Carl L. Graves, 58, former president of the Anthony Wayne Board of Education and a longtime supporter of the school district, died in his sleep Monday while visiting his daughter in Covington, La.
Family members said he had health problems, but they were unsure what caused his death.
Mr. Graves, an Anthony Wayne High graduate, was appointed to a vacant seat on the school board in 1993 and named president three years later. He served two full terms before retiring in 2001, said Randy Hardy, former superintendent of the district.
"He really wanted good things for kids," Mr. Hardy said. "He put a lot of extra time in on board work."
During Mr. Graves' eight years on the board, he oversaw several improvements to Anthony Wayne schools, including an expansion of the high school and construction of a new elementary, Mr. Hardy said.
Mr. Graves of Waterville was determined that board members do what was right to prepare Anthony Wayne students for the future, Mr. Hardy said.
"Money was hard to get," he said. "He wanted to make sure it was spent right so we got the most for their education."
Don Atkinson, vice president of the board, said he remembers Mr. Graves as an avid community volunteer who was always smiling. "He just gave of himself for the good of the community," Mr. Atkinson said.
A resident of the Anthony Wayne community for more than 50 years, Mr. Graves was well-known by residents there, Mr. Atkinson said. "He was so good-hearted, you had to love him," he said.
Mr. Graves also was an active member of the Anthony Wayne Band Boosters and served as a president of the club.
He was a member of Community of Christ Lutheran Church and the Waterville Chamber of Commerce. He worked at Johns Manville for 38 years.
Mr. Graves and his wife, Carole, who he met in seventh grade, were married for 38 years. "We were always buddies," she said. "He was the love of my life."
Mrs. Graves said family was very important to her husband, and he was very proud of his grandchildren. She said the two of them were in Louisiana last week to watch their grandson play football. "Just being together and singing and loving each other - that was everything to Carl," Mrs. Graves said.
Surviving are wife, Carole; daughters, Carla and Caren, and five grandchildren.
Visitation will be after 11 a.m. today at the Peinert Funeral Home, Waterville, where services will be at 11 a.m. tomorrow.
The family suggests tributes to the building fund for the Community of Christ Lutheran Church, Whitehouse.