Lena Bea Graf
Funeral services for Mancos resident Lena Bea Graf were held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 15, at Mesa Trails Cowboy Church, 221 W. Menefee, Mancos. Interment was in Webber Cemetery.
Lena Bea (Mize) Graf was born in Clovis, N.M., on Sept. 3, 1921, to William H. and Nancy (Stone) Mize. She went to be with her Lord on Aug. 12, 2013, at the age of 91, just days short of her 92nd birthday.
Bea was raised on a homestead in Curry County, N.M., before and during the Great Depression. She often told stories about the store and post office that her father operated during that period. She repeatedly said that her children’s generation could not fathom the difficulties and suffering that Americans endured through those times. Her father frequently provided assistance to neighbors and those traveling the rails in search of jobs. Bea inherited her father’s generous spirit, offering help, meals, clothing, hand-made quilts, and hospitality to friends and strangers alike.
Like most women raised in the south, Bea was a marvelous cook. She could make a sumptuous feast in a short time and with whatever she had on hand.
Bea loved music, and taught herself to read music, play the piano and other instruments at an early age. Singing was also a passion, and Bea had an excellent alto voice. Family gatherings were characterized by hours of practice, with children and grandchildren singing the old gospel songs. At about the age of 17, Bea and two of her lifelong friends had a recording session at the world-famous Norman Petty Studios in Clovis, N.M.
Bea was an accomplished artist who produced numerous watercolors, oil painting, carvings, and works of art in fabric called piecework quilts. All of her children and grandchildren received quilts made by her hand – most of them created on long winter nights.
In 1946, Bea married William Robert Graf, Jr. also of Clovis. The couple had four sons, Gary, Lary Del, Doy and Dee. In 1967, Robert and Bea purchased a ranch in Webber Canyon, south of Mancos, and eventually moved to that location from the farm in rural Curry County, N.M. Bea loved the ranch, Colorado, and her life in Mancos.
Bea was preceded in death by her parents and siblings; her husband of 67 years; her son, Doy; and her grandson, Layton. She is survived by her sons, Gary (Sheila) Graf of Lewis, Del (Pam) Graf of Clovis, N.M., and Dee (Kathy) Graf of Mancos; and her daughter-in-law, Mary Ann Graf of Mancos. She is also survived by 12 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.
She is deeply loved, and will be sorely missed by all who knew her.
Services are under the direction of Ertel Funeral Home. For further information or to send condolences, log on to www.ertelfuneralhome.com and click on the obituary section.