John Eugene McGraw, affectionately known as Jack, passed away at age 86 on June 15, 2015, with his loving family by his side. His beloved wife Carol, to whom he was married for over 57 years, preceded him in death. Jack and Carol resided in Roswell Georgia for the last 33 years.
He was a loving father to four children and is survived by Susan McGraw Webster of Woodinville Washington, Kevin John McGraw of Sanford Florida, Beth & Bruce Schulthess of Red Wing Minnesota and Scott William McGraw, also of Roswell, Georgia. He was a devoted grandfather to Sarah, Eric and Hannah Schulthess, Anelese and Jacqueline Webster and Michael McGraw. Among the immediate family are his cousin Marian Sunderland of Fairhaven, New York and James Frost & family of Akron, Ohio. Jack leaves many dear friends from Cleveland where he so affectionately referred to as home: Patricia & Bucky Kinnear of Cleveland, Joe & June Motuza of Hudson Ohio, Michael Maykut of Aurora Illinois and Jean R. Dugan of Willowick Ohio.
Jack was born in Cleveland Ohio on December 23, 1928 to William and Elese McGraw and attended East High School in Cleveland, class of 1947. He then attended Kent State University 1948-1952 where he was a member of the Phi Beta Phi Fraternity. It was there that he met his wife Carol and upon graduation he was drafted into the U.S. Army as Private First Class and deployed to Germany in the 33rd Division U.S. Army Band. There, he was awarded the Occupational Medal Germany as well as the National Defense Service Medal. Jack is remembered in his military service as a trumpeter playing military taps and the bugle call or “first call” to signal the troops to awaken for morning roll call.
As a young boy, Jack developed a love of both music and baseball and often remarked about his first job at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, home of the Cleveland Indians selling freshly sharpened pencils and scorecards to fans. He coined the nickname “Tug Mac” in respect to the baseball player, Tug McGraw no relation that he admired. Later, Jack became a fan of professional sports teams in the cities where he and Carol lived and hardly missed the chance to watch a game or a championship. His love of music as a young boy awarded him with a trumpet, which was to become a life long journey of joy. He especially admired the legendary trumpet players of his time and the Big Band music of the 40’s and 50’s.
Of particular note was Jack’s 30 years of professional work with IBM in Lexington Kentucky, White Plains New York, Bethesda Maryland and Atlanta Georgia from which he retired in 1989. His career at IBM was highlighted by his work with the litigation team that defended IBM in the U.S. Government anti-trust litigation in the 1970’s. Jack remained very close to his co-workers of that time and their families in future years.
Private interment will be at the convenience of the family at Trinity Cathedral Columbarium with a Celebration of Life to follow later this summer in his beloved Cleveland.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions in Jack’s memory be made to the American Red Cross or to historic preservation efforts in Cleveland, especially to Trinity Cathedral, his final resting place.
“Heaven, I’m in heaven
And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak
And I seem to find the happiness I seek
When we’re out together dancing cheek to cheek.”
As Susan’s Jack’s beloved eldest daughter best friend from 7th grade on – I knew Jack to be one of the most principled, family-oriented and handsome of all the dads! His dedication to Carole and his children was unwavering. Jack had a zest for life that lasted until the moment of his death. He truly was one of the “greatest generation,” and we may not see the like of him again. My love to Susan, Ane, Jacqie and all of the family.