When the late Cleveland Bishop Richard Lennon listed St. Ignatius of Antioch among 52 churches to merge or close, parishioner and volunteer Terry Gravens ’69 joined the appeals committee. Gravens was an alumnus of the parish grade school and involved in the inner-city church.
Gravens’ involvement came as no surprise to friends who described him as loyal, committed, generous and intense. A trial lawyer and president of Rawlin Gravens Co., L.P.A., on Public Square, Gravens was active in the legal field for years.
He worked on various Cleveland Bar Association projects such as the Litigation Section and the National Institute of Trial Advocacy.
He was involved in political campaigns, including those of the former Mayor Joseph Gaul of Fairview Park, Judge John T. Patton, Presiding and Administrative Judge Nancy McDonnell and Judge Mary Eileen Kilbane. It was only natural that he chaired the campaigns for his wife, the former Rocky River Municipal Court Judge, Maureen Adler Gravens.
A proud member of the Class of 1969, it was important to Gravens to remain close with his classmates throughout the years since graduation.
"In the Spring of our Junior year in 1968, we were on a slate running for student council office. We called ourselves, 'The Spirit of '69,'" classmate Peter Corrigan '69 says. "Terry embodied the spirit of our ticket and the Class of '69 .... then and over the past 52 years."
Corrigan delivered a eulogy during Gravens' funeral Mass at St. Ladislas Church
on Friday, October 9. In his words, "Terry was my window into God’s love and friendship."
Fellow classmate Kevin "Z" Mirande '69 was quoted in Gravens' obituary, saying, "He was the glue that held our class together, which is the reason why our class remained close over the years."
Gravens’ community service was expansive. He was past-president of the Saint Ignatius Alumni Association; a supporter of the school’s capital and annual giving campaigns; and an original committee member of both the Bellarmine Luncheon and the Athletic Hall of Fame. He was also a member of the Cleveland Committee of the Paul Lammermeier ’57 Foundation, which supports Lammermeier’s work with homeless children in Lima, Peru.
In recognition of his contributions, Gravens received the Saint Ignatius Founders' Award in 1983 and the Bellarmine Award in 2009.
"It's very impressive to win both awards," classmate Jim Gesing '69 said. Gesing and Gravens began their 55-year long friendship before their days at Saint Ignatius High School when they were classmates at St. Angela Merici. "We were in each other's wedding parties," Gesing said. "He was the Godfather to my son Jim '88.
Not only was Gravens committed to his Alma Mater, but he was heavily involved with the alma maters of his daughters as well, including Magnificat High School and St. Angela Merici.
Gesing says, "Terry did more for people in his 69 years of life than anyone could do if they lived to be 100."
If you would like to make a gift to the Saint Ignatius High School Annual Fund in honor of Gravens, please visit www.ignatius.edu/give_now