Robert Francis Graff (1931 - 2011)

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  • "Dear Helori and family, I was sorry to read about the..."
  • "Dear Ones, I worked for Mr Graff at ArtCraft Printers..."
    - Lindie Gibson
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Robert Francis Graff was born March 3, 1931, in Oakland, Calif., to Francis Rufus Graff and Anona Parsons Graff. He died Jan. 3, 2011, in Lakeside, Ore.

He grew up in Seattle and looked forward to summers at the family's home on the Nestucca River near the Oregon coast. He attended the University of Washington and the University of Oregon before being drafted during the Korean Conflict. While in the Army, he served at the Presidio of San Francisco in the printing division, making maps and followed his father and grandfather as printers.

When his Army service ended, he followed his family to Butte, where his father owned Ashton Engraving. Robert attended Montana Tech before beginning to work for Treasure State Industries as the graphics manager.

While flying throughout Montana, he especially enjoyed the fishing and scenery around Bozeman and purchased an interest in Artcraft Printers. He introduced offset printing to the facility and went on to acquire total ownership of that company and expand it to Great Falls, Missoula, Butte and Billings.

While living in Bozeman, he was a member of the Rotary Club, Elks Lodge, Riverside Country Club, Bozeman Investment Group, Partners Investment Group and the Bagdad Scooter Patrol. He was a founding director of First Citizens Bank and served on the board of First Interstate Bank after it acquired First Citizens Bank.

He was appointed to a Governor's Committee on Printing in Montana State Offices and traveled extensively for meetings of that committee.

His love for fishing continued and when he traveled always had a fishing rod or two in his car. He married Helori McGehee on March 1, 1963, and together they fished rivers and lakes in many countries from bonefish in the flats of Belize to Char standing on the pontoons of float planes in Arctic lakes. They traveled in their plane all over North and South America and traveled extensively in foreign lands.

He retired from Artcraft Printers in 2000, and began to spend a great deal of time in Oregon where he especially enjoyed fishing for steelhead.

He is survived by, his wife, Helori Graff, and their daughters, Robin Graff Evans and her daughter, Taylor Leigh Evans, Holly Graff Rotar and her husband, Michael Rotar and their son, Harrison Francis Rotar.

Two daughters from a previous marriage, Christine K. Nelson and Leslie S. (Gordon) Lemon, also survive, as does Robert's first wife, Sondra Nelson.

Two sisters, Katy Slyt, her husband John and children, Steven (Lisa) Worcester, Stephanie (Dan) Duce and Suzanne Worcester (Steve Moore), and Liz Williams, her husband Dennis and children, Marge (Tim) Buster and Nicole (Ty) Bryant survive Robert.

Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 22, at St. James Episcopal Church in Bozeman.

Local services are in the care of Dokken Nelson Funeral Service;

Memorial donations may be made to the Heart of the Valley Animal Shelter, 1549 E. Cameron Bridge Road, Bozeman, MT 59718; to the Gallatin Historical Society and Pioneer Museum, 317 E. Main St., Bozeman, MT 59715; or to a charity of the donor's choice.

Funeral Home
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
(406) 587-3184
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Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Jan. 16, 2011
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