Ipswich — Robert Tilton Graffum, 88, husband of the late Geraldine A. Graffum, passed away Sunday, March 24, 2013, surrounded by his loving family.
Born in Ipswich on January 5, 1925, he was the son of Edward and Beatrice Graffum of Ipswich. Bob entered the Army in June, 1943, and received his basic and combat engineer training at Camp McCain in Mississippi. He was sent to Europe in June, 1944, and served as an engineer recon Sgt. with the 4th Armored Division, Recon Group, Patton’s 3rd Army, and was sent throughout Europe. When the war ended, Bob was in Cheb, Czechoslovakia, with the 2nd Armored Cavalry. Bob saw action in Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes and Central Europe, and was awarded the Bronze Star in April 1945 for his distinguished service. He was honorably discharged in January, 1946, and then re-enlisted in September, 1947. He was commissioned as an officer in January, 1951. Major Graffum retired in February, 1965 and returned to Ipswich with his wife, Gerry, and their seven children. Bob went on to complete a second successful career as Chief Operations Security Officer for Raytheon Missile Systems Division, retiring in 1987. Bob’s second passion was organizing golf events and hanging with his golf buddies; he could frequently be found behind the counter or on the course at Candlewood Golf Club, or alternatively, at any of the local coffee shops. Bob, and his two sons, two daughters, and two grandsons, have served a combined total of 70+ years in the military, spanning World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm and Operation Enduring Freedom.
On Jan 21, 1948, Bob married his lovely bride Gerry in Carlisle, PA. The Graffums traveled the world during Bob’s military career, including Japan, Germany and many places within the United States, and returned to Ipswich to raise their family, coming full circle back to the place where they had met, Little Neck.