Jean Graetz Wiki – Jean Graetz Bio
Superb. Jean Graetz, one of the few whites to join the city’s civil rights movement in the 1950s in Montgomery, pushes forward even when faced with cut tires, obscene phone calls, and numerous bombings – he died at his home Wednesday. In Montgomery. She was 90 years old.
Jean Graetz Age
She was 90 years old.
Jean Graetz Husband & Early Life
The couple arrived in Montgomery in 1955 after the Ohio-educated newly minted Lutheran minister, Mr. Graetz, was appointed to a predominantly Black church. Black Lutherans were rare in Alabama, and even rarer for a white priest to abandon living in their neighborhood and preach to them, as the Graetz did.
Although Mr. Graetz was the lead actor of the couple and preached to the herd every Sunday, Ms. Graetz played an equal role behind the scenes, held events and established connections with members of the city’s civil rights movement.
“My mom didn’t like looking at them as a team,” her daughter Carolyn Graetz Glass said in a phone interview. She was glad she let our father shine. But there was no Bob without Jeannie and Jeannie without Bob. ”
One of his neighbors, Rosa Parks, used a room in Trinity Lutheran at the church to hold meetings of the local N.A.A.C.P. episode. When Mrs. Parks was arrested in 1955 for refusing to give up her seat on a reserved bus, Ms. Graetz was among the women who began planning what turned out to be a one-year boycott of the city’s public transport. The boycott, Rev. Dr. It would push Martin Luther King Jr. to the center of international attention.
While her husband used his podium to spread the latest news about the boycott, Ms. Graetz was immersed in endless organizational tasks, such as arranging for childcare, preparing lunch, and interviewing boycott leaders and salaried reporters who landed in Montgomery. . An empty plot of land behind Graetzes’ house was used to hold many cars that sympathizers lent to the bus boycott.
Historian Taylor Branch, “Leaving the Waters: America in the Years of the King, 1954-63.”
The reaction of the white community for violating these boundaries was sudden and deadly. Ms. Graetz received numerous threatening phone calls. Sugar was spilled on the gas tanks of their cars and the tires were cut.
In August 1956, while the couple was at the Highlander Public School, a civil rights education center in Tennessee with Mrs.Parks, a bomb exploded in their front yard. Five months later, another bomb hit their home, broke windows and broke a door, this time while sleeping inside with their newborn son David. Another much larger bomb could not be detonated; A neighbor who had been trained in explosives in the army came to help him disarm.
Mrs. Parks also came and helped Mrs. Graetz sweep the broken windows while Mr. Graetz was dealing with the police. Many suspects were arrested. An all-white jury acquitted them.
The Graetzes never hesitated to return to civil rights studies.
“There are beautiful vague liberals and then there are Graetzes,” said Jeanne Theoharis, professor of political science at Brooklyn College and author of “The Rebel Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks” (2013). “This is not a one-time solution. Doing what they do requires doing it every day.”
Mr. Graetz took a new assignment to an Ohio church in 1956. He refused the offer. However, two years later he could not do the same. The couple returned north and Mr. Graetz served at a number of churches in Ohio and Washington, D.C.
But Graetzler returned to Montgomery several times, often with his children, including the last leg of the march from Selma to Montgomery in support of the Voting Rights Act in 1965.
They also became active in civil rights and other movements in Ohio. Their first arrest – but not their end – was in 2000, when L.G.B.T.Q. It happened when they closed a parking lot as part of a protest. Rights in Cleveland; They were arrested after participating in similar protests in Washington and Indianapolis.
With his wife an L.G.B.T.Q. Rights organization in Montgomery.
Jean Ellis was born on December 24, 1929, on a farm in East Springfield, Pennsylvania, near the state’s Ohio border. Her parents Marshall and Marian (Smith) Ellis were farmers.
Mrs. Graetz survived, in addition to her daughters Mrs. Ellis and Mrs. Glass, by two other daughters Diann and Katherine Graetz; two sons, David and Jonathan Graetz; four sisters, Ruth Warner, Lola Mitchell, Kathleen Iamaio and Mary Maxwell; 26 grandchildren; 17 grandchildren; and a great-great grandson. Robert S. Graetz III died in 1991.
Mrs. Graetz met her husband at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, where she studied elementary school and studied theology. They got married in 1951. That same year, when he graduated two years before him and took his first preaching assignment – Los Angeles, then Montgomery – he dropped out of school to follow him.
After Graetzes returned to Montgomery in 2005, he went to Alabama State University, which was historically a Black college, and returned to school to complete his studies. She graduated in 2015 she.
The couple, often dressed in self-selected color-matched outfits, became a fixture in Montgomery’s activist community and helped run the National Center for Civil Rights and African-American Culture Studies in the State of Alabama.
In 2018, a handwritten note documenting Mrs.Parks’ friendship went up for auction. Mr. and Mrs. Graetz, who was never rich, bought it for $ 9,375. They immediately donated it to the university.
“Sacrifice is something they have done all their lives,” said the couple’s friend, Mr. Mullinax. “So it didn’t really surprise me that they will sacrifice materially at the end of their lives. It ties it all together in a bow.”
Jean Graetz Death
Family friend Kenneth Mullinax was the cause of lung cancer. She died just three months after her husband, Robert, with whom she was a partner in the civil rights efforts.