Ronald Stevens Gravely
Ronald Stevens Gravely
  • August 30, 1952 - August 12, 2017
  • Chapel Hill, North Carolina

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Ronald Stevens Gravely

Chapel Hill

Steve Gravely of Chapel Hill, North Carolina died of a heart attack at home on Saturday, August 12. Born in Rocky Mount, Steve was the son of the late Lloyd Lee Gravely, Jr. and the late Lee Stevens Gravely. He was named for his mother's father.
Steve is survived by his three siblings who adored him - Frances Gravely, of Chapel Hill, NC; Susan Gravely and her husband, William Ross Jr., of Chapel Hill, NC; and Page Gravely and his wife, Donna, of Middleburg, VA. He was very proud of his three nieces, Susan Hargett and her husband Shaw, Amanda Ross and Rebecca Ross, and his two nephews, Lee Frankstone and his wife Helen, and Roman Gravely. He took great pleasure in his great niece, Carrington Hargett, and two great nephews, Anderson Hargett and Grayson Hargett who always looked forward to his thoughtful gifts.
Steve graduated from Rocky Mount Senior High School in 1970 and from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 1974. Raised in Rocky Mount, Steve was a member of the Church of the Good Shepherd and Boy Scout Troop 7 where he earned his Eagle Scout. Steve was an accomplished high school wrestler. A much-repeated family story involved Steve practicing his take down moves in the family den and breaking his younger brother Page's collarbone, which to this day remains lower than the other side. While at UNC, he was a proud member of the Epsilon Chapter of Phi Gamma Delta.
Steve loved his family very much, loved the state of North Carolina, and treasured his Rocky Mount community and friends. Steve so much enjoyed what Rocky Mount and eastern NC offered - the tobacco industry, water skiing at Gaston Lake, family trips to Atlantic beach and Beech Mountain, swims in the Tar River, duck hunting on the coast, numerous bad rounds of golf and many favorite meals at Atlantis Seafood, Bob Melton's Barbecue, the Carleton House, and Hardee's.
Coming from a tobacco family where his father, Lee, traveled a great deal and his parents entertained tobacconists from Europe and Asia at home, Steve immensely enjoyed a natural "travel bug". At twenty-one, he worked aboard a Norwegian freighter in the North Sea. Having survived that joy ride, Steve traveled throughout his life. His favorites included a backpacking trip through Europe with childhood friend Chris Harris, pheasant hunting in Slovenia with his brother and sister, ballooning with his mom and family in France, river trips on the Danube and Seine rivers, and margarita hunting along the Mexican coast with his nephew Lee Frankstone. He was currently planning a trip with his first cousin Lanny Shuff and Lanny's son Landon to drive Iceland's Ring Road and was eager to organize another family-tradition on a European riverboat.
Following a sales career in Rocky Mount, Steve moved to Pittsboro, NC where he sold long term health insurance for Genworth Financial, a GE division. Steve loved living the country life near Pittsboro with his one-legged Guinea hen, Chester, and several dogs and birds. He had recently moved to Chapel Hill and was clearly happy to be closer to family and UNC.
Steve was an avid Tar Heel sports fan and attended Saturday afternoon football games for many years. A few years ago, he bought a sailboat that he kept in New Bern. He seemed to enjoy more time on board while it was tied at the dock rather than out sailing. That buy looked good "on paper" he would say.
No matter the struggles life threw at him, Steve's huge heart and upbeat demeanor served him and all who knew and loved him well. He was a devoted son, brother, uncle, cousin and friend, helping others in need as often as he could. While his life ended too early, he was happy and content at the end. What more can we all ask for?
A graveside service will be held to celebrate Steve's life on Saturday, August 19, 2017 at 11:00 am at the Gravely family plot at Pineview Cemetery in Rocky Mount.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Boy Scout Troop 7 c/o First Presbyterian Church, 153 N. Church Street, Rocky Mount, NC 27804.
Arrangements by Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, 300 Saint Mary's St. Raleigh, NC. Condolences may be made through