Tony & Lorrie Graves

Candidate Photo

What do a doctor’s office, English class, cut-off jean shorts, an Alfred Hitchcock movie, and My Friend’s House have in common? 

A love story.....that’s what! 

Tony and Lorrie Graves grew up in neighboring towns in Tennessee, not really knowing each other but crossing paths through shared acquaintances. For example, Tony’s aunt and uncle were Lorrie’s pediatrician and nurse. Lorrie feared getting shots and when she would run out of the office, it was Tony’s aunt, the nurse, who would cajole Lorrie back into the building. The doctor’s son and Lorrie were also classmates growing up. When they were in middle school, he invited his cousin, Tony, and some other friends, including Lorrie, to see Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”. It was anything but love at first sight. Tony and Lorrie sat on opposite ends of the row where he teased her about having glasses and braces, and she called him a hippie because his hair was down to his shoulders. 

Fast forward several years, and Tony and Lorrie crossed paths again in a college summer English class. The course ended without a date, but later Lorrie saw a picture of Tony in the newspaper and read that he hurt his knee playing on the school’s football team, so she sent him a get-well card. Fast forward three years, Tony sees her in her car at a campus stop sign, calls his aunt to get her phone number...........and eight months later........almost 37 years ago.........they married as she carried that get-well card in her bouquet. 

The highlight of their love story was the gift of their two amazing sons, Chad and Franklin. In 2010, they were blessed with a wonderful daughter-in-law, Sarah, and then....Ellie Rose.....their treasured fourteen- month-old granddaughter! 

Tony is a career banker with First Advantage Bank and graduate of Belmont University and Middle Tennessee State University with a Masters in Business Administration. He enjoys playing golf and is an avid college football and basketball fan. He has served in leadership roles in Kiwanis, is a graduate of Leadership Franklin, a member of the Franklin Public Building Authority, regularly volunteers with substance abuse programs, and for Habitat for Humanity. 

Lorrie is a graduate of the University of Memphis where she received her Masters of Education. She is a National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certified educator. She is celebrating her 36th year as an elementary school teacher, currently teaching third grade in the Franklin Special School District. She has been awarded “Teacher of the Year” by FSSD, was appointed by the Tennessee Speaker of the House to the Science Standards Recommendation Committee, and was awarded the Tennessee Science Teachers Association’s “Science Educator of the Year” award. She is a charter member and president of the Downtown Franklin Rotary Club, the fastest-growing Rotary Club in the nation. My Friend’s House is one of the signature organizations supported by the DFRC. Lorrie’s hobbies include running and raising money for The Wounded Warriors Project and St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Her team, working with Charity Miles, has raised over $317,000 this year for the WWP and she just completed her tenth year running as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Hero. 

Tony and Lorrie are members of Judson Baptist Church. They are excited to be part of this event and fervently believe that the precious jewels being polished at My Friend’s House can and will make the world a brighter and better place!