Betty Jean Graff

Date of Birth

October 3, 1925

Date of Death

May 16, 2020

City of Death

Santa Barbara

Betty Jean Graff, daughter of Ralph and Anna Richards, died on May 16, 2020, at the age of 94. Betty is preceded in death by her eldest son Stephen (Gretchen) Graff, and will be missed by and is survived by her husband, Kasper George Graff, and two children, Richard (Sue) Graff and Jill (Corey) Anderson; grandchildren Sarah, Amy, Holly, Katie, Kara, Erica, Lorin, and Brad.

Betty attended Spirit Lake High School, and received a BS degree in textiles and clothing from Iowa State University. Betty and her husband George then moved to Los Angeles, where they raised their three children. While her kids played in the backyard pool, Betty often tended her nectarine, persimmon, and plum trees, along with her tomato plants.

In retirement, Betty and George returned to Spirit Lake, Iowa, living first on their farm, and later moving to a lake home, where they resided for two decades. Betty planted brilliant shades of zinnias in her garden, and frequently one could find fresh clippings adorning her kitchen table. Betty liked to have “a little color” around her, and in everything she did, as well.

Every summer Betty and George drove cross-country to Glacier National Park, where the couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary surrounded by family and the nature that was so important to her.

During Iowa winters, Betty and George escaped to Arizona, where they could indulge their interest in Native American art and culture, while also rooting for the spring training teams at the local ballpark.

All whom loved her dearly will never forget her friendly charm to neighbors and strangers alike, or the way that a heart holding values nearly a century old provided a mainstay of comfort and wisdom no other could duplicate.


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