Kenyon Elmer Graff

5 Nov 1924 - 15 Jun 2009


Kenyon Elmer Graff

5 Nov 1924 - 15 Jun 2009
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Orem Geneva Times Newspaper- Wednesday August 14, 1996 by Reva Bowen City Editor Kenyon Graff, 71, of Orem, hasn't played marbles regularly for about 60 years. That didn't stop him from taking first place in the state in the 'Old timers' division of the Centennial marbles competition held recently i
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Life Information

Kenyon Elmer Graff


Orem Cemetery

770 Murdock Canal Trail
Orem, Utah, Utah
United States


September 18, 2011

Papa Moose

September 18, 2011

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Local player tops the field in Centennial Marble competition

Contributor: RWhisnant Created: 7 months ago Updated: 7 months ago

Orem Geneva Times Newspaper- Wednesday August 14, 1996 by Reva Bowen City Editor Kenyon Graff, 71, of Orem, hasn't played marbles regularly for about 60 years. That didn't stop him from taking first place in the state in the "Old timers" division of the Centennial marbles competition held recently in Charleston, Utah. Ken won every game he played in the two-hour tournament===a total of four--to walk away with the top honors and several prizes, including a trophy, a T-shirt, and an 1896 silver dollar. The tournament games were played on a carpet surface, in a circle approximately six feet in diameter. Thirteen marbles were lined up in a criss-cross formation. Players took turns hitting the marbles out of the circle, and the first one to get seven marbles out won the game. Ken's wife, Ruth, said spectators were mainly drawn to the Seniors (Old timers) division out of the three competition levels--Peewee, Masters, and Seniors--because the skill level was so high among the "oldsters". Starting off in dramatic style, Ken shattered the first marble he hit with his taw, a beautiful flint he purchased over 20 years ago. He finished up the competition with a flair as well. In the championship game, Ken and his opponent were tied with five marbles out each. Ken's last shot took out two marbles at once for the win. Ken and Ruth had modest expectations when they set out for the tournament. The marble master was coming off a tennis injury that had left him unable to practice a great deal. "I thought if he could win one game, that would be great, " Ruth said. The couple soon found they did not have the same "rooting" contingent that other competitors had, either. Ruth assisted her husband by watching carefully and after each shot, retrieving his taw, a valuable marble Ken estimates may be worth close to $100 now. Ken's love for the game of marbles developed during his boyhood years growing up in Hurricane in Southern Utah. All during recess, after school, and any time when he could slip away from herding cows or doing other farm work, Ken would play the game in all its myriad variations. "This was our entertainment in those days," he said. Ken's father, Elmer, was a schoolteacher as well as a farmer, and he was an excellent marble shooter, too. The love of the game was conveyed on to Ken, who eventually acquired a collection of hundreds of marbles. His more moderate collection today includes stogies, steelies, agates, onyx, and flints. After a day's play, the flints would sometimes develop moons or spots on them from the hits they had made or taken. Ken said he used to come home and put the scarred marbles in his mother's lard bucket, and in the morning the moons would be gone. "Why, I don't know," he admitted. Ken jokes that he won the opportunity to represent Orem in the tournament "by default". He read about the Centennial marbles competition being held as part of Orem's Summer Fest activities, and he coaxed Ruth to go with him to check it out. The kids there didn't know how to hold a marble, let alone shoot it." Ken smiled. He did some teaching and some playing, and Jan Clark, a Summer Fest volunteer who helped with the marbles and jacks competition, asked him to represent Orem in the state tournament. Ken and Ruth were married in 1950 and have lived in Orem for 46 years. He worked in the inspection department at Geneva in the rolling mills, retiring after 37 years. The couple are the parents of five and they have 22 grandchildren. One son is a marble collector and he was thrilled along with the rest of the family about the news of the state championship trophy. But Ken realized that his grandchildren don't know how to play. He plans on packing some marbles when he goes to visit them. "I'm definitely going to teach them how to play," he said. "I'd hate to have them lose it." Ruth said she believes the purpose of having the Centennial tournaments throughout the state was to give people living today the opportunity to play the games that were popular in 1896, and to see that the skills are not lost to the rising generation. "That's the first trophy I ever won," Ken declared. "It was sure fun, anyway," Ruth added.

Life Timeline of Kenyon Elmer Graff

Kenyon Elmer Graff was born on 5 Nov 1924
Kenyon Elmer Graff was 6 years old when Great Depression: In a State of the Union message, U.S. President Herbert Hoover proposes a $150 million (equivalent to $2,197,000,000 in 2017) public works program to help generate jobs and stimulate the economy. The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression that took place mostly during the 1930s, beginning in the United States. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations; in most countries it started in 1929 and lasted until the late-1930s. It was the longest, deepest, and most widespread depression of the 20th century. In the 21st century, the Great Depression is commonly used as an example of how far the world's economy can decline.
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Kenyon Elmer Graff was 21 years old when World War II: Nagasaki is devastated when an atomic bomb, Fat Man, is dropped by the United States B-29 Bockscar. Thirty-five thousand people are killed outright, including 23,200-28,200 Japanese war workers, 2,000 Korean forced workers, and 150 Japanese soldiers. Nagasaki is the capital and the largest city of Nagasaki Prefecture on the island of Kyushu in Japan. The city's name, 長崎, means "long cape" in Japanese. Nagasaki became a centre of colonial Portuguese and Dutch influence in the 16th through 19th centuries, and the Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region have been recognized and included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Part of Nagasaki was home to a major Imperial Japanese Navy base during the First Sino-Japanese War and Russo-Japanese War.
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Kenyon Elmer Graff was 28 years old when Jonas Salk announced the successful test of his polio vaccine on a small group of adults and children (vaccination pictured). Jonas Edward Salk was an American medical researcher and virologist. He discovered and developed one of the first successful polio vaccines. Born in New York City, he attended New York University School of Medicine, later choosing to do medical research instead of becoming a practicing physician. In 1939, after earning his medical degree, Salk began an internship as a physician scientist at Mount Sinai Hospital. Two years later he was granted a fellowship at the University of Michigan, where he would study flu viruses with his mentor Thomas Francis, Jr.
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Kenyon Elmer Graff was 39 years old when The Beatles make their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, performing before a "record-busting" audience of 73 million viewers across the USA. The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. With members John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, they became widely regarded as the foremost and most influential music band in history. Rooted in skiffle, beat and 1950s rock and roll, the Beatles later experimented with several musical styles, ranging from pop ballads and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock, often incorporating classical elements and unconventional recording techniques in innovative ways. In 1963, their enormous popularity first emerged as "Beatlemania"; as the group's music grew in sophistication, led by primary songwriters Lennon and McCartney, the band were integral to pop music's evolution into an art form and to the development of the counterculture of the 1960s.
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Kenyon Elmer Graff was 54 years old when Jim Jones led more than 900 members of the Peoples Temple to mass murder/suicide in Jonestown, Guyana, hours after some of its members assassinated U.S. Congressman Leo Ryan (pictured). James Warren Jones was an American religious cult leader who initiated and was responsible for a mass suicide and mass murder in Jonestown, Guyana. He considered Jesus Christ as being in compliance with an overarching belief in socialism as the correct social order. Jones was ordained as a Disciples of Christ pastor, and he achieved notoriety as the founder and leader of the Peoples Temple cult.
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Kenyon Elmer Graff was 58 years old when Michael Jackson's Thriller, the best-selling album of all time, was released. Michael Joseph Jackson was an American singer, songwriter, and dancer. Dubbed the "King of Pop", he was one of the most popular entertainers in the world, and was the best-selling music artist during the year of his death. Jackson's contributions to music, dance, and fashion along with his publicized personal life made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.
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Kenyon Elmer Graff was 75 years old when Columbine High School massacre: Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 13 people and injured 24 others before committing suicide at Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado. The Columbine High School massacre was a school shooting that occurred on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School in Columbine, an unincorporated area of Jefferson County, Colorado, United States, in the Denver metropolitan area. In addition to the shootings, the complex and highly planned attack involved a fire bomb to divert firefighters, propane tanks converted to bombs placed in the cafeteria, 99 explosive devices, and car bombs. The perpetrators, senior students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, murdered 12 students and one teacher. They injured 21 additional people, and three more were injured while attempting to escape the school. The pair subsequently committed suicide.
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Kenyon Elmer Graff died on 15 Jun 2009 at the age of 84
Grave record for Kenyon Elmer Graff (5 Nov 1924 - 15 Jun 2009), BillionGraves Record 237930 Orem, Utah, Utah, United States