COL. DENNIS GRAVES, USAF, RET.
Class of 1959
Inducted in 2022
Dennis was inducted into the SHSAA Hall of Fame in 2022.
Dennis Graves graduated in 1959. He feels that South’s outstanding administration and teaching staff gave him an excellent education along with social opportunities that cemented a meaningful future for the rest of his life. The friendships made at South have been an important part of his life. Bob Murray, the golf coach at that time, gave him the chance to be on the golf team for four years. Dennis was lucky enough to be Team Captain in 1958, which was the year South won the City Championship as an undefeated team. Dennis was also elected as Senior Class president in 1959 and was part of the student council. These opportunities gave him the ability to become Student Class President all four years at the University of Omaha from 1959-1963.
Dennis received his bachelor’s degree in business from Omaha University, and his master’s in psychology from Troy University in Alabama. After college, Dennis entered the US Air Force, serving for 26 years. He retired as a full Colonel. After his service, he went to work at Mutual of Omaha Insurance, working in finance for 18 years. He also worked for Piccolo Pete’s Restaurant for eight years as their bookkeeper.
Dennis volunteered for 18 years in youth baseball coaching 13–14-year-olds. While coaching for the Papillion All-Star Team in 1984, he led them to the state championship. He became Papillion’s first “Select” baseball team coach in 1991 through 1996.
Dennis and his wife Dee have been married for 60 years. He has two sons; Aaron and Lance, two grandsons; Ryan and Evan; and his godson, Gary Collins.
Dennis believes the learned values of hard work, respect for the staff and the love of fellow students were institutional characteristics of South High and were instilled in the student body.