Judy Graf, nee Curry, died peacefully on May 2, 2022 surrounded by family. She was a dedicated teacher & student and believed fervently in the power of lifelong education.
Judy grew up on the South Side of Chicago in Visitation Parish on Garfield Boulevard. She went to school in the parish, graduating from Visitation High School in 1953. Her father worked in city politics and government and she grew up surrounded by Irish politicians and never lost her love of talking politics.
She graduated from Marquette University in 1957 with a degree in Philosophy and Elementary Education and started teaching in the Chicago Public Schools. It was there she met one of her dearest friends, Dolly Toomey, and it was on a ski trip together that they both met their future husbands. Judy and Mike Graf were married on August 17, 1963 in what many of their friends still say was the best wedding they ever attended.
She continued teaching when she moved to South Bend until they started their family. They had three boys, John, Tim and Pat, and raised them in Corpus Christi Parish. Judy still occasionally substitute taught and was determined to get back to it. She took night classes and earned a Master of Science in Education, Counseling and Guidance from IUSB in 1980.
She went to work as an intern in the General Studies Department at IUSB and became an Academic Advisor, helping students turn their work experiences into college credits. Over the next 18 years she became an Adjunct Lecturer and Assistant Director of the Department. She helped well over a thousand students earn their associate and bachelor’s degrees, which brought such life-changing satisfaction and expanded opportunities for them and joy for her.
She retired in 2001 to a beautiful place on the St. Joe River with Mike enjoying the views, nature and entertaining friends, neighbors and grandchildren. She never stopped learning, reading voraciously and volunteering at Logan Center and Ronald McDonald House.
She was proceeded in death by her husband of 57 years, Mike and is survived by her sons, John Graf of Northfield, IL, Timothy Graf (Ronni) of Boca Raton, FL, and Patrick Graf (Kirsten) of Highland Park, IL; six grandchildren, Jack, Kathleen, Liam, Sam, Sophia, and Finn; her sister, Sheila Perkovich and her brother-in-law, Mark Perkovich, of Chicago. She is preceded in death by her father, Edmund Curry, and her mother, Catherine Scott Curry.
Visitation will be held Saturday May 7 at 12:30 PM at the St. Joseph Chapel by the Brothers of Holy Cross located at Holy Cross College. A memorial mass will follow immediately at 2 PM. The family asks that memorial tributes be made Ronald McDonald House and the Logan Center. Kaniewski Funeral Home is handling arrangements. To send online condolences, please visit www.kaniewski.com
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