Alan Ward Graning III

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Jan. 17, 1962 – June 8, 2019

NATCHEZ— Services for Alan Ward Graning III, 57, of Natchez, who died unexpectedly at his home Saturday, June 8, 2019, will be 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Mary Basilica with the Rev. David O’Connor and the Rev. Joseph Xavier officiating.

Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. until service time Saturday at the church.    

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Burial will follow at the Natchez City Cemetery under the direction of Laird Funeral Home.

Friends are welcome to gather after the graveside service at 105 Sgt. Prentiss Drive.

He was born Jan. 17, 1962, in Natchez, the son of Alan Ward Graning Jr. and Kelly Junkin Graning.

A 1980 graduate of Cathedral School where he excelled in sports, Graning went on to play football for legendary Coach Bear Bryant at the University Alabama and then attended Mississippi State University, before returning to Natchez to work in his family business, Graning Oil Company. He and his brother, Tom, have owned and operated Go-Mart for more than 30 years.

A true son of Natchez, Ward was kind, loving and solidly faithful to his family, his friends and his community. He was a lifelong supporter of Cathedral School and its athletic programs, having done everything from helping coach to cooking burgers at games. He was an avid sports fan and supporter of his daughter, Baylee, making sure he was present for every practice and game to support her.

He was a member of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Parish in Vidalia; the Krewe of Phoenix; the Santa Claus Committee; the Cathedral Athletic Association; and 3J Hunting Club.

He was preceded in death by his parents; one sister, Jennifer; an aunt and uncle; and a beloved and close friend, Blasé Gaude.

Survivors include his loving wife, Susan Graning; children, Baylee Rose Graning of Natchez, Johnathon and Shaye Hope McAdory of New Orleans, and Hunter and Diana Hope of Brandon; two grandchildren, Reese and John Parker Hope of Brandon; his siblings and their spouses, Kathy Graning, Sissy Graning Dicks, Tom Graning and Craig and Margaret Graning Beesley, all of Natchez, and Sam and Jane Graning Weems of Monroe, La.; nine nieces and nephews and one great-niece; five uncles and three aunts; lifelong close friends Paul and Laura Burns, Greg and Lisa Whitam; and numerous cousins, relatives and friends.

Pallbearers will be Aylette Dicks, John Griffin Dicks, Andrew Beesley, Craig Beesley, Thomas Graning, Wright Graning, Sam Weems and Shane Gray.

Honorary pallbearers are members of the 3J Hunting Club and the Cathedral Athletic Association.