William “Bill” T. Grafe

May 5, 1941 – January 22, 2024

William “Bill” Theodore Grafe was born May 5, 1941 in Oakland, California and raised in the East Bay island town of Alameda. Bill is survived by his wife, Donnette, of sixty years, his sons, Mike Grafe, Don Grafe and Ted Grafe (all of Santa Rosa) his brother, Bob Grafe of Clinton, Illinois as well as seven grandchildren. Bill and Donnette moved to Santa Rosa, bought a home and in time welcomed the first of their three sons. Bill became a partner in Eggen and Lance and, in 1986, the sole owner. He sold the mortuary in 1992, but stayed on for more than a decade as manager. Bill had made note that following poem be published in his obituary. He will be greatly missed by family, friends, and the staff of Eggen & Lance.

 “The Undertaker”

By Darlene Rush

This is for the undertaker,
who’s story is sad to tell,
for what he does is never mentioned,
and often overlooked as well.

He’s not at all what you might picture,
he’s not wrinkled, old and gray.
His face is not the pasty white,
like storybooks portray.

Some people laugh and make their jokes,
and some turn up their nose,
and many think that he is strange,
for the life that he has chose.

But there are many things that they don’t see,
and even more that they don’t know.
Like all the nights he gets no rest,
but never lets it show.

I have seen him work both day and night,
with no time to eat or sleep.
To care for those in mourning,
and comfort those who weep.

The load he carries on his shoulders,
is more than you or I could bear.
But he always seems to find the time,
to show you that he cares.

So when you see the undertaker,

Take the time to shake his hand,
and a moment to just say “hi.”
I think you’ll find the undertaker,
is just an ordinary guy.

Service Information

Visitation will be held at Eggen & Lance on February 9th, 2024 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm

Funeral Mass will be held at Star of The Valley in Oakmont on February 10th, 2024 at 11:00 am

Committal will be held at Santa Rosa Memorial Park


In lieu of flowers, Bill’s family suggests memorial donations to Cardinal Newman High School, 4320 Old Redwood Highway, Santa Rosa 95403, or to the Wounded Warrior Project, woundedwarriorproject.org.