CANFIELD — Carol J. Graffius, 89, died peacefully, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022, at St. Elizabeth Boardman Hospital, surrounded by family.
Carol was born July 8, 1933, in Youngstown, the youngest child of William and Mabel Morgan James. She was a 1951 graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School.
Carol worked for General Fireproofing before marrying Robert Graffius in 1953.
Carol and Bob lived in Phoenix and Chicago before resettling in the Youngstown area, ultimately moving to Canfield, where Carol dedicated her life to caring for her family.
For many years at their home on Detwiler Road, Carol managed large vegetable gardens, canning and freezing produce, making tomato and apple sauce, and harvesting corn and potatoes. She baked amazing apple pies every fall and often made homemade bread and sweet rolls. Even as she aged, she felt responsible for planning meals for family gatherings, and often gave gifts of food at holidays and birthdays.
Much later, in her last decade, Carol moved to Newton Square in Canfield, where she appreciated living around caring neighbors. She loved spending the summers on her patio there, expertly nurturing her many flowers.
Carol had a deep sense of empathy that went beyond family, and was quick to connect with others. She understood, accepted and embraced people who crossed her path, and usually found something in common with every one of them. She was a natural cheerleader for others and genuinely admired their accomplishments.
She rarely questioned the changing times. Rather, she tried to keep up with them, and with her children’s and grandchildren’s busy lives. She knew everyone’s schedules and was the person to call when you needed an update. She never hesitated to call, text or FaceTime family, and was on her fair share of Zoom calls.
Carol loved to watch football of any kind — high school, college and professional. She was a lifelong fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and followed the Cleveland Browns and other teams, too.
Carol was preceded in death by her parents, and by her husband, Bob, the love of her life, who died in December 2011. She also was preceded in death by her sister and confidante, Margie Brown, whom she sorely missed, and her brother, Bill James. Additionally, she was preceded in death by all of Bob’s siblings, whom she considered her own; and her lifelong, dearest friend, Jane Ann Ball. She missed them all.
Carol is survived by her beloved children, Darlene Dehler of Boston, Sue-Ellen (Greg) Bennett of Clarkston Mich., Cindy (Jim Bachtel) Graffius of Pittsburgh, Judy (Tom) Miller of Mineral Ridge and Robert (Kimberly) Graffius of Canfield. She leaves to cherish her memory, her grandchildren, Elizabeth (BJ) Hodsdon, Kristen (Oscar Pickering) Bennett, Lyndsay (David) Ziemann, Adam Bennett, Royse Bachtel, Isabella Miller and Greta Graffius. She is survived by eight great-grandchildren, whom she kept close in her heart. Carol leaves many loving nieces and nephews.
There will be no calling hours. Carol’s family is planning a celebration of her life at a later date.
If desired, donations in her memory may be made to Animal Charity of Ohio, 4140 Market St., Youngstown, OH 44512. Carol fed and provided shelter for many abandoned animals during her life.
Professional arrangements are being handled by the Higgins-Reardon Funeral Homes, Boardman-Canfield Chapel.