rodgernewwebRodger was born, one of nine children, on June 21, 1921 in Detroit Michigan. His father died when he was eight years old so he learned the value of responsibility, hard work and determination at a very young age.

Rodger entered military service in 1939. Until 1945, he had served in the US Coast Guard Temp Reserve, US Naval Air Corp and as a pilot and 2 nd lieutenant in the US Army Air Corp. He remained on active duty status in the US Air Corp Reserve until 1950. Rodger attended college but he was largely self educated.

He held several sales positions including sales manager and advertising manager for Radio Distribution Co./Zenith Radio Division. He owned and operated an independent multi-line casualty and life insurance agency from 1959 until 1983 and continued as a life insurance agent until 2000. He also was at one time a general contractor and a restaurant owner.

Rodger was a very spiritual man and active in his church. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, Elks Club and past president of the Kiwanis Club. He was a Member of the Planning Commission Board as well as City Councilman and Precinct Delegate of Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan. He served as Director of such organizations as the Jackson National Life Insurance Co., the Community Service Center for the Disabled and the Southwest Bank before becoming part of Bank of America.

Rodger was a consummate gentleman known to greet everyone with a handshake and a smile. He was most passionate about pro-life and did his best to educate people about it. He supported many charitable organizations including the American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Assoc., Hospice and Boys Town. Rodger always cared about people and helped many financially.

Kate was born and raised on a farm in Crenshaw County Alabama and later moved to the city of Montgomery. She married Rodger at Maxwell Air Force base while he was a Lieutentnant in the Army Air Corp and then moved to Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan. She worked for the city as a volunteer during voter registration. She raised 4 great children and was married for 44 years.

The Rodger and Kate Graef Family Foundation is comprised of a Board of Trustees, Dwight A. Graef, Brian A. Graef, Catherine M. Prest, Mark A. Graef and Peggy A. Graef.