Arno William McGraw Jr.

Obituary
  • "To Susan, Molly and Bill, my mom and dad, Bill and Helen..."
    - Kathy McDowell
  • "Wonderful, special memories will always remain of the many..."
    - Karen Bierly
  • "Robert Louis Stevenson.18501894 15.Requiem UNDERthe wide..."
    - Jack Cowan
  • "Thanks for your service"
  • "Bill and his father were great people. I worked for them..."
    - Larry Tanner

Surrounded by Jan, his wife of 73 years and his immediate family, Arno William "Bill" McGraw Jr. passed peacefully into the next phase of life on the evening of Nov. 3, 2017. Although he jousted with the complications of advancing age for a time as a Glenmoor resident, his conscious choice to decline extraordinary medical intervention ultimately brought him happiness, relief and peace. At 93 years of age, he believed it was his time… it was past time… "I'm late!" he said.
Known to many as Bill, he spent the best of his early years in the Boy Scouts along the Ohio River, then at West Virginia University for a brief period before the attack on Pearl Harbor. There, he fell for a pretty sorority girl, the "Moonshine Queen" of 1941, and didn't forget her during his Naval Aviator flight training. At an advanced training assignment at NAS JAX, he married that woman, Janis Barnard McGraw, and soon after found himself in combat in the Pacific to secure Iwo Jima, the Bonin Islands, Rota and Saipan, flying off a number of aircraft carriers with VF-2. He was in the air over the USS Missouri when the Japanese surrendered to General MacArthur on Sept. 2, 1945.
As an entrepreneur in the heavy equipment manufacturing industry during his diligent and fruitful business career, he and Jan retired to Boca Raton after selling his company in the 1970s. Soon afterwards, they fell in love with the natural environment of north Florida, and returned to the area their marriage began to build a new home on the beach at Amelia Island Plantation. As their needs evolved, they relocated in 2008 to the Glenmoor community in St. Augustine where they continued to host their friends new and old, and enjoy their three grown children, Susan, Molly and Mack… and their many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
The family is doing well, led by Bill's final encouragements to experience his passing positively. They will attend a private service at Glenmoor, with a celebration of Bill's well-lived journey to be held at a later date.
St. Johns Family Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Funeral Home
St. John's Family Funeral Home & Crematory
385 SR 207
St. Augustine, FL 32084
(904) 824-1625
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Published in St. Augustine Record on Nov. 12, 2017