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William Davis Grafft
Dec. 9, 1929 - Feb. 5, 2014
Resident of Santa Clara
William Grafft died peacefully at home on Wednesday, February 5th following a battle with cancer.
Bill was born to Clark and Aileen Grafft in Ventura, CA and grew up with his sister, Anne in Sanger, CA. He attended the University of California at Berkeley where he was active in Student Government and Bowles Hall. He met Marilyn Church at a Bowles Hall dance and they were married the day after his graduation on June 16, 1951. Bill went on to receive his Masters and Doctorate from there as well. He joined the Navy in June 1952 and was discharged in September 1955 as a Lt. Commander but spent an additional nine years in the Reserves. Bill dedicated the rest of his life to his family and the public education system. He served as principal of Ralph Bunche School in Oakland and Glorietta Elementary in Orinda before becoming Asst. Superintendent of Orinda School District. Bill and Marilyn moved to Santa Clara in 1979 when he became Superintendent of Mountain View School District. He was a founding member of Moraga Valley Presbyterian Church and a member of Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church for 35 years. He spent hours on the tennis court, gardening, and enjoying summers in Lake Tahoe. Bill loved spending time with family and friends.
Bill was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Marilyn; is survived by daughter Kate Freeman and son-in-law Dean Freeman; Kate and Dean's children: Eric and Ali; son Paul Grafft and daughter-in-law Susan Grafft; Paul and Susan's children: Caroline, Gordon, and Kingsley Frazier; Kingsley's husband, Grant Frazier; and Kingsley and Grant's daughter, Marilyn Frazier.
A celebration of life will be held at Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church March 2nd at 1pm. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Bowles Hall Foundation or the Sunnyvale Presbyterian Memorial Fund.
Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on Feb. 13, 2014
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"Yesterday would have been your 85th birthday. Miss you, Daddy-o. It is such a joy to know you are..."
- Rev. Kate Freeman
"May your gentle soul rest in perfect peace."
- Martha Causey
"Bill and Mariyn and I go back to our undergrad days at Cal. I knew he was a special man then. I was so..."
"I will remember Dr. Grafft with great respect and affection. He treated all of his staff and teachers..."
- Lana Kimball
"Bill was always a gentleman and always kind to me. Luz Guerra"
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