In Memory

Henry (Cleve) DeGraaf

DeGRAAF, Henry Cleveland "Cleve"

"Cleve" 69, of St. Petersburg, passed away Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016 surrounded by his loving family. He was born in St. Petersburg, FL, Feb. 11, 1946 to the late Leland H. DeGraaf Jr. and the late Isabelle F DeGraaf. Henry graduated from Georgia Southwestern University where he earned his bachelor's degree. Henry is survived by his siblings, Leland "Bud" DeGraaf III, Robert "Bob" DeGraaf, and Jane DeGraaf Wise, as well as his extended family.  Anderson-McQueen Funeral Home, 2201 Dr. MLK St N, St. Petersburg 33704. Final resting place is at Royal Palm South. The family would like to thank Suncoast Hospice - St. Petersburg Orange Team for their care of our brother, Cleve. Visit his online guestbook at:

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02/01/16 09:42 AM #1    

John Stovall

The Stovalls and the DeGraafs  grew up across Catalan Blvd together.  Their three boys were about the same age and their girl was the youngest as was ours.  Cleve and I explored what were then the woods of Snell Isle along Rafael Blvd and around the golf course.  We built forts, lined up firecrackers for the cars that ventured down that road, swam in the streets after rain flooded the neighborhood  and pedaled out to Weedons Island in search of snakes and Indian mounds.  My only fight was with Cleve, one we each were pretty sure that we won.  I remember Cleve losing a joint of one of his fingers in his push lawnmower and rushing to the hospital.  Never got a good explanation of how he managed that.  And in high school, playing football, they couldn’t find a helmet to properly fit down on his generous head which was pretty funny to us until he got smacked in the forehead, losing track of how many fingers were held up in front of him.

Cleve was, indeed, a kind person with a hearty laugh and an expressive face to match.  When he related a funny story, his eyebrows careened up to his hairline and the more he spoke, the more he tumbled over his words until he just laughed and laughed. 

He spent a lot of time out west in various places and adventures, ending up in Las Vegas for a period of time.  I seem to remember that he was in Montana for a time.  And then he came home to St. Petersburg. 

I know that he had had problems with his health over the years. 

A kind soul.  May he surely rest in peace.

02/02/16 11:35 AM #2    

Yvonne McKeithen (Smith)

What great memories, John. Thanks for sharing.


02/02/16 12:19 PM #3    

Vic Japour

Cleve was in my wedding in 1970. Cleve was with me in 1964 when I stole my father's car at midnight to go on a double date only to find my dad hiding behind a door when I returned at 3 a.m. (yes i got smacked) He thought that was funny and I still am hearing him laugh......Cleve and I decided to tune my cousins car up one night at the Amoco on 4th st 22nd ave (accross from melting pot). We totally destroyed the carb and other parts and had to walk home and have the car towed to a car repair shop the next day..I think it was his fault..

Cleve called me 3 weeks ago and we talked for a long time and he told me he was not feeling well and had just been in a car accident and was in therapy..We agreed to hook up on our next trip to St. Pete, I wish that could happen..

Pam and I will always remember Cleve, he was a great pal.. Rest in peace my friend!


02/02/16 09:25 PM #4    

Barbara Ferguson (Benjamin)

I am so sorry to hear about Cleve's death.  I remember him well from our North Shore days...he was one of the nicest people in our class. May you rest in peace, Cleve!


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