The Rev. Philip John Graf, 60, pastor of Grace Lutheran Church, Brownwood, Texas, since June 1995, died at 1:50 a.m. June 4, 2007, after battling cancer for 15 months. The Rev. Graf was born in Kingsville, Texas, on Jan. 17, 1947, to Edwin and Rosalie Graf. He was baptized into Godís family of believers on Feb. 16, 1947, at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Kingsville, Texas. He renewed his baptism and faith in the Lord Jesus when he was confirmed on March 26, 1961, at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Kingsville, Texas.

Philip attended Del Mar Technical College in Corpus Christi graduating with an Associate in Science Degree in 1968. Then he entered the Army and served his country for three years, mostly on Okinawa. After being discharged, he attended Del Mar College for a year. He transferred to A&I in Kingsville and graduated from there with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1974. He also attended graduate school at North Texas State until his GI Bill was totally used up.

Philip worked for the city of Corpus Christi as a tax assessor for nearly a year and for the State of Texas as an auditor for 15 years.

On July 9, 1977, Philip was married to Alice Henson at Trinity Lutheran Church in Houston, Texas. In 1979 Philip and Alice moved from Houston to Corpus Christi. They were blessed with two sons, Philip John Graf Jr. and Christopher John Graf. In 1991, the family moved to Fort Wayne, Ind., where Philip attended Concordia Theological Seminary. He graduated in May 1995 and was ordained on June 11, 1995, at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Kingsville, Texas. He accepted his first call and was installed on June 26, 1995, at Grace Lutheran Church in Brownwood, Texas.

Philip was preceded in death by his father, Edwin Graf Sr. He is survived by his wife, Alice; two sons, Philip Jr. of Austin, Chris and his wife Toni from Santa Anna; his mother, Rosalie Graf of Corpus Christi; two sisters, Claudia Kinney and husband Don of Olympia, Wash.; Sharon Fischl and husband Joe of Jacksonville, Fla.; brother, Edwin Jr. from Corpus Christi; and brother-in-law, Wayne Henson, of Ogden, Kan.

Philip loved people and loved being a pastor. He proclaimed Christ crucified and witnessed the Gospel long before becoming a pastor. He served in various church offices and on various committees during his life, but what he enjoyed most was sharing the love of Christ with others. Most recently, he was a member of the Brownwood Pastoral Alliance and was a hospital chaplain.

As Philip struggled against cancer the past several months, his faith in God remained unwavering. He knew the glorious place he would enter, and he was ready to rest in his Saviourís loving, almighty arms.

Services will be at 2 p.m. Thursday, June 7, at Grace Lutheran Church. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Davis-Morris Funeral Home. Interment will be at Greenleaf Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations in honor of the Rev. Graf should be made to the Grace Lutheran Church in Brownwood, 1401 First St., for the program to train professional church workers.