Lyle Robert Graff, age 95, peacefully went home to Jesus on Sunday, December 15, 2019, at the Mary Jane Brown Home in Luverne. Lyle was born on October 18, 1924 to Raymond Chester and Ida (Hanson) Graff in Bancroft Nebraska, where he grew up on the family farm. On May 14, 1950, Lyle was united in marriage to Shirley A. Kimball at Randolph Presbyterian Church, Randolph, Nebraska. After spending some time farming and raising cattle, Lyle was called to ministry and pursued a divinity degree. In June 1960, he was ordained in the United Presbyterian Church. He pastored churches in Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota, while he and Shirley raised a family of seven children. The final seventeen years of his career, he served as a hospital chaplain at the Sioux Falls, South Dakota Veterans Administration hospital.
Upon retirement, Lyle and Shirley settled in Luverne. They celebrated 60 years of marriage before Shirley passed away on August 18, 2010. Lyle was united in marriage to Camilla Gundersen at Living Rock Church, Luverne, on October 20, 2012.
Lyle’s interests included vehicles; he enjoyed his cars and motorhomes. He maintained an active interest in farming throughout his life. He loved growing flowers, vegetables and fruit trees and sharing the produce with friends and family.
Lyle’s true passions, though, were his family and his faith. His seven children, their spouses, 22 grandchildren (and now many of their spouses) and 30 great-grandchildren were the apple of his eye. In recent years, Camilla’s family, including her sister, three brothers, their spouses, many nieces and nephews and grand-nieces and nephews also became dearly loved family members. Nothing brought a twinkle to Lyle’s eyes like holding a conversation with a little child seated on his lap.
Lyle shared his strong faith in Jesus Christ as his Savior with those around him, whether ministering formally, in his profession, or informally, in how he lived his life. He will be greatly missed by family and friends and fondly remembered as a loving, generous, praying man who loved to sing old hymns with his beautiful baritone voice. He was active in Living Rock Church and First Baptist Church, both in Luverne.
Lyle was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife, Shirley, and his three siblings; Orin (Delores), Curt (Evelyn), Marian (Jim) Macklin.
Lyle is survived by his second wife, Camilla; three sons; Norman (Susan) Graff of Carroll, Iowa; Russell (Jane) Graff of Stony Plain, Alberta, Canada; Roger (Theresa) Graff of Luverne; four daughters; Carol (David) Aslesen of Reedsburg, Wisconsin; Linda (Steve) Lovrien of Alexandria; Ronda (Randy) Sawatzky of Mt. Lake; and Lori (Jeff) Petersen of Watertown, South Dakota; 22 grandchildren, and 30 great grandchildren.
John 14:1-2 (NIV) “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?”
A Memorial Service for Lyle R. Graff will be conducted at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, December 20, 2019, at Living Rock Church, Luverne with the Reverend Russell Graff officiating. Special thanks to the staff of Mary Jane Brown Home, Sanford Luverne Hospice and Sanford Luverne Medical Center for the wonderful care given to Lyle.
The Dingmann Funeral Home in Luverne is assisting the family.
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