Lola J. “Jean” Graber Obituary

Lola J. “Jean” Graber, 84, of St. Joseph, passed away on Monday, April 26, 2021, at Caretel Inns of Lakeland. A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held on Friday, May 7, 2021 at 1 PM at Starks & Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph with Pastor David Hills officiating. Friends may visit with the family one hour prior to the service. Out of respect for the family and guests in attendance, masks will be required. Memorial contributions may be made to Stevensville United Methodist Church, 5506 Ridge Rd, Stevensville, MI or Benton Harbor/St. Joseph YMCA, 3665 Hollywood Rd., St. Joseph, MI. Those wishing to leave an online condolence may do so at

Jean was born on June 27, 1936, in Coloma, to Floyd & Emily (Anderson) Elson. She attended Watervliet High School where she was active on the cheerleading team. However, her senior year was spent at St. Joseph High School where she would graduate from. On May 17, 1958, Jean married the love of her life, Arnold “Arnie” Graber, at the First Church of God in St. Joseph. The two were happily married for 56 years before his passing in 2014. After her marriage to Arnie, Jean loved being a stay-at-home mom. She had a love of sewing and made many of her own clothes as well as Cheri’s. Jean also taught several of the neighborhood girls how to sew and bake. After Arnie retired, the two enjoyed many winter months in Ft. Myers Beach and Cape Coral, FL where Ryan and Cheri were able to also spend time making memories. Jean loved her grandson, Ryan, and spent countless hours with him, she never missed a local sporting event as Ryan grew older and was always so proud of him and his accomplishments. In July, 2020, Jean gained the honor of a new name, “Great Nana”, and enjoyed each moment spent with her precious great-granddaughter, Wrigley. Jean was a proud member of Stevensville United Methodist Church and the Beta Sigma Phi Sorority. The sorority of women were very special to her and she loved being a devoted member for many years. Jean was a very kind and caring woman loved by all who knew her. She will be deeply missed.

Jean is survived by her daughter, Cheri Kitron of St. Joseph; grandson, Ryan (Holly Dienes) Kitron; great-granddaughter, Wrigley Kitron; several cousins, nieces, nephews, other close relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, Floyd & Emily; and husband, Arnie. 

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