; brothers, Jon “JP” Prentice, Ira Schoenborn and Darren Cook; paternal grandparents, Wilford and Gladys (Jourdain) Graves; maternal grandparents; Olaf and Hildred (Sutton) Thomas; uncles, David and Allen Thomas and Richard Graves; aunties, Barbara Graves and Beverly (Bobbie Kemp) Graves.
He leaves behind to cherish his memory his mother, Floreen Graves; sisters, Beverly (Rodney Jr.) Prentice and Angela Charnoski; brothers, Dennis and Greg Thomas; his nephews and nieces that he helped raise, Matt Sr., Nano, Rana, Matthew Jr., McKenna, Rylan, Avaeya, Madison and Monica; other nieces and nephews, Hayden, Shaunice, Juiliana, Lancentino, Erwin and Anthony “Tony” and many other relatives and friends.
A wake for BJ will begin at 4:00 p.m., Tuesday, February 11th and continue until his 10:00 a.m. traditional services on Wednesday, February 12th all to be held at the Redby Community Center in Redby, MN. His spiritual advisor will be Zac Earley. Ty Stately will be Zac’s helper. The spiritual advisor for the family will be Carol Barrett. The drum group will be the Lee Lussier, Jr. Group. Pallbearers are Matthew Kingbird, Sr., Nano Kingbird, Greg Thomas. Sheldon Hill, Mikey Thomas, Bill Stately, Tyrone Thunder and Bee Oakgrove. The alternate pallbearers are Johnny Mo and Rod Prentice, Jr. His honorary pallbearers are Joe Thomas, Jimmy Graves, Rana Graves, Ange Charnoski, Rosa Oakgrove, Dave Head, Isaac Spears, Eva Kingbird, Dennis Thomas, Jimboy Kingbird, Bryan Graves and Mike Roy. Interment will be in the Red Lake Episcopal Cemetery at Red Lake, MN following his services on Wednesday.
BJ’s care has been entrusted to Northern Peace Funeral Home of Walker, MN. Online condolences for the family may be left at www.northernpeace.com