Mary Kathryne (Nelson) Graff, 58, of Rainier, passed away on July 8, 2022 in Shiloh Basin, Oregon.
A viewing will be at 12:00 pm, July 13, 2022 at Rainier Jr/Sr High School library.
A funeral will proceed at 1:00 pm that same day in the Rainier School District auditorium. Bishop Marc Farmer of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints will officiate. Burial will follow at Hudson Cemetery. Arrangements are by Groulx Family Mortuary.
Mary was born in Baltimore, Maryland to David and Norma Nelson on November 4, 1963. She went to school at Kiona-Benton k-12 in Benton City, Washington. She married Dale Graff on December 22, 1984 in Salt Lake City, Utah. She graduated from Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah with an elementary education degree. She substituted in the Rainier district for many years while raising her young family and went back to school to earn her reading and literature certificate to become the librarian at Hudson Park Elementary school. She enjoyed sharing her love for reading with children and was asked to step into a middle school position as a reading teacher. She gracefully moved her passion for elementary books to YA books and inspired many students – both those who loved reading and those reluctant to reading.
Her grandchildren were the brightest flowers in her garden of life and she took great joy in making them ‘middle school famous.’ In the winter she could often be found on a couch with a child on her lap and another beside her – hefty piles of books scattered on all sides and on the floor. In the summer she loved sharing her garden of blueberries and strawberries with chubby hands and eager mouths that would come back inside stained blue.
Mary is preceded in death by her father, David Nelson; and sister, Loretta Nelson.
Mary is survived by her husband, Dale Graff; children: Jessica (Steve) Barnes, David Graff, Dorian Graff, and John Graff; grandchildren: Alaska, Talmage, Axton, Timber Barnes and Neveah Graff; mother: Norma Nelson; siblings: Mansel Nelson, Floyd Nelson, Ora Anthis, Joseph Nelson, Rebecca Martinez, David Nelson, Jennie Reid, Lydia Handley, and Gloria Prall.
In lieu of flowers, we ask that Mary’s legacy be honored by donations to the Hudson Park Elementary School Library. https://www.gofundme.com/f/childrens-books-in-honor-of-mary-graff?fbclid=IwAR0J58qhsvQX2AZaH8rLt3-rFXLsV7BUagxB1hZdXjXYS0l7VL87ZpECaZA