Peter Graff, 90 - December 07, 2013Peter “Pete” Marcel Graff, 90, of McCook passed away Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, surrounded by his family members.
Mass of Christian burial will be Wednesday, Dec. 11, at 11 a.m. at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in McCook with the Rev. Gary Brethour officiating. Burial will take place at Calvary Cemetery with Military Honors.
Graff was born Nov. 24, 1923, at Hartley, IA, to Peter Joseph and Anna (Poos) Graff. His father was born in Belgium, his mother was born in Luxembourg, and they immigrated to Iowa.
He graduated from Linn Grove High School at Linn Grove, IA, in 1941. After graduation he entered the U.S. Navy and served as a pilot during World War II. He was honorably discharged in 1945 and continued to serve with the Reserves until 1958.
Following his discharge, he returned to the family farm to work until his father retired, at which time he went back to school and continued his education at Creighton University in Omaha. He graduated in 1950 with a bachelor’s degree in economics and accounting.
On June 19, 1951, he was united in marriage to Virginia Eileen Addy Graff at St. Cecilia Cathedral in Omaha. She preceded him in death. He later married Dolores (Orten) Thomas at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in McCook on Oct. 15, 1966.
Graff became a bank examiner with the FDIC and was based at the Salina, KS, office later being transferred to the Kearney office. In 1957, he relocated to McCook and joined McCook National Bank at the request of Mary Brady and became president of the institution in 1963.
He acquired the majority ownership of the bank in 1979 upon the death of Mrs. Brady, and became an integral part of the daily operations until his death.
In 1998, he was also appointed by Gov. Ben Nelson to serve as the director of the Nebraska Department of Banking until the end of Nelson’s term. He also served 20 years on the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority Board as well.
He was a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, serving as a trustee for numerous years, and was a fourth degree member of the Knights of Columbus. He was also a member of the McCook Elks, Eagles, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Rotary and the George Norris Foundation Board.
In his free time, he loved playing pitch and bridge, working on his farm, spending time in his garden and watching his favorite sports teams, Notre Dame, the St. Louis Cardinals and the McCook Bison, according to family members. His pride and joy was spending time with all of his children and grandchildren.
Graff was preceded in death by: his first wife, Eileen Graff; his parents, Peter and Anna Graff; a grandson, Tyler Hirschman; son-in-law, John Hirschman; a brother, Aloysious Graff; sister, Mary Harris; brother-in-law, Lyle Harris; sister-in-law, Patricia “Pat” Graff.
Survivors include: his wife of 47 years, Dolores Graff of McCook; his children and spouses—Diane (Dan) Yenny of Grand Island, Susan (Tom) Deaver of Brady, Mike (Merriul) Thomas of McCook, Mark (Linda) Graff of McCook, Delrae Hirschman of Lincoln, Becky Thomas (Larry Todd) of Meeteetse, WY, Scott (Jill) Thomas of Mendota Heights, MN, Todd Graff (Laurie Ziliak) of Winona, MN, Chad Graff (Joann Falkenburg) of Oakland, CA, Christi Graff (John Cashman) of Clarendon Hills, IL, and Jon Graff (Ronda) of McCook; 33 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren; a sister, Kay (Darel) Burns of Storm Lake, IA; two brothers—Joseph Graff of Spencer, IA, and Leo (Nan) Graff of Omaha; numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the St. Patrick’s School and the McCook Community Home Health & Hospice.