Funeral service was conducted Saturday, August 20 at 10 a.m. at Oakes & Nichols Funeral Home in Columbia with John Vaughan and Chad Loveless officiating. Burial followed in Polk Memorial Gardens.
Oneita was raised in Hohenwald. She was the oldest daughter of ten children born to the late Willie Luther Graves and Estalee Hickerson Graves. After graduating from Lewis County High School and working various jobs, she traveled to Michigan and worked at the famed Willow Run Factory, helping build B24 bombers, thus becoming a “Rosie the Riveter.”
She met the love of her life at a cookout. The handsome Deason, his arm in a sling, had been injured in the war. He asked her if she wanted a hamburger, and the rest was history. Oneita and Deason married May 4, 1946 and their 63 year marriage ended with his death November 7, 2009. She was a devoted wife, kept a lovely home, was an excellent cook and enjoyed opening her home to friends and her very large, extended family. She volunteered at school and church and enjoyed tending to her flower gardens. Mostly, she was a beautiful example of a Christian lady. Those around her always enjoyed her sweet spirit and optimistic attitude.
She was a charter member of the Graymere Church of Christ and recently enjoyed attending the 60th anniversary of the church. She loved family reunions, talking with friends and most of all being with family.
In her last years, she was lovingly taken care of by the assistants at Morning Pointe Assisted Living. She enjoyed her apartment and being able to look into the lovely gardens to see the hummingbirds at her window. Those attending the funeral were encouraged to wear hummingbird pins in her memory.
She was a loving and devoted mother to Terri (Jim) Baker and Larry (Gail) Loveless; grandchildren, Beth (Matt) Bogosian, Jeff (Kelley) Loveless, Jake Loveless, Lajuana Baker, Mark (Michelle) Baker and the one who was like a grandson, Broc Loveless; great grandchildren, Blake Bogosian, Ethan Bogosian, Olivia Loveless, Lola Loveless, Lillie Kathryn Baker and Kaelyn Wilson; sisters, Dottie (Eddie) Baker and Faye (Dick) Willis; brother-in-law, Johnny (Judy) Loveless; sister-in-law, Ann Rochelle; and several nieces, nephews and other close family members, including long-time family friend Buddy Martin.
In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by five brothers and two sisters.