Obituaries

James F. Grathwohl

James F. Grathwohl of Cutchogue, Long Island, N.Y., and formerly of Reston, Va., died on Friday, Jan. 28, 2022. He was 84 years old.

Born in Cutchogue on July 8, 1937, he was the son of Corwin and Ruth (Gildersleeve) Grathwohl. He is survived by his sister, Emily G. Victoria, also of Cutchogue. A graduate of Mattituck High School in 1955, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Gettysburg College, Class of 1959.

Following five years as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army, Jim joined Burroughs Corporation in 1965 in Rochester, N.Y., and moved to Detroit in 1970. In 1980, he was transferred to Washington, D.C., where he was on the executive staffs of Unisys (successor to Burroughs), Loral Corporation and Lockheed Martin. His business career spanned over 30 years in management and executive positions in human resources, corporate communications, community relations, government relations and marketing. He retired in 1996.

In addition to his business career, Jim was well known for his volunteer and philanthropic work. Always an ardent preservationist and advocate for historic landmarks, open space and the environment, Jim was actively involved with community organizations wherever he lived and worked, especially on his native Eastern Long Island, where he was a well-known local historian who also restored several historic houses.

Jim’s friends and colleagues say he will be remembered for his strength of character, creative talents and generosity of spirit. He was a true gentleman in every sense of the word: He treated people with dignity and respect; he was always generous and eager to help his community; and he was a devoted family man of quiet strength and faith.

His community involvement included president, board of trustees, The Old House (a National Historic Landmark) in Cutchogue, since 1990; chairman, Southold Town Landmarks Preservation Commission, since 2001; former trustee, Society for the Cutchogue-New Suffolk Historical Council, in 1960; member, project committee, Peconic Land Trust; founder, North Fork Heritage Alliance; and chairman, Douglas Moore Music Festival for over 20 years.

Jim was known as a local historian whose walking tours, articles, lectures and narrations of slide shows and videos on local topics were always enjoyed by both local residents and visitors to the area. A trustee of the National Automotive History Collection at the Detroit Public Library for over 25 years, Jim also served on the boards of the United Way of Metropolitan Detroit, Southeastern Pennsylvania and Fairfax County (Va.). He also traveled extensively around the world and enjoyed his collections of antique cars and model trains.

A memorial service will take place at a later date at First Presbyterian Church of Southold (N.Y.), where he was a member. Interment will be in the Grathwohl family plot at Cutchogue Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made in his name to Peconic Land Trust (P.O. Box 1776, Southampton, NY 11969); First Presbyterian Church of Southold (P.O. Box 787, Southold, NY 11971); or Cutchogue Fire Department (260 New Suffolk Road, Cutchogue, NY 11935).

DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home in Southold is serving the family.

This is a paid notice.

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