Allen Arthur Graf, 92, formerly of Olin, passed away April 5, 2013. Memorial Service and visitation were held April 20 at Lahey Funeral Home in Olin. Burial was in Olin Cemetery.
Allen was born to Walter and Christine Graf on a farm in rural Hale Township in December 1920. Allen grew up in Olin and attended a country school near Hale and Olin Consolidated School, graduating in 1938.
Allen was a proud Navy veteran, spending his Navy career as an aircraft mechanic on the U.S.S. Hampton in California, the South Pacific, and Guadalcanal during World War II. After the war, he married Marieta Kreger on Feb. 11, 1946, in Olathe, Kan., and they resided and raised their family in Olin all their married lives until moving to Solon assisted living center in April 2010.
In 1952, Allen became owner/operator of Graf Transportation Co., operating and maintaining the school buses for Olin School for 19 years. He always had a special place in his heart for all his bus drivers and the children who rode the buses. Allen and his family also owned and operated Graf’s Drive-In in Olin from 1962 to 1971 and then operated a DX gas station along I-80 near Atalissa from 1974-1978. He was also an active member of the Olin American Legion and Olin fire department for many years.
Allen had a lifelong interest in history and antiques– owning, building and driving several antique cars, which he proudly drove in many Olin parades; restoring player pianos, a calliope, and many antiques. He was the ultimate recycler as there was nothing he couldn’t fix or reuse in some way.
He also loved traveling and spent many summer vacations driving his family all over the U.S., many times to Colorado, which he continued to do with Marieta until well into his 80s.
At age 88, Allen was able to take part in the Eastern Iowa Honor Flight to Washington, D.C.
Those left to honor and cherish his memory are his wife of 67 years, Marieta; their children, Robert (Patty) Graf of Anamosa; Lana (Jim) Ballou of Olin; Larry (Cindy) Graf of Marion; Debra (Bernie) Abeyta of Ankeny; Dennis Graf of Cedar Rapids; Jodi (Dan) Rickels of Solon; and Christine Graf of Oswego, Ill.; 11 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his very loving sister, who raised him during the Depression, Wilma (Bill) Hartwig; brothers, Wyman (Natalie), Clarence (Verene) Ervin and Leonard. He was also preceded in death by Allen and Marieta’s first child, who died at birth, and son, Aric Graf, who died in 1995.
Online remembrances and condolences may be left for the family at www.laheys.com .