John Hargrave

Obituary of John Lewis Hargrave

On April 11, 2013 John Lewis Hargrave, the son of the late Willie Mae and Garnett D. Hargrave departed this life at Sibley Hospital. Born April 23, 1920 in Wilmington, North Carolina he briefly attended Hampton University before World War II. Following his military service he attended and graduated from North Carolina State College. During World War II he served in North Africa, Sicily, and Italy, as a member of the flight crew of the 99th Fighter Squadron of the United States Army Air Corps (a.k.a. the Tuskegee Airmen). He settled in Washington D.C. where he met and married the love of his life Ida Mae Knights on August 7, 1949. They remained together until her death on October 10, 2005. Together they raised one child, Rita R. Hargrave. He worked for over 30 years as a railway postal clerk for the United States Postal Service and after retirement he volunteered at churches and day care centers. He was a conscientious, loving father who navigated life challenges with humor, resilience and an unshakeable ethical and spiritual core. HIs ready smile, easy-going demeanor and empathy touched his co-workers, family and friends. He related easily to people of all ages and backgrounds and was a model of compassion, sensitivity and grace. He was fervent lover of jazz, gardening, and politics. John is survived by his daughter Rita Hargrave of Oakland, CA, his sister Grace Hargrave Walker, brother- in-laws Cecil A. Walker, William Knights, nephews Allan G. Walker, Wendell V. Walker, and niece Sandra Gordon. He was predeceased by his parents, his wife and his brothers Garnett D. Hargrave Jr. and William D. Hargrave.
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