John M. Graves

2005 Outstanding Business Leader

Founder, J.M. Graves Oil Properties

A native of Wagoner, Oklahoma, Jack Graves joined the U.S. Navy after graduating from Wagoner High School in 1944. After two years in the Navy, Graves chose to continue his education, graduating from Northeastern State University in 1949 and then earning a master’s degree in geology from the University of Oklahoma.

Graves built a career spanning more than 50 years in oil and gas exploration and production. In exploration, he worked for Republic Exploration Company, Texas Seismograph Company, and Phillips Petroleum Company before starting his own oil and gas company, Calumet Oil Company, in 1956. Along with Tulsa-based Calumet Oil Company, Graves also led J.M. Graves LLC, JMG Oil and Gas LP, Green Country Supply Inc., Green Country Chemical, and Green Country Submersible Pumps, all in Tulsa.

Graves went beyond making a home in Tulsa; he made a mark on the community with his numerous contributions. He served as president of the Oklahoma Heritage Association; trustee of Philbrook Museum, Tulsa Philharmonic and the Oklahoma Nature Conservancy; member of the Tulsa Salvation Army Advisory Board; and supporter of the American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, Arts and Humanities Council, Center for the Physically Limited, Tulsa Opera, Tulsa Ballet Theatre, Gilcrease Museum, Girl Scouts of America, and Nature Works.

Professionally, Graves served as president of the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association and the International Society of Energy Advocates. He was a member of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, the Interstate Oil Company Commission, the Osage Producers Association, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, and the Tulsa Geological Society.

Graves was honored with the Distinguished Eagle Award from the National Board of the Boy Scouts of America and was inducted into the Oklahoma Heritage Association Hall of Fame in 1992. He was a member of The University of Tulsa President’s Council from 1993-96 and again in 2002-03.

Graves is survived by his wife, Ann; his sons, Michael Lon Graves, John Garrett Graves and his wife, Sarah, and David Allen Graves; his stepchildren, Rachael Redeker Dedman and her husband, Robert, and William Michael Redeker and his wife, Julie; and six grandchildren.