There are a lot of our members who did not know Don Graff, but if you did, you may remember that he used to live at Descanso Gardens in that lovely house on the hill with that very wonderful yard, with his wife and family for many years, while raising his children. They lived on the upper floor and I am not sure how many years, but it has only been maybe 10 to 15 years since they were asked to retire.
Don was the caretaker and when Descanso Bonsai Society would meet, beginning in the 1970’s in the Carriage house down by the meadow, he would come down and make sure everything was set up for our meetings. He continued to do the same after Van de Kamp hall was completed and we moved our meetings to the new hall. When he wasn’t working taking take care of the meetings that we and others clubs were holding, he served as the ticket taker at the Descanso Gardens front entrance.
He also drove the tram and gave an great talk about Descanso Gardens and its creator, Elias Manchester Boddy, for us visitors. We were very fortunate because he would drive the tram and take us through the gardens in the evening before our August potluck dinner each year. He was informative and it always made for a fun evening.
Don and his wife, Maggie, had been coming to the January dinner every year, but missed last year. Don had taken up oil painting and was doing quite well. I always received a Christmas card from them and I will miss that. I knew that Maggie had had a problem but I didn’t know how ill Don was.
The following is Maggie’s address if you wish to contact the family.
40701 Rancho Vista, #31
Palmdale, CA 93551