Joseph "Joe" Graw
Joseph Peter Graw, 103, passed away peacefully on August 29, 2018, at Presbyterian Homes in Bloomington, Minnesota. His life was one of great faith, joy, and good fortune. Politics played an important part in his life. He was the first state legislator to represent Bloomington. He was most proud of co-authoring the bill that cleared the path for construction of several junior college and technical schools in the Twin Cities. He successfully argued for the current location of Normandale Junior College and was given the nickname “Mr. Normandale.”
Prior to his twelve years in the legislature, Joe started National Travelers Insurance company with his brother Edward in Chicago, Illinois. After the legislature, he worked as a successful business broker at Globe, in St. Louis Park.
A veteran of World War II, he fought in the Pacific Theatre. He enlisted in the Army Air Corp and served as a Navigator aboard B17 bombers in the 7th Bomb Group. After Pearl Harbor, he served out of Brisbane, Australia, as an LST Launch Officer into New Guinea. Prior to the end of the war, he attained the rank of Captain.
Joseph was born in Knoxville, Iowa, to Joseph and Mary Graw and lost his father at the age of three. The youngest of six, he was a voracious reader at an early age and spent many a day at the local library. This served him well in later years while attending Messmer High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he became head of the debate team and class president.
Joe was preceded in death by his lovely and faithful wife, Dorothy, who hailed from Proserpine, Australia. They met during the war while he was stationed there. The couple were respected throughout Bloomington for their contributions to the community and Nativity of Mary Church. Family members include his children: Michael Graw (Mary Lou Andersen), Margaret "Peg" Graw (Lynn Tanner) and Josepg Graw, Jr. (Gail Graw); his grandchildren: Michael (deceased), Bridget, Joseph Thomas, Mary, Kathleen, Aimee and Joseph Peter; along with numerous great grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 4, 2018 at The Church of the Nativity of Mary, 9900 Lyndale Ave, So. Bloomington. Visitation will be one hour prior to the Mass at church starting at 9:00 a.m., Father Nels Gjengdahl will officiate. Interment will follow be at Resurrection Cemetery, 2101 Lexington Ave South, Mendota Heights. Online condolences for the family may be left at www.legacy.com. Contributions to Nativity of Mary Parish may be made in Joe’s name.
BLOOMINGTON, MN 952 888 7771