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Welcome to the memorial page for

Ida Bell Graves-Hemingway

June 22, 1931 ~ September 2, 2017 (age 86)

Ida B. Graves was born on June 22nd 1931 to Annie Richardson and Chavis Hemingway in Marion Gresham S.C. in the township of Britton’s Neck. She was affectionately known as “Ma”, “Miss Ida”, or “Grannie”, and was the eldest of 12 children. At a young age she learned to farm the land, care for animals, and live off the land. She had no problem calling herself “A Good Ole’ Country Girl” from the sticks, always on the lookout for some good collard greens.

Her wit and quick come backs made her the person whom we loved, the one who made us laugh, and always felt the love she had to share. Everyone respected and appreciated her honesty, opinions and views on life, and she had no qualms sharing them with others! She was a genuine firecracker who would push others to excel, and at the same time she would pull on your coattail when you didn’t live up to your potential or detoured into negative behaviors. When she wasn’t at a neighborhood meeting, senior event or social gathering you could find her in front of her TV enjoying her stories, Jeopardy and sports. She was a loyal sports fanatic, always rooting for her Boston Celtics.

In her early days she worked as a maid in South Carolina, and a seamstress in New York City. Some years later she started her activist work when she relocated and joined her sister here in Boston where she raised her own family. She was employed by the Boston Public School as a lunch monitor, touching the lives of many young children whom she watched over the years grow into adults within the community and to this day they still call her “ Ma”. She nurtured many and showed love to everyone who came into contact with her. It was here in Mission Hill where she became the community activist known to everyone. She fought for equal rights (food, housing, education) for the underserved communities while volunteering on numerous boards such as ABCD, Task Force, Mission Possible, and the Tobin Community Center. In June 2016, she was recognized by Mayor Martin J Walsh and the Mission Main Streets for her years of endless and dedicated service to the Mission Hill community. Many have benefited from her activist role for social change. She loved Mission Hill and Mission Hill loved her back.

Sadly for us, she was called home to Glory September 2nd 2017. Her spirit and energy will continue to live on in the presence of her four children Jackie Haynes, Seffton Hemingway, Leon Graves, and William Graves; followed by her 12 grandchildren, 4 great grandchildren, 4 sisters, 3 brothers, and a host of nieces and nephews.

“Spread your wings and fly amongst the angels that came before you, greet them with open arms, and give them our love. Until we meet again you will always be in our memories and hearts just know that you are loved and missed!”

Relatives and friends of Ida are kindly invited to attend visiting hours in the William J. Gormley Funeral Home, 2055 Centre Street, WEST ROXBURY on Friday, September 8th, 2017 from 4-8 P.M. and on Saturday September 9th, 2017 from 9-11 A.M. in the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help "The Mission Church". Burial will be in South Carolina. In lieu of flowers, Ida wished to have donations in her memory made to IAABO 27 Officials vs. Cancer, P.O. Box 52140, Boston, MA 02205. For directions and guestbook, please visit:

Local funeral services will be handled by the Jackson & McGill Funeral Service 612 S. Main St. Marion, SC 29571. Funeral services are scheduled for 2:00pm Sunday September 17, 2017 at the Bethel AME Church 7113 Highway 908 Gresham SC. 29546. She will be laid to rest in the Old Neck Cemetery, Britton's Neck, SC.

 Service Information

Funeral Service
September 17, 2017

2:00 PM
Bethel AME Church
7113 HIghway 908
Gresham, SC 29546

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