Jacob ‘Jack’ de Graaf
Jacob “Jack” de Graaf was born Feb. 25, 1925, and died peacefully Feb. 19, 2013, in Corvallis, Ore. He died of natural causes following years of declining health.
He spent his early years in his beloved Amsterdam where he first learned to be a street entertainer, playing his guitar for passersby. His musical abilities were further developed when he served as a musician in the Dutch Army and was stationed for three years in the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia).
Jack immigrated from The Netherlands in 1949, with his wife Frederika “Rie” de Vries de Graaf, and settled in Martinez, where they were actively involved in the local schools, Martinez Music Forum, American Field Service and other community groups. They were married for nearly 50 years when Rie died in 1999.
Jack was a talented musician and colorful entertainer who was known for his humor and engaging personality. He spent many years making people happy by playing piano, writing and arranging music for the Henry Gallagher Dance Orchestra, and giving small concerts in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Jack and Rie traveled to many countries around the world when Jack worked for Chevron Shipping and American President Lines. They retired to Sonoma, in 1993 and continued traveling and pursuing their many hobbies and interests.
Jack is survived by his eldest daughter, Cynthia Cole and son-in-law, Rex Cole of Corvallis, Ore. and their children, Esther and Adam Cole; his youngest daughter, Jennifer Wilkerson and son-in-law, Tim Wilkerson and their son, Jacob Wilkerson, of Citrus Heights; nieces; nephews; in-laws and extended family in California and The Netherlands.
In lieu of flowers, you are invited to make donations to the American Field Service, AFS-USA, Inc. Office of Development, One Whitehall Street, 2nd Floor, New York, N.Y. 10004; Martinez Music Forum, P.O. Box 176, Martinez, CA 94553; or the Salvation Army, 1-800-SAL-ARMY.
Memorial services will be held on Saturday, March 23, 2013, at 11 a.m. at the Christ Lutheran Church, 2370 Harbor View Dr., Martinez, CA, 94553. A reception will follow at the same location.