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Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018
2:00 PM
Cypress Lawn Memorial Park
1370 El Camino Real
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Maudee Graves


1926 - 2018 Obituary Condolences Flowers
Maudee Graves Obituary
Maudee James Graves

January 29, 1926 - October 4, 2018

Maudee, a third-generation Californian whose parents married in Paris, spent the first 6 years of her life in France.

Her mother (a descendent of early San Francisco-Stern Grove homesteader George M. Greene), Roberta Hewson Graves, was also a silent movie star who worked with Charlie Chaplin and was under contract with Cecil B. DeMille.

Maudee inherited her mother's theatrical talents which she used as a member of the Ross Valley Players and other charitable groups throughout her life. She was also a prize-winning painter and soprano, who loved playing her gilded Steinway inherited from her grandmother.

An accomplished horsewoman, Maudee loved decorating, gardening and her many pets. She was a history buff after tracing her lineage to Charlemagne, Princess Diana Spencer and Sir Winston Churchill.

Maudee is the great-granddaughter of pre-Gold Rush California pioneer and cattle baron, Jefferson Gilbert James. His San Joaquin Valley property, "Tranquillity," was the largest ranch in California history.

James' only surviving child was Maudee's grandmother and namesake: Maude Strother James Graves who married Walker Coleman Graves, an Assistant District attorney and bank President, once bested in a San Francisco mayoral race by Adolph Sutro. The couple's Scott Street home, site of numerous philanthropic and society fetes, was known as, "The Pink Palace."

Their son was Maudee's father, Colonel Jefferson James Graves. During WWI he fought in France with the "California Grizzlies" Field Artillery Company. He volunteered for WWII working at the Pentagon with Generals Eisenhower and Patton.

After spending the last 22 years in Petaluma at her historic Julia Morgan-home, Maudee returned to her roots on the Kings River at the family "Oak Shadows Ranch." There she spent her final days surrounded by family, fondly recalling childhood memories of the working cattle ranch and her father's prized racehorse, "Heroism."

Maudee was preceded in death by her spouses James Oliver Murdock, Jack "Baker" Willcutt, John Vigurs, Linn Alexander and Peter Carlisle; a grandson, Anton Winston Spencer Bakker; and great-granddaughter, Bailey Paige Willcutt.

She is survived by her brother Jefferson James Graves Jr. and his family; three daughters: Katharine "Kaylea" Murdock Bakker (Peter), Maudee "Tres" Willcutt, Roberta "Bobbin" Willcutt; as well as grandchildren, Kimberly Quinlan Bakker and Joshua James Willcutt, (Lindsey); great-grandchildren, Cheyenne Bree Willcutt, Brody James Willcutt, Quinlan Antoinette Bakker and great-great granddaughter Paisley Willcutt.

Maudee was deeply loved by her family and many friends, She will be greatly missed but her legacy of beauty, grace and dignity will always be remembered. A private memorial was held at Cypress Lawn where Maudee is interned in her family plot.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to: The Anton Bakker Memorial Scholarship Fund-St. Ignatius College Prep. 2001 37th Ave, SF, CA 94116 https://www.siprep.org/giving

Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Oct. 14, 2018
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