Cover photo for Herb McGraw's Obituary
1947 Herb McGraw 2023

Herb McGraw

December 23, 1947 — August 13, 2023

Niles, Michigan


Herbert Lee, McGraw, Sr. age 75 years of Niles, Michigan; husband, father, grandfather, brother, union sheetrock finisher, devout Christian, and fun-loving prankster died peacefully at 7:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 13, 2023 with his family gathered around at his home following an extended illness.  His family is grateful for the kind and compassionate care provided by the staff of Caring Circle Hospice at Home.

He was born on December 23, 1947 in Greencastle, Indiana to Carl G. and Helen L. (Gorham) McGraw and attended school in Greencastle.  Carl took a job at the former Studebaker plant in South Bend, and moved his young family to South Bend where his son continued his education.  Herb joined the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades,  becoming a drywall installer and finisher.  He became quite proficient in his trade, and was proud to work on many projects at the University of Notre Dame.  He also worked independently for family and friends providing a variety of carpentry and other homebuilding skills.

Herb was formerly a long-time member of the Church of God Full Gospel in Niles, was ordained by the Rev. H. Richard Hall of the United Christian Church and Ministerial Association of Cleveland, Tennessee, and was currently a member of the Faith Victory Fellowship in Buchanan, Michigan.

He golfed in both styles, using a bag full of clubs and balls at Hampshire Country Club, and a bag full of discs at Madeline Bertrand County Park.  He enjoyed fishing on local rivers and ponds, riding Harley Davidson motorcycles, first a shovelhead, and then the fat boy, and was a great fan of the Notre Dame Football team.  He liked to tell jokes – usually funny – and play pranks on family and friends.  He also liked to be the first person with new information, earning the nickname “McGraw Gazette”.  Most of these activities were best accomplished with his family, which was his greatest joy.

On January 24, 1986 at the Church of God Full Gospel in Niles he was married by the late Rev. Morton Hemphill to the former Diane Churchich with whom he celebrated the thirty-seventh of their wedding earlier this year.  They were sadly preceded in death by a daughter, Sarah Elizabeth McGraw on March 24, 2022, a son, Shane Michael Lee Biggs McGraw on October 4, 2022, and Herb’s sister, Hazel Richer on December 1, 2006.

Surviving family includes his wife, Diane McGraw; children Bruce (& Kim) Word of Milan, Ohio, and Erika (& Joe) Mitchell, Kasey McGraw, Herbie McGraw II, and Willie (& Andrea) McGraw, all of Niles; twenty grandchildren including Wisdom Jermaine Lyons II, Harlem Durrell Lyons, Emma McGraw, Jessica McGraw, Jade McGraw, A.J. (& Ashley) Mitchell, Brandy Mitchell, and Rebecca (& Scott) Mapes; many great-grandchildren; Herb’s siblings, C. George (& June) McGraw II and William McGraw, both of Niles, and Carl “Bud” McGraw III of Houston, Texas; and many nieces and nephews.

The family of Herb McGraw will host a Celebration of Herb’s Life at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 22, 2023 at the Faith Victory Fellowship, 13369 Main Street in Buchanan with Senior Pastor David Mitchel of the church officiating.  Arrangements were made at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles.  Online condolences may be left at:

Herb clearly loved his life, building homes and finishing building interiors, golfing – and golfing – and riding his Harley, and cheering-on Notre Dame.  More importantly, he loved the people in his life, making them smile and laugh, especially his kids and grandkids, and Diane; and most importantly, he loved to share news, especially the “good news”, the Gospel of the love of Jesus.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Herb McGraw, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

Faith Victory Fellowship

13369 Main St, Buchanan, MI 49107

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