B. Ann Grafe, 92, died in Vancouver, Washington on September 14, 2022. She was born Beverley Ann Bacon in Portland, Oregon, on April 8, 1930, the only child of Velma Ella Henson Bacon and Theodore Roosevelt Bacon. By the time Ann was eight years old, her mother was a single parent whose mother and father owned restaurants in several small towns in the coastal range of Oregon and provided extra hands in raising their granddaughter.
Adopted by her stepfather, Beverley Ann Scharf graduated in the class of 1947 from Thomas Jefferson High School in Portland and went to work at Shell Oil Company. She attended college at Oregon State University, where she met Willis Raymond Grafe. They married on April 26, 1952, at Piedmont United Methodist Church in Portland.
During the couple’s first years together, Willis worked year-round for Oregon’s Bureau of Public Roads (BPR), spending construction seasons in the field, their first being at Glacier National Park in a dry cabin while Willis worked as an engineer on Going-to-the-Sun Road. Their sons David Raymond and Steven LeRoy were born in Lebanon while the couple were stationed in Steamboat and Alma. While Willis and Ann were living on a job site in Veneta, Carolyn Marie was born in Eugene. When Willis was relocated to the Salem office of the Bureau of Public Roads in 1958, the couple bought five acres on the Willamette River, where they resided when Sandra Louise and Mary Elizabeth were born.
The couple tended a one-acre garden, a pear orchard, and a Christmas tree farm. Ann was a homemaker whose life was filled with providing loving care for five children, canning, camping and hiking as a member of the Chemeketans, sewing, leading a 4H entomology club (where she gained the nickname, “The Bug Lady”), and occasionally finding time to do watercolor painting and sketching.
In 1969, Willis and Ann moved to the Washington DC office with the Federal Highway Administration. When Ann was not transporting kids to band or orchestra or Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, the family spent weekends in museums, on historical sites, and at monuments all along the eastern seaboard as well as hosting family and friends from Oregon. Ann took up quilting, and she and Willis served as youth group advisors.
Willis chose early retirement in 1976 so the family could return to Oregon, and they moved to Albany. Once all the kids were launched, Willis retired a second time and the empty nesters relocated to Woodburn in 1994. Ann was an active member of a Portland-based celiac support group. She also converted to the Eastern Orthodox faith and was active in the Greek Orthodox parish in Salem. Upon losing Willis in 2016, Ann immediately moved to Cascade Park Retirement Center in Woodburn for independent living. In 2020, she went to live with daughter Carolyn in Vancouver, Washington. Following hospitalization with pneumonia in October of 2021, Ann was moved to Cedars View Adult family Home in Brush Prairie, Washington. She passed away peacefully on September 14, 2022, at the age of 92 years.
Ann was preceded in death by her husband of 64 years, Willis; son-in-law Gordon Patterson and grandson, Jonathan Patterson. She is survived by her children David Grafe, Steven Grafe (Christina), Carolyn Patterson, Sandra Glahn (Gary), Mary McLaughlin (Mark); brothers Roger Bacon (Gail) and Scott Bacon (Jackie); grandchildren Heather Heck (Chris), Roy Grafe, Caleb Patterson, Julia Loring (Josh), Alexandra Glahn, Devin Bybel (Peter), and Erin McLaughlin; great grandchildren Beck and Leni Bybel; and beloved niece and nephews: Nancy Barker (George); Marc Grafe (Alicia), Rod Grafe (Pam), and Bruce Taylor.
Ann’s favorite verse was from Joshua 1: “Be strong and of good courage. Be not afraid. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”