Rollie Douglas Graves
Member of Georgetown Baptist Church
Rollie Douglas Graves, 91, passed away July 14, 2020. He was born in Scott County to Asa Nutter and Lorena Morgan Graves. He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Lena Parker Graves. Daughter, Diane Graves Smith (Richard) Pace, Florida, and Son, Douglas Parker Graves (Patricia Haddock) Flower Mound, Texas. Also surviving are his sister, Evelyn Sutton, Lexington; and brothers, Carl (Debi) Graves, Lexington; Norman (Leona) Graves, Richmond and sister-in-law, Betty Lou (Marvin) Graves, Georgetown. Deceased sisters: Jean Trebolo, Geneva Hall and brothers: Earl, Asa Jr, and Marvin Graves SR.
Rollie began school at Burr Oak, a one room school, and graduated from Stamping Ground High School in 1946. He enlisted in the U.S. Army In September 1946 earning his Paratroopers Wings. He served in the U.S. Army Reserves from 1948 to 1952. Rollie entered Univ. KY in 1949. He was a member of Scovell Chapter of the Alpha Zeta Fraternity. He received his ROTC Commission in 1953 and graduated from Univ. KY in 1954 with a BS Degree in Agriculture. Upon graduation he was appointed a Reserved Commissioned Officer in the Signal Corp. He was discharged with a rank of Captain in 1961.
Rollie began his telephone career February 1949 in Lexington. He held several positions with General Telephone and Electronics (GTE) of KY. In 1959 he became Eastern Area Traffic Manager for GTE of CA in Pomona CA., in 1965 Traffic Director for GTE of MI in Muskegon, Michigan. and in 1969 Traffic Director for GTE of CA in Santa Monica California. There he began the first computerization of Telephone Directory Assistance and laid the foundation for the development and implementation of computerization of operations and further automation of the telephone business office. In 1974, he was appointed Service Director for GTE Corporation in Stamford, Connecticut and was selected a Vice President in 1976. He co-authored and presented a paper in 1976 at the Eighth International Teletraffic Congress in Melbourne, Australia. Under the auspices of the United Nations, Rollie conducted a seminar for the East African Post and Telecommunications System (Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania) held in Nairobi, Kenya. At the invitation of Telebras, the Brazilian National Telephone Company, he participated in a seminar in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1978 and later lectured at the First National Meeting on Telephone Directories held by the Brazilian National Telephone Company in Brasilia, Brazil. In 1979 Rollie was chosen to establish a testing laboratory for GTE Corporation, in Lexington, to test and evaluate new products and equipment for use and application in GTE telephone operations.
Post-graduate work included special management courses at the University of Kansas, Wittenberg College, the University of Michigan, and the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School for Non-Financial executives.
In 1984 after a 35 year career he retired as Vice President GTE Corporation of Stamford, Connecticut and returned to his roots, farming and raising Angus cattle. In 2006 after 22 years of farming and raising Angus cattle he retired a second time.
Georgetown College awarded Rollie the degree Doctor of Humane Letters Honoris Causa in 2004. He served eight years as trustee of Georgetown College where his family established the “Rollie Graves Technology Award”, the “Lena P Graves Impact Fund”, and “The Graves Calling and Career Center.” He and his wife were inducted into the Georgetown College Hall of Fame in 2016.
He was a member of Georgetown Baptist Church and The Fields Sunday School Class. He has served as a Trustee, on the Pulpit Committee and on the Board of the Georgetown Baptist Church Pre School.
He was a member of the American Legion; Georgetown-Scott County Chamber of Commerce; Scott County Historical Society; Georgetown Scott County Museum and served on the Board. He was a member of the Independent Telephone Pioneers Association. He received the 1982 Master Conservation Award from the Scott County Soil and Water District. In 1983 he was elected and served as a Soil Conservation supervisor thirteen years. He was elected in 1986 to serve as Director of the Farmers Bank and Trust Company of Georgetown. He served several years as Trustee of the Kentucky Independent College Foundation and served two years on the Scott County Community Education Council. He was a charter member and Director of Scott County United; a past member of Bluegrass Tomorrow; Rotary International; Optimist Club; Scott County Farm Bureau Director and the Scott County, and National Cattleman’s Association. He is a Life Member of KY Society Sons of The American Revolution (SAR), a charter member and first President of the John Scott Chapter SAR. He was elected KYSSAR President in 1987 and served as National Trustee and Vice-President General of the Central District of the NSSAR.
Visitation will be Tuesday, July 21, 2020, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Tucker, Yocum & Wilson Funeral Home with the funeral immediately following lead by Pastor Alan Redditt, Richard Weekley, Ken Holden and Wallace Williams. Pallbearers: John Hall, Don Hall, Marvin Graves Jr, Allen Graves, Henry Graves, Michael Graves and Brian Mullins. Honorary Pallbearers: Frank Trebolo, Jerry Graves, Gene Tabor, Alan Rodmam, Alex Warren, Mike Calhoun and the Fields Sunday School Class of Georgetown Baptist Church. Burial at Georgetown Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Lena Graves Impact Fund, Georgetown College, 400 East College Street, Georgetown, KY. 40324.
Due to Governor Beshear’s mandate, 50% occupancy of the funeral home and church will be in practice and face coverings and proper social distancing are required for all who attend.