Obituary

Peter C. DeGraff
December 25, 1946 - October 28, 2021

Peter C. DeGraff

Peter C. DeGraff
Dec 25, 1946 - Oct 28, 2021

Peter C. DeGraff
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Pete Degraff was born in Grand Haven, Michigan, on Christmas day 1946. His sister Lee, 10 years old at the time, said he was not what she wanted for Christmas, but she loved him anyway. He made his best friends during elementary school who will fondly remember him for his humor.

Pete spent his life trying to help others. He voluntarily signed up to be a Marine during Vietnam, served one tour, and was changed in ways we still don't understand. His love of sports led him to be an umpire, referee, and baseball coach, shaping the next generation of players in good sportsmanship. He spent his career working in social service and education to improve the lives of others.

His dementia was a difficult illness for such an intelligent inquisitive person to accept. So, in ways only he could, he fought against it until the end. And, even at the end, his family still found pieces of "him" in his gestures and laugh.

Pete was preceded in death by his parents, Pete and Thelma DeGraff and his son, Peter DeGraff. Lee Johnson, Diane DeGraff, Amanda DeGraff, Christian Meissner, Donna DeGraff, Cameron DeGraff, Luke DeGraff, Hailey Meissner, Mark Lesher, John Lesher, Ken Vanderhoff, Larry Gilbert, John Schepers, and all who knew him, will cherish the happy times we shared with Pete.

A celebration of life will be held in summer 2022. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: Little Red House, 311 E Exchange St., Spring Lake MI, 49456.

 
 

Rebecca Powers on Nov 18, 2021

I'll always remember my cousin as the handsome veteran he was when he returned home from Vietnam. I recall him driving my sisters and me (fast) around Spring Lake and Grand Haven when we visited. I remember how his mother, my Aunt Thelma, called him Peter C. I remember him as a Detroit Tigers fan. And I remember the heartfelt letter he wrote to my late father (his uncle), when he received a dire diagnosis. Pete also had wise words for my young son, once, during a family reunion he hosted. When my son expressed insecurity, saying he "threw bricks" in basketball, Pete replied, "That's not the point." As Pete knew, the point was having fun, and he made that possible. My entire family mourns his passing.

Sherri on Nov 2, 2021

The news of Pete's passing leaves my heart feeling heavy. He was a great mentor, willing to do anything for anybody, and truly one of a kind. When he spoke of his children, you could see the spark of pride in his eyes and my heart goes out to Amanda and Diane. Rest easy in the arms of our Lord, Jesus. I'll look you up on the other side and I'm sure we'll share a chuckle or two. 💖

Margo on Oct 29, 2021

CandleRest well my friend ~ I will never forget the conversations we had. Truly heaven has gained an angel. Fly high Pete. Until then ♥

Tim kelley on Oct 28, 2021

Still to this day I never let my teeth touch my fork. I wish my children could have went through Uncle Pete's manor training.

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A Celebration of Pete's Life will be held in Summer, 2022. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to: Little Red House, 311 E. Exchange Street, Spring Lake, MI 49456.


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