SLINGERLANDS – Germaine “Mimi” Graf passed away at her home on Thursday, June 28, 2018. Born Germaine Muscat on April 9, 1923 in Paris, France to Salvatore Muscat and Georgette Pesquet Muscat, she was predeceased in February, 1999 by her devoted husband of 53 years, Homer (“Hank”) Graf.
During World War II, she worked as a messenger for the French Resistance and as the “Dear Abby” of the magazine, “Movie Stars.” She met her soon to be husband, who welcomed her with fluent French, at a USO dance celebrating the liberation of Paris. It was love at first sight. Hank was on the staff of General George Patton and the General cut through military red tape so they could marry in Paris. After a short time in Los Angeles, they moved to New York and while raising their children in Queens and Rockland County, Germaine became active in the Spring Valley PTA and persuaded the School Board to institute foreign languages in elementary school. She was an early graduate of the SUNY Empire State College and taught French at Pearl River High School in the 1960’s. Hank and Germaine moved to Albany in1983 after Hank sold his New York auto-body supply business. After Hank’s death in 1999, Germaine looked for an interesting outlet, so returned to teaching. She taught French at the Academy of the Holy Names from1999-2013, where she was known by all her students as “Madame.” At her retirement at age 90, she was recognized by the New York State Legislature for her gift as an educator. She spent her last years as a fine bridge player, friend, colleague, devoted grandmother and doting great-grandmother.
Mimi is survived by her children and their spouses, Allan (Margaret) Graf, Michelle (Edward) Unser and Robert (Carine) Graf; her six grandchildren Matthew Graf, Laura Graf Macker, Danielle Unser Slater, Jennifer Unser, Darren Graf and Denise Graf; and by three great-grandchildren Eleanor, Tomasa and Samuel.
She will be interred with her beloved husband at the Albany Rural Cemetery. Relatives and friends are invited to attend a memorial gathering on Saturday, August 4, 2018, at 3:00 p.m. at the Beverwyck Retirement Community, 40 Autumn Drive, Slingerlands. In lieu of flowers, Mimi has requested that donations be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), 950 New Loudon Road, Suite 330, Latham, NY 12110. To leave a message of condolence for the family, please visit www.HansFuneralHome.com.
I worked with Germaine at Holy Names. She was a beloved french teacher and colleague who led an amazing life. We had many wonderful conversations on a regular basis that I missed when she retired. My condolences to her family.
for many years we met often .playing bridge .in recent years our paths have not crossed .I always enjoyed our little chats .she was a remarkable woman .she lived a long life .keep her in your thoughts .
We who knew her will never forget her. She was timeless in every way, a remarkable woman. My sympathy to all of you. We will miss her.
Mimi was a gracious and always interesting person who we enjoyed while she visited Los Angeles. We will miss her visits Our condolences to her family.
Donna Marie Mooney
Sorry for your loss. People who give so very much of themselves during their lifetime are so very much missed; that was very true of Germaine. She was loved by faculty and students alike at the Academy of the Holy Names HS.
Madame was a wonderful teacher who taught the girls so much more than French at Academy of the Holy Names. She was loved by her students and colleagues alike. My condolences to her family. May your memories be a source of comfort to you.
Germaine was a wonderful Holy Names colleague and friend. She was one of a kind; such style and “class”! It was a privilege to have known her and I have such fond memories. Condolences to all the generations of the Graf family – Germaine was so proud of each and every one of you!
Anne and John
We have had the great good fortune to live next door to Allan and Marge for 25 years, so we were privileged to meet Mimi and to talk with her on a number of occasions. Always elegant, beautiful, gracious, and so smart, with a twinkle in her eye. Her bio reflects an amazing life. We are holding the Graf family in our thoughts and prayers.