Stephen K. (Steve) Graff

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Stephen K. (Steve) Graff of Spirit Lake, IA, died Sept. 3 in the Hospice Care Unit at the Spencer Municipal Hospital. He was 59.

The Turner Funeral Home in Spirit Lake is in charge of arrangements. Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m and again at 7 p.m. on Monday, September 7, at the funeral home. Visitation with family and friends will precede and follow the services.

He was born on Oct. 30, 1949 in Long Beach, Calif., a son of K. George and Betty (Richards) Graff. He received his early education in the Long Beach and Palos Verdes school systems and graduated from the University of California at Irvine in 1971. He moved to Iowa with his daughter, Sarah, in 1978.

He married Gretchen Gronstal on Aug. 9, 1986 at Spirit Lake.

He was an independent agent for health and life insurance and was a sales associate in the electronics department at Walmart in Spirit Lake. He was a member of the Iowa Great Lakes Rotary Club, Habitat for Humanity, Conservation Foundation of Dickinson County, Friends of the Spirit Lake Public Library, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation and the Spirit Lake Protective Association. One of his primary passions was the ecological health and environmental quality of the Iowa Great Lakes region.

While cancer prevented the donation of his major organs, as a final act of generosity he contributed his corneas to the Lions Eye Bank so another could have the gift of sight.

He is survived by his wife, his daughter, and his parents -- all of Spirit Lake; his brother Rick, and his sister Jill Anderson -- both of Santa Barbara, Calif.; eight nieces, a nephew and four grand-nephews.

A memorial fund has been established for the benefit of the Conservation Foundation of Dickinson County and the Spirit Lake Protective Association's Mini-Wakan restoration project. Contributions may be left at the funeral home or mailed to PO Box 245, Spirit Lake, IA 51360.