Benjamin Barth “Ben” Graf
September 3, 1930 ~ August 26, 2014
Ben was born on September 3, 1930, to Karl and Anna Graf in Pittsburgh, PA and passed away on August 26, 2014, at the age of 83, in East Wenatchee, WA. When Ben was 17, the family moved to Selah, WA, where he graduated from high school. Ben obtained his AA degree at Yakima Valley Jr. College and then his Bachelor’s at University of Wyoming on a baseball scholarship. It was during a baseball game, where he was pitching, that he caught the eye of Martha. He recruited her for his wife and they eloped on June 11, 1952. Ben continued an additional year of college while making their home in Laramie, WY. He volunteered for the U.S. Army, serving in Japan during the Korean Conflict. Upon discharge, they moved to Seattle, WA, where he worked at Boeing in flight instrument testing. Ben continued his education at Seattle University, obtaining his Master’s Degree. He taught Junior High School in Seattle, before moving to East Wenatchee, where he became Head Counselor at Wenatchee High School until his retirement. His hard work and student interest earned Ben recognition as NEA National Counselor of the Year. Ben was a longtime member of Greater Wenatchee Lions Club. He was an aviarist raising exotic pheasants, and mastered multiple songbird calls. He loved the outdoors and he and Martha hiked a large section of the Pacific Crest Trail in Washington. Martha and Ben shared their passion for education and enjoyed their students like their own children.
Ben is survived by his wife of 62 years, Martha; two brothers, Karl Graf, and Robert (Jean) Graf, both of Selah, WA; sister, Patricia (Robert) Ruyle of Selah, WA; 12 nieces and nephews, and numerous great-nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his sister-in-law, Leona Graf.
The family wishes to express sincere thanks to Bonaventure Memory Care Staff and Hospice for Ben’s care.
An “Open House” to celebrate Ben’s life will be held Saturday, September 6, 2014, from Noon to 2:00 p.m. at Celebration Lutheran Church Community Hall, 801 8th Street NE in East Wenatchee. In lieu of flowers, remembrances for Ben may be made to Greater Wenatchee Lions or Hospice. Please sign in or leave a memory for the family by visiting HeritageMemorialChapel.com. Arrangements by Heritage Memorial Chapel, East Wenatchee.