William A. (Bill or Beano) Graf, 85, of Watertown, NY, died Wednesday, August 28, 2013 in south Florida.
Bill, fondly called Beano, was born to the late Watertown High School coach William I. Graf (also known as Beano) and Helen Dygert Graf Cunningham June 6, 1928 in Watertown, NY. Bill graduated from Watertown High in 1947 and received a BSCE in Engineering from Virginia Military Institute in 1951. He married Ann Bisnett November 22, 1951 and served in the Army Infantry from 1952 to 1964 in the Korean War. Bill and Ann lived together in Ft Dix, New Jersey, Watertown and Syracuse, NY, then Alexandria and Sterling, Virginia, and Los Angeles and Irvine, California, then Stuart and Orlando, Florida.
Bill was in aerospace sales and traveled the country working for New York Air Brake, Hydo-Aire, TRW, Martin Marrietta and Ford Aerospace, among others. He assisted in developing new products and applications for many aerospace uses, such as anti-skid braking systems for commercial aircraft and inerting systems for fuel tanks on military aircraft.
Bill was a loving father and husband who worked hard to make all things possible for his family. He was a gifted athlete who played most sports, played them well, and maintained a great attitude. Weekends were usually dedicated to sports with his kids and friends.
Bill is survived by Ann and two sons: William P., along with wife Wendie, daughters Miriam and husband Danny Simpson with son Tyler Francis, and Stephanie in Downey, California; Robert D., wife Patty and daughters MaryJo and Grace in Key Largo, FL; as well as daughter Virginia (Ginny) S. Bolling, husband Roger, daughter Jamie, and son Jason in Orlando, FL.
In lieu of flowers, tax deductible donations can be sent to either the Alzheimers Foundation at http://www.alz.org, or a check can be sent to: Alzheimers Association, P.O. Box 96011, Washington, DC 20090-6011. Please note on your donation that it is on behalf of Bill Graf, or
If you are interested in helping to enhance the existing William I. Graf Memorial Award, you can send tax deductible donations payable to William I. Graf Award, c/o Northern New York Community Foundation, Inc., 120 Washington St., Suite 400, Watertown, NY 13601. Phone: (315) 782-7110. This is a coveted award that has been presented for over 60 years to the top male and female athletes at Watertown High School (WHS) in NY where both Bill and Ann attended school together. Bills father built a strong reputation for character and excellence coaching football, basketball, and baseball for approximately 20 years at the high school. The family has established a fund to begin monetary payments to the winning athletes to continue the legacy since Bill embodied the spirit of the award created in honor of his father.
Any correspondence can be sent to Ann or the family via Bob Graf at PO Box 2734, Key Largo, FL 33030.