Cover photo for Peter "Pete" Marcel Graff's Obituary
Peter "Pete" Marcel Graff Profile Photo
1923 Peter 2013

Peter "Pete" Marcel Graff

November 24, 1923 — December 7, 2013


Peter Marcel Graff of McCook passed away Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, surrounded by his loving family. He was 90 years old.

Pete was born Nov. 24, 1923, at Hartley, Iowa, to parents, 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, Linn Grove, Iowa, in 1941. After graduation he entered the US Navy and served as a pilot during World War II. He was honorably discharged in 1945 and continued to serve in the Reserves until 1958. After 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.

He became a bank examiner with the FDIC and was based in the Salina, Kan., office later being transferred to the Kearney, Neb., 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. He was 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.

On June 10, 1950, he was united in marriage to Virginia Eileen Addy Graff at Our Lady of Nebraska Chapel 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.

Pete was a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church (serving as a Trustee for many years) and a 4th 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 Pete’s 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. His pride and joy was spending time with all of his children and grandchildren.

Preceding him in death were his wife, Eileen Graff; his parents, Peter and Anna Graff; grandson, Tyler Hirschman; son-in-law, John Hirschman; brother, Aloysius Graff; sister, Mary Harris; brother-in-law, Lyle Harris; and sister-in-law, Patricia “Pat” Graff.

Survivors include his wife of 47 years, Dolores Graff of McCook; 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, Wyo., Scott (Jill) Thomas of Mendota Heights, Minn., Todd Graff (Laurie Ziliak) of Winona, Minn., Chad Graff (Joann Falkenburg) of Oakland, Calif., Christi Graff (John Cashman) of Clarendon Hills, Ill., and Jon Graff (Ronda) of McCook; 33 grandchildren, Brady (Kathy) Skiles, Luke (Becky), Jake (Jena) and Ben (Brittany) Deaver, Tristan Thomas, Jayme (Brad Martin), Jade and Jared Muehlenkamp, Wesley (Allison) and Gabrielle Thomas, Michaela and John (Kristy) Hirschman, Maureen (Buster Cunningham) and Meagan Todd, Isaac, Jesse, Nathan, Samuel, Sophia and Hannah Graff, Betsy, Amanda, Tyler, Julia, Haley and Allison Cashman, Anna, Alex, Andrew, Erik, Ethan, Emma and Eli Graff; 17 great-grandchildren; one sister, Kay (Darel) Burns of Storm Lake, Iowa; two brothers, Joseph Graff of Spencer, Iowa, and Leo (Nan) Graff of Omaha; and numerous nieces, nephews and a host of friends.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to St. Patrick’s School or McCook Community Home Health/Hospice.

Visitation will be Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013, from 2-4 p.m. with family present at Carpenter-Breland Funeral Home in McCook. The casket will be closed.

Rosary will be recited Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013, 7 p.m. at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in McCook.

Mass of Christian Burial will be Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, 11 a.m. at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in McCook with Father Gary Brethour officiating. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery with Military Honors.


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