James T. Graybeal, 91, of Virginia Beach, died at home Friday, May 24, 2019, after a brief illness. He was born Thursday, June 6, 1927, in Buena Vista, the son of the late William T. and Nan Eller Graybeal.
Following service in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he graduated in 1949 from Washington & Lee University, Lexington, and its School of Law in 1951. After a brief period of employment with The Hercules Powder Company, he joined State Farm Insurance Company and had a career of over 37 years in the claims management of injuries and lawsuits in Roanoke, Charlottesville, Richmond, and lastly, Virginia Beach. He retired in June 1989. During his career, he was active in the Tidewater Claims Association and shared his professional knowledge of claims management with other insurance executives.
A lover of jazz, especially piano, Jim enjoyed many hours of listening with his friends who shared his passion as well as attending jazz concerts and other performances that piqued his interest. Other hobbies included traveling, attending alumni college programs at Washington & Lee University and VMI, cooking and the study of World War II and D-Day, as he shared a special kinship having been born on June 6, 17 years earlier. Jim was a former member of the Virginia Beach Sports Club and The Princess Anne Investment Club. He enjoyed being a member of Princess Anne Country Club, and prior to moving to Virginia Beach, was a member of Farmington Country Club, Charlottesville; and the Westwood Racquet Club, Richmond.
He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Priscilla (Tris) Gowen Graybeal; brothers-in-law, Howerton Gowen Jr., and his wife, Patricia, of Lynchburg, Robert M. Gowen, and his wife, Elizabeth, of Halifax, North Carolina, and special first cousin, Adrienne Eller Kimball of Tampa, Florida.
He was preceded in death by brothers, Lt. Col. William E. Graybeal of Buena Vista and Col. Carl S. Graybeal of San Antonio, Texas.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Monday, June 10, at Galilee Episcopal Church, 3928 Pacific Ave., Virginia Beach.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Disabled American Veterans, VA Regional Office Federal, 210 Franklin Road, Roanoke, VA 24011.
Share online condolences with the family at H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts.