Obituary: John Richard “Jack” Graf

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Jack Graf (Courtesy photo)

John Richard “Jack” Graf passed away on March 9, 2022 in the comfort of his home, surrounded by his family.

Born in Woodland on April 30, 1930 to Charles and Hazel Graf. He graduated from Winters High School in 1948, where he was an active student, three-sport letterman. Jack attended Santa Clara University majoring in Political Science. After graduating from Santa Clara University, he became a commissioned 1st Lieutenant with the United States Marine Corps (USMC). Before leaving for service, Jack married his high school sweetheart, and love of his life, Marjorie Potter. Once he returned from service, he moved to Sacramento where he attended Sacramento State University to obtain his teaching credential, and later earned his master’s degree in Education at the University of Pacific.

Jack was a coach at heart, and served others with great integrity, humanity, and dignity. In his professional life, he was devoted to education and the students, teachers and staff he served. He spent 39 years in public education: starting as a coach at Yuba City High, Vice Principal at Courtland High, Vice Principal at El Dorado High, Principal at Vanden High, Principal at El Dorado High, Principal at Winters High, Superintendent of Winters schools, and culminating his career being elected for two-terms as the Yolo County Superintendent of Schools.

As a father, he was a loving force. A force of structure and stories, with a great knack for nicknames and a wonderful sense of humor. He loved his family and delighted in nothing more than traveling life with Marge, Youth Day celebrations, large family gatherings and attending various school and sporting events of his grandchildren.

He loved the Winters’ community and is well regarded for his civic contributions, and friendly disposition. For decades he delighted in working with others to bring about positive change for Winters. Jack served on the Planning Commission, Bond propositions for schools, St. Anthony’s building committee, and was a 30-year member of Rotary. Additionally, Jack was an active member of the Yolo County Marine Corps Detachment League, Yolo County Democratic Club and was a Yolo County Surrogate representative for Foster youth.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Hazel Graf, siblings, Charles ‘Charlie’ Graf, Bobby Graf, and his son Peter Graf. He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Marge Graf, and his children and their spouses: Patty Anderson (Craig), Peggy Graf, Kathy Brian (Bob), Jody Graf, (Fran Gibson), John Graf (Wendi). His 12 grandchildren and their spouses, 13 great grandchildren, as well as numerous nephews, nieces, and cousins.

A vigil will be held on Sunday, March 20 at 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Winters. A Celebration of Life Mass will take place on Monday, March 21 at 10 a.m. also at St. Anthony’s. The Celebration of Life Mass will be followed by interment at Winters Cemetery and a reception at St. Anthony’s Parish Hall. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Yolo Hospice, Toys For Tots, or a charity of your choice.

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