Barbara Kydd Graves, wife of Black Enterprise (BE) Magazine founder and publisher Earl G. Graves Sr. and one of the key forces in the development of the 40 year-old magazine, died May 25 at Howard University Hospital after a three-year battle against cancer. She was 74.

Since the creation of the influential monthly publication for African American business and commerce, she has served at times as editorial director, circulation director and chief financial officer for Black Enterprise Magazine.

In addition to occupying key positions in the magazine and publishing company, the former elementary school teacher and Brooklyn College graduate was a mentor for several generations of Black Enterprise management executives.

She was also one of the architects of the Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit, a major networking opportunity and conference for women executives of color.

A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., she held bachelor and master degrees from Brooklyn College and taught elementary school for a decade before the magazine was founded.

Her passing came on the last day of one of Black Enterprise’s major events, a Chicago conference unveiling the BE 100, the annual listing of the 100 most influential Black businesses.

“My mother was a steadfast and loving partner and counselor to my father; his quiet source of strength and inspiration,” Earl Graves Jr., president and CEO of Black Enterprise, said in a PR Newswire news release May 25. “Above all, she genuinely cared for every member of the Black Enterprise family, and held a special passion for children and young people in particular.”

Survivors include her husband of 51 years, of Scarsdale, N.Y.; three sons, Earl Graves Jr., the current president and chief executive of Black Enterprise, of Chappaqua, N.Y., and Johnny Graves and Michael Graves, both of New Rochelle, N.Y. and eight grandchildren.

A wake is to be held Friday evening, June 1from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The funeral services will be held June 2 from 11a.m. to 1p.m. All services to be held at the Grace Baptist Church 52 S. 6th Ave. Mt. Vernon, New York 105505.