The Reverend Elizabeth Lorraine Graves, of Lake Junaluska, NC, closed her earthly eyes and drifted into the arms of eternal life following a sixteen month battle with Ovarian Cancer on November 27, 2018. She was surrounded by a family who will love her forever, and the prayers and hearts of the friends she collected in this life.
Elizabeth was born in Colorado Springs on April 27, 1960 to the late Lowell G. Graves and Mary Lamb Graves. Her mother and grandmother were both pastors, a tradition Elizabeth followed as an Elder in the Western North Carolina Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. For 32 years, she served churches in Statesville, Gastonia, Whittier, Charlotte, Greensboro, Caldwell County, Hickory, Winston Salem and Concord before taking disability leave in March of 2018. That’s three generations of women whose active pastorates spanned nearly a century. Elizabeth’s life and ministry touched many over these years, but none more so than her family.
She is survived by her husband, James (Jamie) McCoy Armstrong, Jr of the home, son Matthew Graves Armstrong of Kannapolis, NC, daughter Margarethe (Maggie) Armstrong of Jacksonville, Florida, a sister, Judi Howard (Rickey) of Gastonia, two brothers-in-law, two sisters-in-law, five nieces and their spouses. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her brother, Daniel Benjamin Graves.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at Hawthorne Lane United Methodist Church, 501 Hawthorne Lane, Charlotte NC 28204 at 2:00 pm, Saturday December 8, led by Bishop Charlene Payne Kammerer. For those unable to attend, the service will be live streamed at https://www.hlumc.org/worship/worship-live-stream/. (The broadcast will also be archived on the church website.) The family will receive friends in Evans Hall following the service. Elizabeth’s ashes will be interred in the Memorial Chapel at Lake Junaluska at 2:00 pm on Sunday, December 9.
The family has established a Scholarship Fund in Elizabeth’s memory for the Duke Divinity School, and request that memorial contributions be made to that fund:
Elizabeth Lorraine Graves Scholarship Fund 6183716 (please include this number on all gift correspondence) Contributions can be made, directed to the fund via USMail to: Alumni and Development Records, Duke University, Box 90581, Durham, NC 27708-0581.
Or via Express Mail to:
Alumni and Development Records, Duke University, 700 W Main St., Suite 110, Durham, NC 27701.