Townshend - Howard Graff, 90, passed away on October 22, 2017 following a long respiratory illness. He was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Myron Graff and Isabelle Damask Graff on August 10, 1927. Howard remembered a "particularly good childhood" with his parents and two siblings, Gerald and Connie, moving many times throughout the Midwest (Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kansas and Missouri). He graduated from high school in Waukesha, Wisconsin and then attended Carol College in the same city where he studied pre-medicine.
When World War II interrupted his studies, Howard joined the U.S. Army and was first sent to the University of Wisconsin and then to the University of Pennsylvania where he studied Japanese. He then spent three years in occupied Europe (Austria).
Following his return from the war, Howard moved to New York City in 1949 where he met his beloved partner, Burt Martinson, with whom he shared a wonderful life for 23 years, until Burt's death in 1971. Their time together was rich with celebration and travel to exotic ports around the world. During his time in N.Y., Howard became a very successful photographer, specializing in Interiors photography with various shelter magazines, such as House Beautiful, Architectural Digest and Good Housekeeping. Following his career in photography he worked with the renowned furniture designer, Karl Springer, promoting his creations to interior designers throughout New York City.
In 1978, Howard and his partner Richard Haas decided to escape the pace of city life and moved to a farm in Townshend, VT where they bred and raised Morgan Horses for 15 years. During that time, Howard honored a love for beauty, art and antiquity by opening "Colt Barn Antiques", becoming very active in Vermont Antique Dealers Association and traveling throughout New England displaying his prized possessions at antique shows.
An unintended consequence of the "fast lane" life that Howard experienced when living in New York was an unhealthy dependence upon alcohol. When he became aware of its grip on his life, Howard joined Alcoholics Anonymous where he discovered the true meaning of "happy, joyous and free"! Since his introduction to AA, Howard enjoyed 40 miraculous years of sobriety in which he dedicated unconditional love and service to countless other recovering alcoholics throughout the West River Valley.
A Celebration of Life potluck lunch will be held at 12:00 noon at the Newbrook Fire Station in Newfane on Saturday, Nov. 11th.
In lieu for flowers, any donations should be made to Grace Cottage Hospital, 185 Grafton Road, Townshend, VT 05353.