SEBRING, Fla. —
Elizabeth Kathryn (Katie) Galford McQuiston McGraw, devoted daughter, wife, mother, sister, friend, caregiver, and enthusiastic traveler, died Wednesday, May 28, 2014, in Sebring, Fla. She had been a resident of Sebring Village for the past 20 years.
Born in Richmond Township in the Guys Mills community on March 2, 1925, Katie was a daughter of Frank and Ida Gum Galford. She was one of five Galford sisters and two brothers to grow up on their parents’ farm. Katie graduated from Townville High School in 1942 and became a registered nurse, graduating from Meadville City Hospital’s three-year School of Nursing in 1945. Later she took classes at Long Beach City College in Long Beach, Calif., and earned her associate’s of science degree. She worked at Meadville City Hospital for 13 years in the OB/GYN and Surgical wards. She helped deliver many babies, including a few relatives. Ahead of the times and fiercely independent, Katie, now divorced from Amon McQuiston and the mother of two young children, frustrated with the low pay and scraping ice off her windshield each morning, accepted a job at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in sunny Long Beach, Calif. In 1959 she packed her children into her 1953 Chevy, Betsy, and headed toward a new life. She retired from the VA Hospital in Long Beach after 20 years of service.
Katie met Ernest McGraw when he was a patient at the VA Hospital. They were married on the Queen Mary in 1973. During their marriage, Ernie and Katie enjoyed being with friends and family, camping in state parks and flying coast to coast in their Cherokee. Katie supported Ernie’s love of flying by taking flying lessons and soloing, which was a feat she was proud to have accomplished. Katie’s children, DeAnna and Ron, considered her to not only be their mother and role model, but their best friend. She made many sacrifices for them and stood her ground when she thought it was necessary. She attended Father’s Day banquets with her son and concerts with her daughter, taking them camping in Yosemite, and especially loved to make their family trips to Knott’s Berry Farm for chicken dinners at least one Sunday a month. She loved her son-in-law, Jim King, and counted on him for advice and support many times in her life, her daughter-in-law, Kathy Callahan, and her grandson, Jimmy King, who was one of her favorite people in her life. She was very proud of his accomplishments and the good person he has turned into as an adult. She moved to Sebring Village in Sebring, Fla., in 1994 to be closer to family members. It was a decision she never regretted. She loved to spend time with her sister and brother-in-law, Hazel and Forest Goodwill, who also lived in Sebring Village, her traveling and fellow Tampa Bay Rays fan, Eula Orr, also known as Thelma and Louise, and nephews, Jim and Bob Weed, and their families in the Sebring area, who always included her in their family gatherings. She made many friends in Sebring, and enjoyed playing cards, Thursday night bingo, Saturday breakfasts with the “in-crowd,” aqua exercises and taking cruises with family and friends as often as possible. She traveled with groups of fellow nurses, family members and friends to Europe, Thailand, Hawaii, Alaska, Mexico, the Caribbean and the Panama Canal. Katie always wanted to see what was waiting for her around the next corner and was open to opportunities as life presented them. Special thanks to Dr. Bassetti, who cared and supported Katie through the years.
Graveside services will be held at Kingsley Cemetery, Townville, on Wednesday at 10 a.m.
Arrangements are in the care of Willis L. Arnold Funeral Home, 33353 N. Main St., Townville, a branch of Roofner-Collins-Warren Funeral Home and Cremation Services Inc., Meadville. Please take a moment to share a memory or condolence with the family on Katie’s Book of Memories online at roofnercollinswarrenfh.com.