WILMINGTON, Del.—Ralph S. Graff, retired from DuPont and for decades one of the most active members of the ACS Rubber Division, has died.
Officially dubbed "Mr. Rubber Division," Graff died this past May 25 at the Heartland Hospice in Wilmington at the age of 94. Living much of his life in Hockessin, Del., word of his death didn't come out until some months later, as a funeral mass was held for him Sept. 13.
Graff was born in Johnstown, Pa., and in 1947 graduated with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. His studies were interrupted by a 1943 World War II enlistment and 15 months of active duty service in the Philippines, U.S. Army, 6th Signal Corps.
He created the Ralph S. Graff Legacy Fund in the Engineering Technology Division at Pittsburgh Johnstown. In 2016, the school honored him with the Distinguished Alumni Legacy Award.
He started his rubber industry career in 1947 as a member of Goodyear's Flying Squadron.
But he spent the bulk of his career at DuPont, working there for 40 years, retiring as the head of market exploration.
Graff was active for more than 70 years in the Rubber Division, serving on countless committees and holding numerous offices, including chair of the division in 1980. He also served as the division's councilor to the American Chemical Society from 1982-96 and as chair of the 25 Year Club from 1982 to 2005 (a group he helped form). Graff also had been active in the Philadelphia Rubber Group, and was a member of the Rubber Band, a musical group of Philadelphia Rubber Group members who played at meetings.