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Obituary for Doris Patricia Graves
Patti Graves was born on March 7,1927 in the Ramona Hospital of San Bernardino County, California to Hans Michael “Bjorck” Burck and Hazel Spade Doolittle Burck. She was a 5 pound 15 ounce blue eyed, brown haired bundle of happiness. She was Baptized on Easter (April 8th) 1928 at the 1st Congregational church of San Bernardino. She was a happy active child until she contracted Whooping Cough at the age of three. During an intense period of coughing her ductus arteriosus re-opened and she became a blue child, unable to get enough oxygen into her blood to support active play. Patti became confined to a wheel chair and spent the next ten years of her life as an invalid in fear of losing her life. She found solace in learning to play the piano. At the age of 13 her parents sold half their growing printing business to afford the costs of flying a surgeon out from the New York Children’s hospital to perform life saving open heart surgery. Patti is the third surviving ductus arteriosus closure patient on the west coast.
After returning to health Patti continued to study music (Piano, Organ, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, and Saxophone) and became active in High school activities and was a member of the Spanish club, local Honor Society California Scholarship Federation and the Aeolian Club. She graduated with honors from San Bernardino High School in May, 1945.
She graduated from San Bernardino Community College with an Associate of Arts degree in 1947. While at community college Patti was active in the Spanish and French clubs, Alpha Gamma Sigma Society and the Phi Lambda Delta Music fraternity. She attended San Jose State in 1947 to earn a secondary teaching degree, marched as one of the first females allowed in the San Jose State band, competed to play the college clarion (won), was inducted into Phi Mu Epsilon (National Music Sorority), met Stephen in 1948 and married him in 1949. She graduated from San Jose in April of 1949 with a BA in music and teaching.
Patti and Steve moved to Alameda where they both got teaching jobs. They stayed in Alameda teaching and raising children till 1957 when they moved back to San Bernardino as Stephen had gotten a job at Norton Air force Base. Their final three children were born in San Bernardino. Patti converted and was accepted into the Episcopal tradition at the Pentecost service in 1958. Pattie loved being a mother, music teacher and church organist. She formed lifelong friendships with many of their neighbors in San Bernardino, friendships that survived the move in 1964 to Kaysville, Utah, when Stephen was transferred there.
Utah was hard on Patti! She found solace in her Episcopal community of St. Peter’s, playing the organ, teaching Sunday school, leading 4-H groups, writing her friends in California and working on her scrapbooks. Patti and Stephen bought their land up the Chetco River in 1968. The family spent summers camping on the lot and Patti dreamed of moving to the coast. After working as a Rural Postal Carrier from 1968 till 1976, she worked for the Salvation Army. Patti returned to College in 1978 and earned a Masters Degree in Special Education in 1979. She worked as a Special Education Teacher during the day and the Internal Revenue Service for the swing shift, retiring in 1983. Finally in 1984 Patti and Stephen moved to their beloved Cottage on the Chetco. Patti joined “The Native Daughter’s of the Golden West” in 1993 in Crescent City. She served as the Organist from 1994 until 2006 for the Crescent City Chapter.
Spending days planting flowers, clearing coastal trails, digging a well and building their home and traveling all over in their trailer made Patti very happy. She loved the sun in summer, the rain in winter and the lovely folks of Brookings all the time. She was an active volunteer at the Library, the humane society and the woman’s guild at St. Timothy’s. She helped start the food bank in the basement of St. Timothy’s.
She loved having her Grandchildren over for the summers, teaching them to love nature and the coast as she did. She visited all the covered bridges in Oregon getting to the last one in Bend last September. She loved to ride trains and many of her favorite memories were of train trips with Stephen. She was scheduled to take a train trip to Chicago on May 19th. Instead she took that last train ride at 12:10 am on May 10th with Stephen to Heaven where she is playing in the dance band, directing the choir and deeply loving all God’s children.
Survivors include her sons Michael Burck Graves, Lawrence Dunstan Graves; daughters Lois Rebekah Graves Marks, Jennifer Lynn Graves Hammargren, Mary Patricia Graves Lund; foster sons Mahendra Modi and Terry Carothers; foster daughters Annette Bomberg and Lori Reynolds; one goddaughter and three godsons, six grandchildren and one great grandson.
Patti was preceded in death by her parents, husband and an adopted sister, Jessie Marie Lockett.
Memorial Contributions may be made to the South coast Humane Society, P.O. Box 7833, Brookings, OR 97415, or to the St. Timothy's Episcopal Church "Lift" fund, P.O. Box 1237, Brookings, OR 97415.
A memorial service for the community has been held. A family memorial service will be held at a later date.