Thomas Graf

Service of Reflection

2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Saturday, June 10, 2023
Sellars Funeral Home at Mt. Juliet
2229 N. Mt. Juliet Road
Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, United States

Obituary of Thomas E. Graf

OBITUARY FOR THOMAS GRAF Thomas E. Graf, 71, devoted and beloved husband, father, grandfather and brother died Wednesday, April 26, 2023 at home in Hermitage, TN under the care of Heart’n Soul Hospice.

Tom was born October 13, 1951 to wonderful parents, Albert and Anne Graf. He was raised in Bogota, New Jersey with his siblings, Judy, Al, and Rick.

As an avid sports enthusiast, Tom excelled as a high school cross country runner and continued to run throughout his adulthood. He was a loyal Pittsburgh Steelers fan and a champion for women’s soccer always cheering on his daughters’ travel and college teams and the US Women’s National Team. His love of sports led him to his undergraduate degree in Recreation from Indiana State University and his master’s degree in Therapeutic Recreation from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. There, he met his bride-to-be, Debbie Lea.

Tom and Debbie were married in July 1978; one year after meeting. Their love for one another sustained almost 45 years, until death did them part. Tom was a faithful husband, loving father and a dedicated provider for his family. He had a passion for working with adults with intellectual disabilities and a gift for building relationships while making all people feel valued. This led to a long career that transitioned from parks and recreation director, program director for Special Olympics, leisure and amusement park event planning and promotions, owning his own marketing and promotions agency and lastly in semi-retirement, as a realtor.

His three daughters, Kathy, Stephanie and Megan all adored their dad. Always the jokester, Tom nicknamed each girl with an Italian boy’s name. He was their soccer coach, tour guide at colleges, financial advisor and their rock. He was always available for a hug, playing sports or discussing their futures. Tom continued to invest in their lives as they graduated from college, achieved outstanding careers, got married and had children who all lovingly called him Pop.

 He is survived by his wife, Deborah Lea Graf; daughters Kathy (Brandon) Eiff of SC, Stephanie (Nick) Grimes of PA, and Megan Thomas of TN; grandchildren Tatum Grimes, Grafton Eiff, Samson Eiff, Mandy Chloe Eiff and Morgan Thomas; brother Rick (Nicki) Graf; brother-in-law Lou Coco; mother-in-law Jean Lea; brothers-in law and sisters-in law Cynthia (Jay) Ligon and Buddy (Tammy) Lea; as well as many nieces and nephews. Tom was preceded in death by his parents Albert and Anne Graf, brother Albert S. Graf and sister Judy Coco.

A Service of Reflection will be held on June 10 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. at Sellar’s Funeral Home, 2229 N. Mt. Juliet Rd, Mt. Juliet TN 37122. All family and friends are invited to celebrate Tom’s life through stories his daughters will share, as well as a reflection piece written by Tom, specifically for this occasion. The musical playlist he selected includes songs from his favorite band, The Rolling Stones.

He will be missed dearly for his love, guidance, humor and wit. Please join us as we honor and reflect on a life well-lived and loved-well.

 In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations or contributions be made to any of the following:

 • Providence Classical School, Attn: Simply Providence (new division for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities), PO Box 37891, Rock Hill, SC 29732;                       

 • Nashville Rescue Mission, 639 Lafayette St., Nashville, TN 37203;

Sellars Funeral Home at Mt. Juliet has been entrusted with the care of Mr. Graf

Phone: 615-758-5459, obituary line 615-758-8818,

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