John G. “Jack” Graf, 86, died Feb. 6, 2011, at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, after an extended period of declining health.

Born in Chelsea, Mass., Feb. 19, 1924, he was the son of John G. Sr. and Elva Wright Graf. He was educated in Chelsea schools and was a graduate of Revere High School.

He served during World War II in both the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard.

Returning to civilian life, in earlier years he worked at Marine Colloids, Fisher Engineering and Armour Meats, and drove a tractor-trailer with Railway Express. Often working different jobs at the same time, he briefly worked aboard a McLoon lobster smack, The Pauline, out of Rockland.

On April 5, 1946, he married Hester F. Cunningham in Rockland.

For more than 21 years, he worked as chief engineer at the former Maine State Prison in Thomaston, retiring in 1987. While working at MSP, Jack enjoyed camaraderie with the officers and the respect of many prisoners.

A man of many talents, he was a creative woodworker, making bowls, mosquito houses, walking sticks and carvings, which included eagles and hawks. He was also accomplished in metal fabrication and welding.

In earlier years he enjoyed driving stock cars at Unity Raceway. More recently, he particularly enjoyed playing the harmonica and watching his “Little Honey Girl” and great-great-granddaughter Brailey Marie Graf dance and keep time to the music.

Jack’s family extends special thanks to neighbor Susan Longley for providing his dog Cimmie love and many walks while Jack was hospitalized. They also express many thanks to neighbors who have plowed his driveway or simply stopped by to see how he was doing or if he needed anything in town.

He was predeceased by his wife Hester Feb. 4, 2008, and brother Robert.

Jack is survived by two sons, Steven J. Graf and his wife Vickie of Spruce Head and John M. Graf of Camden; sister Alice Miller of California; grandson James Graf and his wife Raquel; great-grandson Jacob Graf and his partner Jen Bodman; as well as great-great-granddaughter Brailey, all of Spruce Head.

Private service arrangements are in the care of the Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock St. in Rockland. Spring interment will be in Achorn Cemetery in Rockland.

Those who wish may make memorial contributions to Kno-Wal-Lin Hospice, 170 Pleasant St., Rockland, ME 04841.

To share a memory or story with Jack’s family, visit his online guest book at