James H. Graeff, 82, of Palmyra, passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021, at the Hershey Medical Center. Born July 3, 1938, in West Lawn, PA, he was the son of the late Floyd S. and Marie E. (Lutz) Graeff. He was married to Jennifer C. (Reed) Pichler Graeff for nearly 29 years.
Jim was raised in Sinking Spring and Shillington but also lived in Coopersburg, Hershey, Hummelstown, and Palmyra. Jim graduated from Governor Mifflin High School in 1956. He then attended Drexel University before joining the U.S. Army, where he served as a ski trooper assigned to the 9th Infantry Regiment in Alaska. After being honorably discharged from the Army, he attended the U.S. Military Academy Prep School. He then went on to attend the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, of Kings Point, NY. While serving with U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, he participated in the 1961 inauguration parade of John F. Kennedy by playing the tuba in the marching band.
Jim worked in the IT Department at Bethlehem Steel Corporation for 23 years prior to working as a business consultant for Computer Aid, Inc., of Harrisburg, for 19 years. He was a member of Stevens Run Lodge of Clinton County where he also served as past president. He was also a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and was the first president of the SkyTen Flying Club, of Allentown. He held a commercial pilot’s license with instrument and multi-engine ratings.
He is survived by his wife, Jennifer, of Palmyra, along with three daughters, Susan Stowell, married to Terry, of Lynchburg, VA, Cheryl L. Graeff, married to Kelly Shaw, of Chicago, and Joy A. Graeff, married to David Remsburg, of Palmyra. Also surviving is Jennifer’s children, Anthony Pichler, married to Marianne, and Christopher Pichler, married to Kristie, as well as grandchildren, Daniel, Melinda, and Timothy Stowell, Steffen, Logan, Everett, and Benjamin Pichler, and Hayden Remsburg, a brother, Stanton Graeff, and a sister, Nancy Sechrist, as well as Jim’s extended family and caring friends.
Private services will be at the convenience of the family. A service to celebrate Jim’s life will be held at a later date. Arrangements have been entrusted with the Rothermel-Finkenbinder Funeral Home & Crematory, Inc., 25 W. Pine St., Palmyra, PA 17078, 717-838-9211.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Jim’s memory to Citizen’s Fire Company #1, 35 W. Walnut St., Palmyra, PA 17078, www.palmyrafire.com
Condolences and memories may be shared at www.FinkenbinderFamily.com