Ted Alan Graves

August 19, 1961June 24, 2019

Ted Graves passed away on June 24, 2019 after a courageous battle with cancer, surrounded by his family. Ted Graves was born in Fairfax Missouri on August 19, 1961 son of Maurice Lee Graves and Margaret Hannah (Bowness) Graves. He attended Fairfax High School and was Valedictorian and class president as well as a three-sport letterman. Notably, in 1979 he was state champion in the discus. He then attended William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri where he was a two-sport letterman in football and track and field. He was a member of the 1982 team that was runner up NAIA National Football Championship and was a member of three football teams inducted into the William Jewell Hall of Fame. He was member of the Sigma Nu Fraternity and graduated with a degree in physical education and history in 1984. He would go on to complete his formal education with a Masters of Education from Park University. He taught and coached for 29 years in secondary education starting in Cabool, Missouri before taking a position with Kearney School District. He coached multiple sports including football and girl’s basketball. He was the head track coach in Kearney and won six district titles and he finished his high school coaching career at Liberty North High School where he started the program from the ground up and won his seventh district title. Graves returned to William Jewell in the late 1980s as a volunteer track and field coach before serving as an assistant coach in the late 1990s. He came back to the football field in 2002 where he served as an assistant coach. In 2004, he was named head coach of the Cardinal Track and Field program, a position he held through the 2009 season. He had more than 30 national qualifiers and 20 individual conference champions. During his more than 30 years of coaching, he helped mentor both high school and college athletes to achieve their potential in sports and successful professional careers. Graves also had the privilege of coaching his daughter Meredith during her career at William Jewell. After retiring from teaching and coaching Graves was elected Clay County Treasurer in 2012 and served until his death. Ted raised his family in Clay County. He was married to Juliann (Julie) from Liberty, Missouri in 1986. He had two daughters, Rachel and Meredith (Trevor Shepherd). His family was always his first priority. Graves has left his mark through his numerous contributions to his family, students, athletes, and community. He is preceded in death by his father Maurice Graves. He is survived by his wife and daughters and son in law; his mother, Margaret Graves of Maryville, Missouri; his sister Joyce Bruna (Duane) of Hanover Kansas and Rosalie Graves (Chris Wallace) of Maryville, Missouri; his father and mother-in-law Bob and Virginia Williams of Liberty, Missouri; brother-in-law Rob Williams (Tena) Liberty, Missouri and many nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to LPS/LN Track, Memo: Ted Graves, 8 Victory Lane, Liberty, Missouri 64068 or Parkville Shelter, PO Box 29121, Parkville, MO 64152; A celebration of Graves’ life will be held on Friday, June 28, 2019 at Heritage Hall, 117 W Kansas St, Liberty, MO in Liberty, Missouri from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm. All are welcome to join his family and friends to celebrate his very large life.


No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Ted Alan Graves

have a memory or condolence to add?

Amy Harbin

July 6, 2019

I’m so very sorry to hear that Ted passed away. He was such a nice guy.
Prayers to your family 🙏🏻

Marisa Hedlund

June 30, 2019

My son Ian had the privilege to work with Ted Graves for the last three years. We will miss him so much. He was an awesome teacher and so willing to pass on his amazing knowledge of shot, discus and javelin to Ian. These pictures are from May 2019 on the William Jewell field. Thank you Ted!

Loren Masters (Archibeque)

June 28, 2019

Coach Graves was a one-of-a-kind man. You won't find people like him in your daily life. He was genuine, heartfelt, and inspiring. He convinced me to attend William Jewell and run cross country and track throughout. I almost didn't make that decision, but he makes you feel valued as a person and I will treasure that decision I made forever. One time after a track meet, he commented on the heart that I put into racing. He didn't comment on the great athlete I was, which at the time felt funny, but now I realize that he was commenting on who I am as a person being the greatest success of my life and not my running career. What a life lesson to be taught from this wonderful man - his effect on me will run deep to my core for the rest of my life. I'll mourn the loss to his family and friends, but I will celebrate his life. He will be greatly missed.

Ted Saathoff

June 27, 2019

Coach Graves was without any doubt my favorite coach. I admire him greatly and I will always treasure the impact he had on my life. He was kind and giving to all of his athletes and he sacrificed his personal time beyond the athletic field. My prayers go out to his wife, children and family. May Jesus hold you close as you go through this difficult time. I will forever remember Coach calling me “AT” in his commanding voice either encouraging or correcting my technique inside the discus ring. God bless you coach! AT (Ted)

Sharon Leo

June 27, 2019

Coach Grave was an awesome teacher, a wonderful coach, and a great man of integrity. He had a huge impact on the life of our son Chris. I will always remember his hardy laugh. Coach Graves you will be missed but Heaven is a brighter place with you there. You finished the race well.

Mary Havel Altman

June 27, 2019

Ted and I attended William Jewell at the same time, and I was proud to serve with him on the Board of Governors for the past several years. What I will remember most about Ted was his passion for Jewell's athletics and its athletes. I was so sorry to hear of his passing this week and hope that wonderful memories will be a comfort to his family and friends.

Cindy (Bolton) Parry

June 27, 2019

Ted was a Friend, a Classmate and a Church Family Member. Fond memories will live forever with VBS games with Ted being King of the Hill. Ted always greeted everyone with kind words and a smile. The heaven received a wonderful angel, an angel that will be missed on earth by many people who loved and cared for Ted. Forever a Friend to many.

Becky (Shull) Gwilliam

June 26, 2019

Coach Graves was my track coach at Kearney High School. I'm so grateful for the influence he had on my life. He always showed he cared about me as a person, not just an athlete. I didn't see him very much post- high school, but when I did he still showed the same caring attitude about me and my life. Mostly, I will never forget that distinctive voice cheering me on across the track!

Lauren Dunseath

June 26, 2019

Coach Graves was my Head Track coach at Kearney High and I remember him always coming down to hang out with the throwers. We liked to claim we were his favorites. He will be missed dearly.

Cheryl McCall

June 26, 2019

My condolences to Teds family & friends. Ted has quite a legacy - an incredible journey for a life well lived. I remember him as a kind soul- a friend to all. He has touched so many young lives in such a positive way.