Dr. William R. Graf
{ "" }
Share William's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
William R. Graf, DVM, of Rutland, passed away suddenly on Saturday, April 8, 2017, while attempting to rescue his beloved Jack Russell, "GiGi," from Lefferts Pond.
Bill was born Aug. 25, 1923, to Swiss parents and settled in the United States just prior to World War II, along with his brother, Hans, and sister, Elsbeth.
He attended Penn State University and later studied at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. He owned and practiced at Manor Animal Hospital in Lancaster, PA, for over 50 years.
Bill "Doc" was a U.S. Navy pilot during World War II while still a teenager.
Bill "Doc" was a true renaissance man, he loved photography, was a professional ski instructor, spoke two languages and was an accomplished athlete.
Bill "Doc" started his marathoning career at the young age of 50. He ran the Boston Marathon 13 times, the New York City Marathon and the Marine Corps marathon with his son, Bill R. Graf II. He competed in triathlons into his 70s.
Bill "Doc" loved life, believed age was only a number and enjoyed hiking and snowshoeing at Lefferts Pond every day.
He leaves behind his beloved wife of 58 years, Carol; a son, Dr. William Graf II, an officer in the United States Navy, and his wife, Cindy; a daughter, Kelly, and partner Ana; along with dear friends, Mike Johnson and Laura.
In honor of Dr. Graf, please consider donating to an animal rescue or shelter. He would want you to remember to hug the people you love tonight and tell them you love them.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, April 13, 2017, at 11 a.m. at Clifford Funeral Home in Rutland.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Rutland Herald from Apr. 11 to Apr. 12, 2017.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
View Printed Guest Book
15 entries
April 26, 2017
Such a dear and kind vet to our dog. Dr. Bill would come out to the car to give Tanny her shots as she hated going into the office. He has gone beyond the Rainbow Bridge to give loving care to all the animals there. May God grant him eternal peace.
Gee Kalasky
April 16, 2017
Dear Carol, I'm so sorry about Bills passing and GiGi ..I'm in myrtle beach and won't be home until Friday.. sorry to miss the funeral but will call you after I get back. My heart is broken for you and I'm thinking of you.. I know how much you loved them both..Linda Flynn
Linda Flynn
April 16, 2017
I, also,worked for Dr. Graf as a young teenager. As this was my first job, I learned so many things. From answering the phone, bathing the animals and assisting with the birth of new born kittens. I will be forever grateful for his patience and kindness. We brought home our Schnauzer, Pixie, from his office one day, as Pixie was a baby and looking for a new home! So sorry to hear of the family's loss. Good memories of a very nice man!
Donna ( Mayer) Millhouse
Donna Millhouse
April 15, 2017
RIP Dr Graf and GiGi. You sound like an amazing man, wish I could have known you and your beloved GiGi. My sincere condolences to your family.
Mary K
April 15, 2017
Dr Graf gave me my first job at age 15. I love animals so where else would I want to work but the closest animal hospital to my childhood home. I was a kennel attendent until his vet tech left. Dr Graf brought me into surgeries teaching and showing me things I would have never been able to see if it hadnt been for this wonderful man. I will never forget my experiences with Dr. Graf. A true animal lover!! Thank you for giving me this opportunity at such a young age. To this day my love for animals continues and my own daughter is going into an animal related career. The sadness brings me to tears knowing Dr Graf was rescuing his best friend and loyal companion his dog. In his favorite place the outdoors. Two things he loved the most animals and the outdoors! You will be missed!
Joanne Fatta
April 15, 2017
He has been missed in Lancdaster. Fellow skier
Bob Nace
April 14, 2017
Dear Graf family and loved ones,

I have just learned of Dr. Graf's passing from my brother and sister-in-law who reside in New England. Tears have welled up in my eyes, as I write, as I was one who was fortunate enough to have worked for Dr. Graf for about thirteen years back in the 70's & 80's before leaving only because I felt that I was to pursue ministry endeavors in my life.

Dr. Graf was an amazing veterinarian who went to great lengths to care for each and every beloved pet who came to his practice.

I recall one time, when I was driving by the clinic late at night, I saw that, out of the ordinary, the surgery room light on so I thought I would stop in to see what was going on so late, perhaps he needed some assistance.

There he was, by himself, just finishing doing surgery on a dog who was probably someone's pet, but unfortunately did not have any identification on him at all. Dr. Graf had been out running, as he often did several times a day when he was training for the marathons that he raced, and he found this poor dog who had been hit by a car, laying in pain along the side of the road, unable to get up and walk.

Dr. Graf had arrived home and immediately had gone back out with his vehicle to pick up the dog to take him back to his hospital so he could do the surgery necessary to help him survive and heal. And, the dog did heal up well, with Dr. Graf's generosity and excellent care, and after a time when an owner could not be located, Dr. Graf found him a new home where he was very well loved.

I remember these sort of things taking place more than just a few times. We often were able to find stray or injured animals new homes when they had no where to go. I loved that about him, he never gave up and always did all that he could for the animals in his care.

This is the essence of who he was - such a great man - and, his expertise was bar none. Everything he did, he did with excellence. He inspired many, including me. He was a very giving person and it showed every day.

I witnessed his deep love for his wonderful family and he was so very proud of his children - he talked about them often, it was very obvious how much he loved his wife and children and extended family members.

Carol, Bill, Cindy, and Kelly, and loved ones ~ I am so sorry to hear of Dr. Graf's passing in this tragic manner, yet while doing what he did best - caring so much and absolutely doing all he possibly could for one of his loved ones, this one, his beloved GiGi.

It was a great honor to have worked for Dr. Graf and I am so thankful for all that he taught me, both about animal care and life itself, during my years working at Manor Animal Hospital.

I have always cherished my time spent working for Dr. Graf. I have so many wonderful memories of he and his family, co-workers, his well-loved pets, (I particularly remember Ray, his beautiful English Setter and running partner at that time, among others), our beloved, rescued and adopted 'office cats' (Ben, Corey, and Rosanna) and his many clients there at Manor Animal Hospital. Dr. Graf will always be fondly remembered by everyone who knew him.

Please know that all of you and your loved ones are in my thoughts and prayers.
Laurie Riggs
April 14, 2017
April 13, 2017
A life well lived and a man well loved. .. RIP Doc Graf. You were an amazing human being, the skies will shine a bit brighter tonight as you burn bright in heaven.
Thomas Burns
April 12, 2017
Bill was a fine colleague of the veterinary community in Lancaster, PA for many years. We, too, will miss him. Dr. Don Herr and Trish Thomson.
April 12, 2017
Dear Graf family, I did not know your beloved family member but I'm so saddened to learn of his passing with his beloved Gigi. I remember meeting him once with Gigi and having a chat when he came into my place of work. They both left such a nice impression on me that I never forgot them and I was really affected hearing such sad news. I hope you and dear friends Mike and Laura will be comforted that he had such a full life and was able to do what he loved. My thoughts are with you all. Michele Douglas, Rutland Veterinary Clinic and Surgical Center
Michele Douglas
April 12, 2017
A truly great person and a great example of a life well lived.
Greg McCormack
April 12, 2017
Carol and family,
Bill was a wonderful man and we are so sorry for your loss! May he Rest In Peace and may his memories bring you comfort.
Roy and Mary Layn
April 12, 2017
Dear Carol,
So very sorry to read about the loss of Bill.Know I'm thinking of you and your family.
Sincerely, Jan Lloyd
Janice Lloyd
April 11, 2017
Dr. Graf,
My kids and I will never forget you. You were the best neighbor and grandfather we could have ever asked for. Being able to see and talk to you everyday was a blessing! You helped us alot and we tried to help you as much as possible as well. We will miss your smile, but will cherish all our pictures. To Mrs Graf we will be here for whatever you need. You won't be alone. To Kelly and Bill I'm so sorry. We will all see him again soon. My condolences to everyone.
Love, Misty, louie, haley, Keira and Dominic Senecal.
Misty Senecal
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences