September 2, 2013

Sep. 01, 2013 @ 05:02 PM

William Hastings Graff Jr.

CHAPEL HILL — William Hastings Graff Jr., of Chapel Hill, NC, passed away peacefully on August 21, 2013. He was 85. He was preceded by his wife of 65 years, Hettie Westbrook Graff, who passed this life just before Mother’s Day, 2013. He is survived by his children, William, Richard and Cynthia; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
William was born in Philadelphia where he lived most of his life until retiring to North Carolina. He met and courted Hettie just after WWII. They eloped and were married in Baltimore on July 12, 1948. Although trained as an optical technician, he entered night school while his boys were still in elementary school. In 1962, he graduated with honors from Drexel Institute of Technology while his family looked on.
His working career covered nearly four decades as a civilian engineer for the Government working for both the Army and the Navy. His accomplishments included numerous defense projects related to anti-submarine warfare and listening devices during the cold war.
After retiring, he delighted in showing children the mysteries of optics, electricity and science while volunteering at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham. Hettie and Bill had an active life together and traveled much of Europe and the Caribbean. The best compliment to be given is that he did his job and took care of Mom. They had a life well lived.
Services will be at Church of the Holy Family, Chapel Hill, NC at 10 a.m., Saturday, September 7th.