CAPT Donald V. Graf, U.S. Navy (Retired)
August 4, 1933 – July 9, 2023
Captain Donald V. Graf, U.S. Navy (retired) passed away peacefully at home in Lusby, MD on July 9, 2023, at the age of 89. He was born on August 4, 1933 in Philadelphia, PA, to Elmer Graf and Verna VanEmburgh.
Don’s commitment to the engineering profession and love for sailing, music, and travel defined his life. Don was the first in his family to attend college, graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1956 with a degree in Chemical Engineering, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with an MBA. He received his commission in the U.S. Navy through the Naval ROTC program and served as a Surface Warfare Officer for five years before transitioning to the Navy Reserve where he earned his submarine qualification onboard the USS Sea Robin (SS-407). He attained the rank of Captain and served as Deputy Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic Fleet before retiring in 1987 after a 30-year career.
Don was a problem solver and made significant contributions during a long and distinguished career in the power generation industry that included various positions at New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Allis Chalmers Nuclear Power Division, Combustion Engineering, Baltimore Gas and Electric, the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant, and Constellation Operating Systems. Don joined MPR, Inc. as a world-wide consultant for nuclear and fossil fuel power plants before retiring in 2020.
When not at work, Don could be found sailing on the waters of New England and Chesapeake Bay, usually with his daughters or travelling with his family. Don’s appreciation for music, particularly big band and show tunes, brought him great joy. He played the trumpet with the Glassboro High School band, the Pitman Hobo Band, and the University of Pennsylvania Marching Band, as well as with his children and grandchildren.
Don’s support of his wife’s running career was unwavering as he encouraged her participation in many events. He was a Master Mason, volunteer crewmember on the Dee of St Mary’s at Calvert Marine Museum, and served on the Board of Visitors for the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.
Don’s resilience, sea stories, and zest for life will long be remembered. Don is survived by his wife of 66 years, Tami Graf of Lusby, MD, daughters Chris (Rob) Costantino of Milford, NH; Robin (Timothy) Moon of Swan Point, MD; and Holly (Joe King) Graf of Columbia, MD; five grandchildren; and two great grandchildren.
A celebration of life will be held at the Calvert Marine Museum. He will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Dee of St Mary’s, Calvert Marine Museum.