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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Obituary - Marsha A. Graef

Marsha A. Graef
Marsha A. Graef, 61, retired Assistant Athletic Director at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, passed away Monday evening, November 16, after a nearly 3-year battle with pancreatic cancer. Boy, did she make the best use of that time! Fond memories and condolences may be left online at

Marsha was born April 29, 1954, in Clinton, Missouri, the daughter of Ervin “Corky” and Irene (Korth) Graef. She grew up in Urich, Missouri, attending Urich Elementary School and graduating from Sherwood High School. She graduated from Central Missouri State University in 1976 where she was a four-year varsity starter for the women’s basketball team and played field hockey and softball as well. She earned a master’s degree from Northern Arizona University and taught and coached at Archie and Fort Osage schools in Missouri.

Marsha went to Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, in the fall of 1985 as the head coach of Bates women’s volleyball and basketball teams, and assistant coach in women’s lacrosse. Marsha coached volleyball at Bates for 14 years and was recognized as one of a handful of Division Three volleyball coaches to have earned over 400 wins in her career, with an overall record of 416-144. Under her leadership, the Bobcats tallied 51 straight wins and marked the first victory by a NESCAC School in the NCAA Division III national tournament, making it to the “Sweet 16” round. Marsha’s teams also won two ECAC Championships, one runner-up finish, and three NESCAC Conference Championships. Marsha was honored by her peers with three New England Women’s Volleyball Association Coach of the Year awards and one AVCA National Coach of the Year Award. In 1998, Marsha moved from coaching into the administrative position of coordinator of physical education and club sports. She is also a certified strength coach and was instrumental in the design and implementation of the Davis Fitness Center.

Marsha was preceded in death by her father, her 3 uncles and their wives, and 3 cousins.

She is survived by her mother, Irene Graef of St. Louis, her brother Stephen and his significant other David Lawrence also of St. Louis, her closest friend and caregiver, Paula Linder, and her adopted Maine family, Mona, Mike, Charlotte, Pam, Clinton, Kim, Chris, Haley, Julia, Becky, Ross, Connor, Curt and Chance.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Vansant-Mills Funeral Home of Clinton, Missouri and are pending at this time.


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