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September 25, 1933 ~ October 12, 2018 (age 85)
Bernadette Marie Graff, 85, passed away with dignity and grace on October 12, 2018.
Bernadette was born in West Grove, Pennsylvania on September 25, 1933 to Thomas Francis and Alice Elizabeth (Slade) Hickey. Growing up as one of four children, Bernadette attended elementary through high school in Watsontown, Pennsylvania. She went on to earn her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
During college, Bernadette worked for WLYC radio station in Williamsport. She met and interviewed Milton E. Graff, who was playing baseball for the Williamsport Grays at the time, during a sports segment. She and Milt were married on January 25, 1956. During the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, Bernadette traveled with her husband during his professional baseball career. She always enjoyed Spring Training with her family. The pair were blessed with four children and four grandchildren. She was involved in all of her grandchildren’s activities, attending their performances and games. Her parting words of wisdom to her family and friends were, “Make your own decisions and make them good ones.” Bernadette’s life was a gift to her family and her community.
Bernadette was a passionate teacher and a loyal wife and mother. She taught high school English for 45 years, celebrating her 80th birthday in her classroom. Students remember her for her quick wit and sass! She was respected by her fellow teachers for her dedication. In her free time, Bernadette enjoyed gardening, antiquing, putting together jigsaw puzzles, and reading. She enjoyed annual beach excursions to Anna Maria Island in Florida. Bernadette lived a life full of faith, and was a longtime parishioner of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in College Station. She often extended, “Peace be with you” to others. Quick-witted to the end, she affirmed that the day she died was “the best day of my life! I’m going Home!”
Bernadette was as generous as she was courageous, and she will be profoundly missed by all. She leaves behind her four children: Diane I. Gillum, Gail A. Anders and husband Robert, Cecilia M. Sallee and husband Derrick, Stephen E. Graff; her four grandchildren: Kelsey A. Thomas, Bailey M. Gillum, Ty E. Sallee, and Brady L. Gillum; her sisters Elizabeth E. Dennen and Mary A. Brouse; and numerous nieces and nephews. She is reunited with her husband Milt, her grandson Dylan J. Sallee, her brother Eugene P. Hickey, and her parents Thomas and Alice Hickey.
To honor Bernadette’s life, her family has planned a memorial service to take place Friday, October 19, 2018 at 10 AM at Hillier Funeral Home of College Station.