HAROLD "SHORTY" GRAPHENTEEN was born January 19, 1933 to George and Adella (Lorenzen) Graphenteen at the family’s farm near Woodstock, MN. Shortly after Harold’s birth, they moved to a farm near Hardwick, MN. In 1941, the family relocated to a farm outside of Jasper, MN where Harold spent the rest of his childhood years. He attended country school through the eighth grade and graduated from Jasper High School in 1952.
While attending a dance at the Hollyhock Ballroom, a young lady named Yuvonne Kleemeier caught his eye. He asked her to dance and the couple began their courtship, which included Yuvonne’s daughter, Coleen. He was drafted into the US Army in May of 1953. He was sent to Fort Lewis in Tacoma, Washington for basic training. That summer, Yuvonne drove out to Washington with some of the girlfriends of Harold’s fellow soldiers. The couple was married at the justice of the peace in Tacoma on August 15, 1953.
Harold was home for a short time in October before his orders to leave for Tokyo, Japan where he served as a teletype operator during the Korean War. He was honorably discharged in April of 1955 and returned home.
The young family farmed outside of Jasper, Minnesota for a number of years. During these years the couple was blessed with two more children, Laura and Steve. In 1967, they moved to a farm near Yuvonne’s childhood home of Magnolia, MN. They lived and farmed here until 1974.
At that time Harold was ready to try a new venture in life and purchased the Trosky bar that they aptly named “Graff’s Bar”. He sold the bar in 1982 when an off sale liquor business came up for sale in Fulda, MN. The couple moved to Fulda where Harold owned and operated “Graff’s Liquor” for the next 25 years.
Harold had the perfect personality to own the bar and liquor store. He was friendly and quite the talker. He could start up a conversation with anyone and people just opened up to him and shared their stories. The younger generation loved to come and visit with him. Harold knew how to have fun in life and people of all ages enjoyed being near him. He sold the business in 2009 and the couple retired to Luverne.
Many years were also spent with family at their cabin on Lake Shetek. Harold enjoyed spending time up at the lake socializing with their neighbors, tinkering in his shed and fixing things. He enjoyed helping others out on projects and was quite a handyman. Harold was an athletic guy and enjoyed golfing, bowling, shooting pool and playing ball. He was the pitcher/catcher for a number of years on local softball teams.
Harold and Yuvonne were members of the same card club for over 60 years. It included eight other couples that got together to play cards, visit about their families, share food and have some fun once a month from September to May and also included an annual summer picnic.
Harold was a member of St John Lutheran Church in Luverne and was a founding member of the Arthur Moeller American Legion Post 478 in Hardwick.
On Sunday, October 13, 2019, Harold died peacefully at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Luverne at the age of 86 years, eight months and 24 days.
Harold is lovingly remembered by his wife, Yuvonne of Luverne; children, Coleen Cauwels of Cresco, IA, Laura (Steve) Van Klei of Champlin, MN, and Steve (Mary Jo) Graphenteen of Luverne; grandchildren, Teresa (Doug) Reisdorfer of Cannon Falls, MN, Beth Cauwels (Tom Norton) of Minneapolis, MN, Michael (Lindsey) Van Klei of Plymouth, MN, Christopher Van Klei (Peter Wampole) of Minneapolis, MN, Taylor (Vashti) Graphenteen of Sandpoint, ID; and Anthony Graphenteen (Kristel Jandl) of Luverne; great-grandchildren, Madison and Kayla Van Klei, Derick Reisdorfer, Regan Graphenteen; brothers, Dale and David (Kim) Graphenteen, WI; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Maxine Kruger and Marvella Wilson; and his son-in-law, Dennis Cauwels.
Memorials may be directed to the Arthur Moeller American Legion Post 478 in Hardwick.