|Birth: ||Aug. 6, 1918|
North Dakota, USA
|Death: ||Jul. 11, 1989|
Willard Pershing Graber was born on the 6 August 1918 the tenth child of Kit Carson Graber (1875-1962) and Iva Mae McKeehan (1879-1950), in Cooperstown, Griggs Co., North Dakota.
In 1936, Willard, along with his parents and some of his siblings, left North Dakota came to live in Linn Co., Oregon. In 1937, he enlisted in the Oregon National Guard and was assigned to the 249th Coast Artillery Regiment. After serving three years on a part-time basis, Willard was honorably discharged at the rank of Private First Class in 1940.
On August 30, 1941, Willard married Mae Hauser (1923-1989), the daughter of Leroy Houser (1886-1963) and Eunice Rutledge (1897-1971), in Vancouver, Clark Co., Washington. Although their marriage ended in divorce in 1945, Willard and Mae had one son together, Roger Victor Graber (1942-1997), who was later adopted by Mae's second husband.
On the 8 October 1943, Willard enlisted into the Army Air Corps at the rank of Private. Most of his service during WWII was spent in training to be a Pilot, first at the College Training Detachment at George Peabody College, then at Carlstrom Field in Arcadia, Florida. Because the Army Air Corps had enough pilots, many Pilot training programs were closed. Willard was sent to the Las Vegas Aerial Gunnery School, where he trained to be an Aerial Gunner. He was eventually sent to Harlingen Army Air Field in Texas, where he completed his service as a Supply Clerk. He was discharged in 1945 at the rank of Private First Class (PFC).
On the 13 December 1947, he married Alice Lucretia (Wellin) Lapham (1916-1985), the daughter of William Percy Wellin (1895-1977) and Lois Beatrice Agee (1897-1983), in Portland, Oregon. Following their marriage, they lived in the Portland area, as well as in Albany, where Willard helped raise Alice's three daughters from her previous marriage: Gloria, Margaret, and Jacqueline. They also had two daughters together: Sharolyn Iva Graber (1948-1970) and Marla Jean Graber (1952-2007). While in Oregon, Willard worked as a Fireman for the Milwaukie Fire Department; and as a contractor building homes.
In about 1962, Willard and Alice moved to Westminster, California. There Willard worked as a Quality Control Inspector in the Machinist industry, owning and operating Graber Engineering for a while. In 1985, Willard's beloved wife, Alice, passed away. On the 11 February 1987, he married Dorothy Gertrude (Prescher) Hastings in Los Vegas, Clark Co., Nevada. Willard passed away on the 11 July 1989, nearly four years after Alice. He was buried beside her in Westminster Memorial Park.
Kit Carson Graber (1875 - 1962)
Iva Mae McKeehan Graber (1879 - 1950)
Mae Houser Hayes (1923 - 1989)
Alice Lucretia Wellin Graber (1916 - 1985)*
Sharolyn Iva Graber Rush (1948 - 1970)*
Franklin Herbert Graber (1895 - 1970)*
Velma May Graber Smith (1898 - 1967)*
Joseph Carson Graber (1910 - 1955)*
Kermit Custer Graber (1911 - 1987)*
Gail Woodrow Graber (1913 - 1996)*
Noel Dwight Graber (1915 - 1989)*
Irma Evelyn Graber Foley (1916 - 2006)*
Willard Pershing Graber (1918 - 1989)
Gordon Ladd Graber (1921 - 1988)*
Westminster Memorial Park
Created by: William
Record added: Feb 26, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 13445060