Mildred “Mick” Teresa (Erlbacher) Graeve, 94

November 20, 1928 - May 8, 2023

Mildred “Mick” Theresa (Erlbacher) Graeve  was born on November 20, 1928, the oldest of six children to Valeria (Koesters) and Leonard Erlbacher in Earling, Iowa.  She was baptized and confirmed at St. Joseph Catholic Church.
Mick graduated from St. Joseph High School in 1946. She was active in the glee club, participated in school plays, and enjoyed school dances.  Mick was one of four leads in the play “Swing Fever” presented by her senior class in April, 1946.
On July 19, 1950 Mick married her high school sweetheart, Aloys “Al” Graeve.  Six children were born to this union: Allen, Mike, Marcia, Craig, Eric and Doug.  Mick and Al supported each other in operating their farm and raising a family north of Earling. She logged the weather and significant events in the family calendar for decades.  Her garden seemed to grow proportionally to the number of helping hands she had to help plant.  She was very proud of her roses, flower garden and lawn. Trees and shrubs were planted to enhance the landscape; this was repeated when Al and Mick built a new home in Earling in 1985. Mick was especially proud of having her porch and back deck filled with a variety of potted plants, pentas and geraniums in all colors.
Mick loved to bake and cook. When visiting, you would never leave without an offer of banana bread, cookies, fruit, even an Iowa ham from the freezer, to take home with you.
Mick enjoyed jigsaw and crossword puzzles and playing scrabble with her kids.  She also loved playing cards, especially pitch and poker, with her children and grandchildren.  If she was winning, Mick would close the evening with a “grandma hand” to share her bounty with everyone. Lights going out was common during stormy nights on the farm. Mick would light candles and bring out her large box pennies; introducing her children to the art of poker. After moving to town, Mick joined friends for rousing afternoons of Bunco.  Mick seemed to know everyone in Earling and truly enjoyed the company of many friends and family. Mick also enjoyed playing bingo where her luck in cards carried over to bingo as well. Mick always had a project going, completing over one hundred quilted bedspreads, embroidered baby blankets, and crocheted blankets for friends, the Earling picnic, and all of her children, grandchildren, even great- grandchildren!
Mick and Al loved to travel; family vacations were taken to South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and many stops in Iowa. Having eight people in a four door sedan made for some interesting travel but everyone learned that getting along was the easiest way to pass the time.  Al and Mick traveled across the country to visit their children, grandkids, and great grandkids. The car was always packed with baby quilts and Al’s handmade wood items given as gifts to family.
Mick died on Monday, May 8, 2023 at Elm Crest Assisted Living Community having attained the age of 94 years, 5 months, 16 days.  She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Al, sister Grace Heese, brothers Don, Dick and Bill Erlbacher.
She is survived by children Dr Al Graeve (Val) of University Place, WA, Mike Graeve (Nancy) of Westminster, CO, Marcia Linton (Mike) of Plymouth, MN, Craig Graeve (Lori) of Omaha, NE, Eric Graeve (Judy) of Eagan, MN,and Doug Graeve (Kim) of Westminster, CO, 15 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren, sister Joanne Kohles, sisters-in-law Joanie and Pam Erlbacher, many loved nieces, nephews and friends.
A 12:00 PM Mass of Christian Burial was officiated by Rev. Andrew Windschitl on Saturday, May 13, 2023 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Earling, Iowa. Alex Allouche, Mark Graeve, Nick Graeve, Katie Christiansen, Meghan Buchholz, and Josh Graeve served as pallbearers.
A burial was held following the service at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Earling, Iowa.
Pauley Jones Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.



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