ASU will get nationwide point out on Sunday Right this moment present – Civil rights supporter Jean Graetz dies at 90

New York Times

Mr and Mrs Graetz on a bus in Montgomery in 2005 to mark the 50th anniversary of the start of the bus boycott in which they participated. Karen S. Doerr / The Montgomery Advertiser, via Associated Press
Jean Ellis was born on December 24, 1929 on a farm in East Springfield, Pennsylvania, near the Ohio state line. Her parents, Marshall and Marian (Smith) Ellis, were farmers.
In addition to their daughters Mrs. Ellis and Mrs. Glass, two other daughters, Diann and Katherine Graetz, Mrs. Graetz survive. two sons, David and Jonathan Graetz; four sisters, Ruth Warner, Lola Mitchell, Kathleen Iamaio, and Mary Maxwell; 26 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; and a great-great-grandson. One son, Robert S. Graetz III, died in 1991.

Ms. Graetz met her husband at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, where she was studying elementary education and he was studying theology. They married in 1951. When he graduated that same year, two years ahead of her, and received his first preaching assignments – Los Angeles, followed by Montgomery – she left school to follow him.

After the Graetzes returned to Montgomery in 2005, she went back to school to complete her degree. She attended Alabama State University, a historically black college. She graduated in 2015.

The couple, often dressed in color-coordinated outfits of their choice, became a staple of the Montgomery activist community and helped direct the National Center for the Study of Civil Rights and African-American Culture in the state of Alabama.
In 2018 a handwritten note from Ms. Parks was put up for auction. Mr. and Mrs. Graetz, never rich, bought it for $ 9,375. They immediately donated it to the university.

“Sacrifice is something you’ve done all your life,” said Mr. Mullinax, the couple’s friend. “So I’m not surprised that they would end up making financial sacrifices at the end of their lives. It ties everything together in a bow. “

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