Erving Alfred Graf
Erving Alfred Graf
Erving Alfred Graf was born in a farmhouse in St. Croix Falls, WI, on March 15, 1925, to Alvin and Marget Graf. The family moved to Worthington, MN in the fall of 1932 where his parents owned and ran the Worthington Ice Company on the south shore of Lake Okabena.
He graduated from Worthington High School in 1943 and enlisted in the US Navy. He trained in Farragot, Idaho, and San Diego, California, and became a Motor Machinist Mate (MOMM First Class). He arrived at Iwo Jima on the second day of the invasion as an LCM boat mechanic and saw the US flags go up on Mount Surabachi as the invasion progressed. Erv spent the rest of his three years in the service on the island of Iwo Jima at the naval base there.
Returning to Worthington, he married Lois Gustafson (his "Swedish Sweetie") on June 1, 1947. They had four children - Tim, Terry, Susan and Patty. He was devoted to his family and built many priceless memories of living on Lake Okabena (for 78 years), taking annual camping trips, working hard together, playing games and repairing things. (There was nothing he couldnt fix.) Besides building, he loved crossword puzzles, Big Band music, boating, traveling with friends, animals and rhyming. His sense of humor and example of always doing the right thing brought smiles to everyone he touched.
Erving was employed at Graf Farm Equipment (1950-1955) and Tellander-Hagge Ford (later known as Worthington Motors) from 1946-1979, where he worked his way up from mechanic to parts manager to president. After leaving the auto business, he was a rural mail carrier for the Worthington Post Office. In retirement, he restored a 1930 Model A Ford. As his health declined in the last year, he spent his time at the Sibley Nursing and Rehab facility where he was well cared for by the wonderful staff there and the Iowa Hospice organization.
Boy Scout leader and active in First Lutheran Church, Erv served on church council, many committees and as an usher. One of his most rewarding experiences was driving children from the Crippled Childrens School to Sunday school every Sunday for many years.
Erving died on Monday, September 9, 2013, at the Sibley Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Sibley, IA.
He is preceded in death by his parents and sister, Anita. He is survived by his wife Lois (of 66 years); son Tim (Bonny) of Burnsville; son Terry of Bemidji; daughter Susan (Michael) Knorr of Moorhead; daughter Patty (Randy) Haack of Worthington; six grandchildren - Aaron (Anthea) and Bria Knorr, Cedar (Brad) McGuire and Seth Graf, Bryce (Mel) Haack and Kaitlin (Mike) Graff; and six great grandchildren: Colten and Sadie McGuire, Liam, Cooper, and Harper Haack, and Ryland Graff.
Memorial services will be held on Friday, September 13, 2013, at 1:00 p.m., at First Lutheran Church in Worthington, MN, with Rev. Richard Ricker officiating. Ervs grandchildren will serve as honorary casket bearers. Private family burial will be in the Worthington Memorial Gardens Cemetery.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, September 12, 2013, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., at the Benson Funeral Home in Worthington, MN.
Memorials are preferred to First Lutheran Church and Make-A-Wish Foundation.