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 Marion Rose <I>Goetz</I> Graff

Marion Rose Goetz Graff

Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Death 7 Jul 2000 (aged 78)
La Jolla, San Diego County, California, USA
Burial Body donated to medical science
Memorial ID 63195506 · View Source
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Marion was born the oldest of 4 children in Los Angeles. Faith and family were always most important in her life.

She grew up in Our Mother of Sorrows Catholic Church in Los Angeles. As a teenager she joined the Chi Rho Club where she met the love of her life, Albert Graff.

World War II interrupted their plans, but after Albert finished his time working for General Electric in Schenectady, New York, he returned to Los Angeles and they were married in 1947. They had 5 children over the next 13 years and settled in Rancho Santa Fe, California in 1958.

She lived the life of a wife and mother in the 1960s and 1970s and celebrated the birth of her grandchildren from 1979 to 1983.

She also lived with chronic health problems that caught up with her in 2000. On July 7, 2000, she let go and returned to the God who created her. Earlier she was surrounded by her family. She insisted we all go to dinner together and we were celebrating when she passed. It was as if she planned the whole thing.

She joked that she always wanted to go to college, and as her last act of generosity she directed that her body be donated to the UCSD Medical School. She lives, not only in the lives of those who loved her, but in the education of the next generation of doctors.

I'm Marion's son-in-law. These are the words I spoke at her funeral on July 14, 2000:

“You know,” she used to say to me, “my mother always told me that this was never meant to be Heaven on earth.” This morning, as much as any other time, I believe it. It’s still hard, a week later, to realize that she’s gone; that we can’t pick up the phone and call, or drop by and find her in her room, lying in bed with a Dodgers game on and various piles of correspondence surrounding her.

I guess part of what makes it hard to believe is that she’s always been here. God blessed her with 78 years here, and God blessed us with that too. As I’m sure many of you know, she was born in Los Angeles, the oldest of four children. And no matter what happened in her life, she never forgot where she came from or who was important to her. When Nancy and I were engaged I mentioned to Marion about my interest in genealogy. I can’t tell you how excited she was to hear this and we spent most of an afternoon where she told me about her family while I was madly scribbling, trying to keep up. One of the pictures you saw as you came in is a photograph of her mother’s family; it was probably taken about 1915. She loved that photograph and had it framed and hanging in her house.

I know it’s never fair to try to reduce somebody’s whole life to a single word, but when I think of Marion, I think of the word communion, and think of it on several levels.

Certainly one level is her faith. So much of her life was shaped by her belief and life as a Catholic and we all know the importance of Eucharist as the center of that life. There aren’t many of us who haven’t heard about the Chi Ro (Young Adult) Club at Our Lady of Sorrows Church; of Fr. O’Donnell, Fr. O’Gorman and all of the lifelong friends that were made there. And heard how she was the president of the transportation committee because she was the only one who had a car. And know that she met Al, her husband of 52 years, there. We saw how her faith continued to serve her first as she raised her 5 children in the faith, and later how she took on her role as a deacon’s wife (something that didn’t even exist for most of her life).

Another aspect of this communion is simply how involved she was in the lives of so many of us. You saw the collage her granddaughters assembled on your way in. In addition to the immense number of pictures we found in her room, you have no idea how many cards, letters, and notes we made our way through. Marion’s death was indeed a black day for the United States Post Office. The people she knew, the experiences she had, were all threads in the tapestry of her life:

There was the time she met Tommy LaSorta, manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and told him that she bled Dodger Blue. Is Tommy here today? Oh well, his loss. There was the trip to Europe she made with Al in the spring of 1963; the account is preserved in her travelogue. We all have these stories, and part of why we are here to share them with one another.
And if I can be so presumptive to speak on behalf of her sons-in-law and daughters-in-law, let me say this: I’ve been moved beyond words by her generosity, kindness, hospitality, and love.

These last few weeks of her life were not easy ones, for her or for us. We all road this roller coaster of good news/bad news where the good news was never good enough, and the bad news eventually won. But we are grateful that she was still with us, and still Marion, during that suffering. When the doctor suggested she be placed on a ventilator to help her breathe, she told him in no uncertain terms that she was in charge and he was not going to do that. But she also didn’t give up. There was never a time where she stopped fighting for life. There was also never a time where she stopped being grateful. I’ve lost count of how many people were in and out of her room: doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, nurse’s aides, nutritionists, and the lot, and I remember how grateful she was to all of them for taking such good care of her. We had quite a laugh the night she motioned for Al and said: “These people are so nice; we should give them a big pile of money.”

One of the days when they were trying to find a way to feed her and allow her to breathe, Dr. Banargee and David got together and devised a way to thread the feeding tube through the oxygen mask. Dr. Banargee started wheeling in the equipment for this and said: “I’m going to do this; I’m on a mission!”

She was on a mission too; she was also concerned for us. “How are you doing today? Have you eaten?” This from someone who couldn’t come off the oxygen mask long enough to eat. The night after she died, her husband, all of her children and children-in-law as well as two of her grandchildren gathered and shared the evening together. We laughed, cried, swapped stories, and connected with each other. She wouldn’t have it any other way.

Our consolation is that she is no longer suffering. She is now enjoying the banquet feast of Heaven along with her parents, her brothers Jim and Tom, and countless other friends and family, and dogs beyond counting. She is gardening and cooking, walking strong and breathing deeply, meeting new friends and looking up old ones. And God wouldn’t have it any other way.

Family Members


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  • Created by: Esperer
  • Added: 21 Dec 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 63195506
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Marion Rose Goetz Graff (11 Feb 1922–7 Jul 2000), Find A Grave Memorial no. 63195506, ; Maintained by Esperer (contributor 47018837) Body donated to medical science.