Donald J. Gravley

August 13, 1938 ‒ March 21, 2007

Mount Gilead, Ohio

Donald J. “Don” Gravley, age 68, of Township Road 114, Mount Gilead, died on Wednesday evening, March 21, 2007, at his residence following an extended illness.

He was born in Columbus, Ohio, in 1938, the son of the late Richard Gravley and Martha (Newman) Gravley Evener.

When he was young, Don found his niche and refuge in the West Side Boys Club in Columbus, where he made a name for himself in the boxing ring as a Golden Glove Fighter. During this time he was also a member of the Ohio National Guard.

After the conclusion of his boxing career, Don put himself through cosmetology school and worked for many years as a cosmetologist; also owning and operating three Flair Fashions Beauty Salons in Columbus.

In his mid twenties, Don and his family moved to Centerburg, where he found he had a passion for Paint Horses. For many years, he bred horses that he and his children traveled the country to show; breeding several champions, including a supreme champion he named “Tough Breeze.” This led to his becoming the president of the Ohio Paint Horse Club, National Director of the Paint Horse Association, and a horse show judge.

In the late 1970’s, Don sold his horse business and moved to Mount Gilead, where he owned and operated “Geno’s Pizza” for over 18 years.

While in Mount Gilead, Don and Dave Foti opened a gym, where Don trained youngsters to box, and took them to numerous tournaments. Some of his protégés won several championships.

Before retirement, Don worked for the State of Ohio Corrections facility for 8 years.

In his later years, Don was in need of home health care and Daniel Swick moved in and took care of him.

Don is survived by his sons: David (Jennifer) Gravley of Ashley, Don A. Gravley of Sarasota, Florida, and Joshua Gravley of Mount Gilead; daughters: Natalee Berecz of Columbus, Noelle and Emily Gravley, both of Mount Gilead; seven grandchildren: Tyler and Sara Smith, Lily and Aaron Berecz, Robbie, Shaun, and Camryn Gravley; great-grandchild: Amir; brothers: Dick (Carla) Gravley of Arizona, and Gene (Sandy) Gravley of New Zealand; sister: Nancy (Bob) Warren of Florida; uncle: Robert (Ruth) Newman of Columbus; and caretaker: Danny Swick.

The family will greet friends on Sunday from 2 – 5 p.m. at the Craven & Snyder Funeral Home, 67 North Main Street, Mount Gilead, where funeral services will be held on Monday at 10:00 a.m. with Pastor Verlon Bricker officiating. Graveside services with military honors will be held on Monday at 12:30 p.m. at the Kingwood Memorial Park in Lewis Center.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the National Emphysema Foundation, 15 Belden Ave., Norwalk, CT 06850, or to Hospice of Morrow County, P. O. Box 86, Mount Gilead, OH 43338.

Online condolences may be expressed to the family at