Obituary of Leonard Graf
Leonard J Graf, 91, of Tipperary Hill, Syracuse, passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday June 1, 2021 with his loving wife and family at his side. Born in Syracuse, NY to Simon and Marie (Heun) Graf, Len graduated from Central High School and served in the US Air Force 1948-1952. During the Korean War, Len served as a Crew Chief/Rescue Spotter, 2nd Air Rescue Squadron, Okinawa, receiving several medals including Korean Service Medal. In May 2018, Len was a participant in the Honor Flight to Washington, DC.
Len met the love of his life, Jean, as a pen pal while he was overseas during the Korean War. They were married in Wilkes-Barre PA in 1953, lived on Tipp Hill and raised a family of 9 children, 21 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren. Len was an Electrician, a member of IBEW Local 43 for 65 years, and was employed by the Syracuse City School District for 30 years.
A faithful member of St. Patrick's Church, Len served on the St. Patrick's Irish Fest Committee and was a recipient of the St. Patrick's Heritage Award. He was extremely proud of growing up on Tipperary Hill, and equally proud of his German heritage. Len was a member of the Pastime and Tipp Hill Athletic Clubs, American Legion Tipp Hill Post, Midstate Youth Hockey Coach, and an original Co-Owner of Syracuse Blazers Pro Hockey Team. Len loved the game of hockey at all levels, and was a fixture at local rinks watching his children and grandchildren growing up playing the sport he loved. Len was a fan of the Syracuse Crunch, and was a long time avid fan of his Boston Bruins. In 2019, in recognition of his military service and his 90th birthday, Len was named an honorary captain by the Syracuse Crunch Hockey Team.
Len was predeceased by his sisters, Margaret Palka and Arlene Graf, and brother, Robert Graf. He is survived by his loving wife of 68 years, Jean (Wharton) Graf; sister, Virginia Rand; his children: Bob (Carole), Linda (Bill) Tripepi, Karen (Tom) Fragola, Jim (Cathy), Marie (Jeffrey) Yousey, John (Alisha), Carl, Laura (Michael) Centore, and Len (Sarah) Graf; grandchildren, Greg (Jen) and Jeff (Jenn) Fragola, Dan (Chubing) and Mark (Emily) Tripepi, Jeanine (Matt) Petote, Eric, Steve (Jenna), Lenny (Victoria) and David Graf, Amelia (José) Martinez, Madeline, Marge and Emily Yousey, Noah, Andrew, and Sofia Centore, Ethan, Violet, and Elsa, and their mom, Val Graf, and Simon and Leo Graf; and great-grandchildren, Vincent and Gavin Fragola, and Evan Petote, as well as many much loved cousins, in-laws, nieces, nephews, and friends, especially his “extra kids,” Patri and Serge.
The family also thanks the loving caregivers that have helped us with Len's care. We all feel so blessed to have had such a wonderful man in our lives.
Calling hours will be Friday, June 4, 2021 from 4 – 7 pm at Edward J. Ryan and Son Funeral Home, 3180 Bellevue Avenue Syracuse NY 13219. A funeral mass in celebration of Len's life will be held on Saturday June 5, 2021 at 9:30am in St. Patrick's Church, 216 N. Lowell Ave Syracuse NY 13204. Burial will be in St. Agnes Cemetery.
Donations may be made to St. Patrick's St. Brigid's Food Pantry: 216 N. Lowell Ave. Syracuse, NY 13204 or CNY Alzheimer's Association; 441 W Kirkpatrick St, Syracuse, NY 13204To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Leonard Graf, please visit Tribute Store
3180 Bellevue Avenue
Syracuse, New York 13219
Phone: (315) 468-3443
Fax: (315) 468-6004
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