Captain Michael James Gravitt

March 16, 1971 - August 3, 2023

03/16/1971 - 08/03/2023

Past Services

Funeral Service
Thursday August 17, 2023
1:00 pm
Galilee Church
3928 Pacific Ave
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23451
(757) 428-3573 | Directions

Michael James Gravitt, 52, devoted father and respected aviator, unexpectedly passed away on August 3, 2023.  Mike was born in Kingsville, Texas to Pat and Suzanne Gravitt and raised in Virginia Beach. At the time of his passing he was a Federal Express B777 Captain and a retired United States Navy Commander.

He graduated from Norfolk Academy in 1989 where he was the President of his senior class and captain of the Cross Country team. He received his appointment to the United States Naval Academy entering with the class of 1993. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Political Science, was Company Commander and formed tight and lifelong friendships.

In December of 1995, Mike was designated a Naval Aviator at NAS Pensacola, FL after carrier qualifying on board the USS John F. Kennedy.  He then carrier qualified in the C-2A Greyhound on board the USS John C. Stennis, earning “Top Hook” honors.  Mike, call sign “Skids”, completed his active duty service as an officer both at sea and on shore.  Following his selection for Training and Administration of Reserves, Mike reported to the Globemasters of VR-56 in January of 2000.  He served in many officer capacities culminating in his selection as Commanding Officer of VR-56 in February of 2011.  He flew on many detachments and missions including the evacuation of the citizens of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.  During his Naval career he accomplished over 4,000 military flight hours and had 186 carrier arrested landings. Countless friendships, mentorships and memories were made among his flight school and squadron mates.

Mike’s honorable Naval career spanned 21 years. He was a third generation Naval Aviator as well as the third generation to assume command of a Navy Squadron.  In 2004, Mike began his career for Federal Express as a B727 Second Officer.  He then progressed to DC10 Second Officer, MD11 First Officer, 777 First Officer, and finally 777 Captain flying international routes. Mike looked at every layover as an opportunity to explore, find adventure and connect with friends and family worldwide.

In addition to his parents, Mike is survived by his loving wife of twenty years, Brandy Gravitt; his beloved children, Anna and Miles; his sister, Amy Gravitt, brother-in-law, Erik Richter, and their children Jack and Romy; his in-laws, Richard and Madelyn Dabbs; and his sister and brother-in-law, Brittany and Mark Eubanks and their children, Trip and Archer.  He is also survived by loving aunts, uncles and cousins.

On a “No Fly Day”, you might find him hiking, fishing, running, playing tennis, golfing or walking his dog Blue on the beach.  But Mike was happiest spending time with his family and friends on the water whether it be boating, diving, kayaking or skiing. Skids never passed up the opportunity to don a costume, sing karaoke or join friends and neighbors for a good porch party! Mike was a loving spouse, father, son, brother and friend with strong convictions.  He was bright and witty and a mentor to many.  He will be greatly missed but never forgotten.

Mike’s faith was deep with a commitment to Galilee Church. His funeral will be at 1:00 on August 17, 2023 at Galilee Church, 3928 Pacific Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA with inurnment at a later date.

Memorial donations may be made to:

By His Wounds, Inc.  1340 N. Great Neck Road  1272-137  Virginia Beach, VA 23454 (

NAMI Coastal Virginia  291 Independence Blvd, Suite 542  Virginia Beach, VA 23462 (

Island Dog Rescue 900 Pillow Drive Virginia Beach, VA 23454

Galilee Church Organ Fund 3928 Pacific Avenue Virginia Beach, VA 23451-2636


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6 months ago

Amy and the Gravitt Family,

On behalf of U.S.VETS, with care for Michael and all of the veterans who proudly served our nation.

Your partners in service, U.S.VETS Board of Directors and staff.

Sue and Ted Orr
6 months ago

We just found out this evening of Mike’s passing and are in total shock. What a kind and gentle soul Mike was. We loved him like a son as we were his sponsors at USNA! Our love condolences to you Brandy, Anna, Miles, Suzanne and Pat and Mike’s siblings and families.

Alyce Heidt
7 months ago

To All the Gravitt Family..
Please know Our Thoughts & Prayers are With you during this difficult time..
I remember Mike from the NA Days.. .Running track.. Being a Bright Light in Everyone’s life!! He was an Amazing Person!! God Be With You All.. Pat & Suzanne.. Brandy & Children.. Our hearts are broken for you all. Mike will be missed..& Never Forgotten!!
The Lord Comfort you All & Give You Peace!!.. Much Love!! ???

Tatron Williams
8 months ago

Mike Gravitt is truly one of the best people I have had the pleasure to know. In a time of need he reached out to me, mentored and supported me when I needed it most. He was a big brother to me toward the tail end of my career in the Navy and at FedEx. I wish Suzanne and family nothing but the best.

Tim Heidt
8 months ago

When I knew Mike… when we were running at Academy – by every measure he was super person – strong leader, kind hearted, always facing a true north. I was deeply saddened to hear this news today. To the Gravitt’s: I’m not even sure what to write – you’re in my and my family’s thoughts and prayers. I wish for you and Mike peace. I’m so sorry for your loss.

Lynn Jansen
8 months ago

Dear Suzanne and Family & Brandy and Family,
I am so very sorry for your loss. You have my deepest sympathies. You are all in my prayers during this difficult time. Love and Hugs to you all. Sincerely, Lynn Jansen (and John and Family)

John Higgins
8 months ago

Condolences to the Gravitt family. Skids was a great person to work and fly with. Mike will be missed.

Peggy Lacy
8 months ago

My deepest sympathies to all Mike’s family and friends, especially his loving wife and children. Signed, Peggy Lacy, Cousin to Madelyn Dabbs

Gregory Imbur
8 months ago

I’m sorry to hear of the loss of Mike. I knew him in HS, as a classmate and as part of our All State XC team. He was driven, and so hard to outrun! Balance that drive with his easy nature and you can imagine how much he led and impacted others. Peace be with him and his family and friends, he will be missed!

Tom Faulkner
8 months ago

Skids was a great skipper to serve under; a leader who looked after his command and did more than was asked of him.
My condolences and prayers to the family of this fine man.