A celebration of life will be held for Eugene and Margitta Graf on Saturday, October 14 from 12 to 4 p.m. at Ritchie Pavilion in Turtle Lake Park.
Margitta (Specht) Graf passed away November 23, 2022 in Arizona. She was born in Mannheim, Germany in 1938 to parents Kurt and Lydia Specht.
As a girl, Margitta grew up playing in the bombed-out buildings of WWII. During the war, her family moved away from their home city to hide her eldest brother from being recruited into the Hitler Youth. She was an avid swimmer who as a teenager loved to swim out to passing barges and grab on to the sides for a thrilling ride on the river, to the chagrin of broom wielding crewmen trying to shoo her away.
She came to this country with her infant daughter on her lap with a plane full of other military brides. She taught herself to speak and write English by watching soap operas and reading romance novels.
Eugene Joseph Graf passed away January 20, 2018 in Arizona. He was born in Chicago in 1938 to parents Floyd and Marie Graf.
He enlisted in the U.S. Army out of high school and was stationed in post-war West Germany.
His loyalty and attention to detail served him well as he became an MP chosen to guard a 4-star general who was second in command of US troops in Europe.
He loved the outdoors, hunting and sports, especially golf and baseball. He most loved watching his children and grandchildren participate in their sporting events through the years. He was very superstitious and was known to blame himself for a loss if he felt he unwittingly wore an unlucky shirt or jacket.
He only had a few vehicles in his lifetime because he was such a meticulous person that they ran like brand new.
Eugene and Margitta met at a dance hall in Germany in 1956. He would see her every leave he had. He once missed his trolley after a date with Margitta and had to run 20 miles through the night back to his base to make his curfew.
The two were constant lifelong companions.
They lived with their family in Elmhurst, Illinois where Eugene was the Maintenance Director for St Vincent Catholic Church.
They moved their family to Turtle Lake in 1982 to enjoy a slower pace of life.
They are survived by children Patricia Yackley (John Hall), Floyd Graf (Chris), Erich Graf, Alfred Graf (Jean), Eugene Graf (DeDe), and Vincent Graf (Amy); Grandchildren: Lawrence Yackley, Michael Yackley, Cory Graf, Kyle Graf, Keegan Graf, Erica Hubin, Devin Graf, Shelby Friendshuh, Gabriel Graf and Jake; Great Grandchildren (Oliver, Logan, Tucker, Jane, Natalie, Kolt, Kalli, Kinley, Kolsen, Annabelle, Adelaide, Killian, Calvin and Emily.); Siblings Patrick Graf, Barbara Tyler, David Graf.
They are preceded in death by daughter in law Frances Graf, parents and siblings Charles and Marie.
They will be missed dearly.