Ed Graf Honored by The Alliance of Germanic Societies
The Graf Family — Ed Graf receives the German-American Award for 2012
The Alliance of Germanic Societies (German, Swiss, Austrian) honored Ed Graf as German Americans of 2012. The Program was held at the Teutonia Maennerchor on Saturday, September 8, 2012. Pittsburgh City Council women Darlene Harris presented a Proclamation to the honorees from the the City of Pittsburgh, proclaiming the day “German Heritage Day” in Pittsburgh.
Edward Graf’s Grandfather emigrated to Pittsburgh in 1893, as a 19 year old, from Switzerland, coming to Deutschtown, as many immigrants did, with little beyond his skills and work ethic. Some years later he founded the Switzerland Dairy. Ed’s maternal grandmother came as young girl from Baden, Germany in 1883.
Almost a hundred years later, Ed and his wife Mary Ann purchased St. Mary’s German Catholic Church (the Graf family church) and Priory from Penndot, saving them from the wrecking ball. Mary Ann oversaw the restoration of the Priory as a small, European style hotel and later, with their son John and daughter-in-Law Suzanne, the restoration of the church into Pittsburgh’s Grand Hall. Ed continued his career as a CPA-Attorney and Mary Ann built the business.
With the Priory located in the heart of old Deutschtown, Ed began to embrace his Swiss and German roots, joining Teutonia Männerchor, the Pittsburgh Swiss Society and the Teutonia Mens’ Chorus and Schweizer Männerchor Helvetia of Allegheny City. He served on the Board of Teutonia as Treasurer for seven years and co-chaired its 150th anniversary committee. He was an early member of the committee for creating a Swiss Nationality room at the University of Pittsburgh’s world renowned “Nationality Rooms”. As a gift to that room Ed’s family commissioned a replica of the museum piece “Kachelofen” (a tile oven painted with scenes of the day) created by Hans Heinrich Graf in 1647 and displayed at Schloss Wulfligen in Winterthur, Switzerland.