Leonore (“Lee”) Graf, born Leonore A. Larson, was born in Lincoln, Nebraska on September 19, 1923 and died at the age of 89 years on Thursday, February 7th, 2013. Lee was raised in the small University town of Peru, Nebraska where both her parents — Albin and Wilhemina — were professors. She had an older brother named Frank and a sister named Helen.
As did her sister Helen, Lee eventually made her way as a young, attractive and adventurous Midwestern woman to New York City, where she attended Columbia University’s Teacher’s College for her master’s degree in education. Lee, too, became a teacher and it brought her great joy and satisfaction for over 40 years of her life.
In 1950, Lee married Robert Graf, an engineer who also attended Columbia University. After having lived in Stratford, CT, in 1959 they settled in Easton into a typical redwood-sided mid-century house that they had built, where Lee lived until her passing — for over 53 years — as was always her fondest wish. She was very independent and loved keeping up her house, inside and out. Up until age 81 years, she cleaned out her own gutters and cut the lawn! Lee loved Easton, and living in the woods with nature all around her. She often told her daughters and grandchildren how beautiful it all was. She loved music, too — especially classical. And, she was in love with Andrea Bocelli and Josh Groban.
Lee was a beloved mother of three Easton girls — Judy, Kathy and Joanne. And, she leaves behind seven grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and her Scottish Terrier, Nessie. Everyone will miss her.
Testimony to her sweet and nurturing nature is the fact during her 25 years as a teacher at Joel Barlow High School, her students referred to her as “Mother Graf,” and sought her out for advice. She touched many young lives deeply — she greatly enjoyed teaching, and loved her students very much.
Finally, Lee loved animals, particularly dogs, and was a member of both the Humane Society and the ASPCA. In her honor, her daughters have established a Kindred Spirits memorial account at www.humanesociety.org.
The Kindred Spirits, Humane Society donation can also be sent to her daughter Judy Larson, 97 Dan’s Highway, New Canaan, CT 06840 and she will forward it on to the Humane Society.
— by the family