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Catherin Artemas Graf

June 9, 1923 — May 23, 2023


Catherin Artemas Graf

Catherine Artemas (Brady) Graf passed away peacefully on the morning of May 23, 2023, in Kalamazoo, MI. She was born on June 9, 1923, in Unionville, MI and was the first child of Leon and Clara (Thomas) Brady. She grew up on the family dairy farm in Unionville, helping with chores and when she was old enough, delivering milk to people in town. She had a brother, Loren and a sister, Dolores and together, they had a wonderful life on the farm performing the daily tasks and playing games with each other when time allowed. They were a very fun family and loved to play practical jokes on each other. This humor would pass down to Cay’s children and their families. She graduated high school (at a one room schoolhouse) when she was 16 years old and went on to attend Michigan State College before it was a university. At that time, she wanted to be a nurse but was too young to apply. Life went on and eventually, she did fulfill her dream of becoming a nurse in 1951. Just prior to graduating, she lost her father to an accident. He was undoubtedly proud of his daughter.

Cay started dating the love of her life when her brother, Loren, introduced her to Donald Oscar Graf. They married in June of 1951 and had two children, Kent and Beth. The family lived on the Graf family farm. Don farmed until his father’s death in 1969. He then had a career at the Tuscola County Equalization Department and retired as the Director in 1989. Catherine worked in many nursing capacities including Nursing Administration at Bay Medical Center. She retired at 63 and enjoyed her free time reading, sewing, golfing, and traveling – she even had a hole in one in Florida. Don and Cay were lifelong members of the Unionville Moravian Church and attended regularly along with their children. Many activities were enjoyed with the church family.

When their kids were grown, Don and Cay spent time traveling home and abroad, visiting places like Hawaii, Aruba, Mexico, and Europe to mention a few. They bought a motorhome and traveled the US and Canada, making friends along the way. They spent 20 winters in Florida, where they traveled often and ended up buying a place at Live Oaks RV Park near Punta Gorda, FL. They golfed and had fun time with new made friends and enjoyed visits from the kids and the grandkids when they came along. They returned to the farm in the summers to the farm life of gardening and entertaining their grandchildren when they visited.

Don and Cay lived on the farm until 2012 when they moved to Portage, MI to be closer to their daughter, Beth. There Cay made good friends and one very special friend, Nancy Allen. They enjoyed playing cards and games together and with the other ladies at the apartment. Visits from the grandkids and great grandkids were highlights for her. Her fondest memories are family life on the farm, going to college, becoming a nurse, getting married, having children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Catherine is survived by her son Kent, his wife Lisa (Baur), her daughter Beth Wilson and husband Jeff Nugteren. Also surviving are 5 grandchildren, Kyle Graf, Danielle (Wilson) Rudd and husband Brian, Kelsey (Wilson) Jones and husband Luke, Janel Nugteren, Josh Nugteren and his wife Elizabeth (Lee). There are seven great grandchildren, Addison, Howard and Ryann Rudd, Florence Jones, Hunter and Korbin Nugteren and Kambree Boyd. These grandchildren and great grandchildren were the light of her life.

Catherine was preceded in death by her beloved Donald, her mother, father, brother, sister and their spouses. She had many good friends who preceded her in death as well. She will be greatly missed by many. Her family will always think of her as one of a kind and irreplaceable. A memorial will be held at the Unionville Moravian Church at a later date.

While visiting Catherine’s webpage at please sign the guestbook by lighting a candle, and/or sharing a memory with her family. The Graf family is being assisted by Avink Funeral Home and Cremation Society, 129 S. Grand Street, Schoolcraft, MI 49087. (269) 679-5622 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Catherin Artemas Graf, please visit our flower store.


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