Richard T Graeber

Vancouver, WA

? , 2014

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
67 Army  


 Richard was a Door Gunner in the Vietnam War. Richard's ashes were found a year after his passing when a friend was cleaning out some of his things. 

For some memorial service snapshots. click photo below:

Richard T Graeber Memorial Service

March 30, 2015

From KOIN 6 TV 03/30/15
Proper goodbye for veteran Richard Graeber
Richard Graeber was 67 when he died

By Kohr Harlan and KOIN 6 News Staff
VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN 6) — A Vietnam veteran who died in 2014 but whose ashes were discovered recently in a storage shed will be laid to rest Monday.
Richard Graeber, who was 67 when he died, will be buried in a military service at the Willamette National Cemetery.

With Patriot Guard Riders lining the path, friends came to pay their final respects to Richard Graeber.

“It’s important to those people who have lost someone to know that others care,” Chris Keller, an Oregon state captain with the Patriot Guard Riders, told KOIN 6 News on March 6.

The woman who found his cremains, Norma Guthrie, planned the memorial for him.
Guthrie made the arrangements and paid off his bills, but had a hard time finding Graeber’s surviving family, aside from a son who was adopted to other parents.

She was afraid no one would show up to the funeral, but her fears were not realized.

“I was very fearful it was going to be just me and my husband Dave.”

In addition to Patriot Guard Riders other friends of Richard came. The American flag symbolizing the life lost was given to Richard’s only surviving relative, a 6-year-old son named Richie.

Memories of his father are faint. He said he would most remember that his dad “was a gunner.”

Richie’s adoptive father, Chad Weaver, told KOIN 6 News he and his wife “decided we were not going to hold that from him because we wanted him to know who his dad was.”

Chaplain Terry Schrick said it “was so neat” the community showed up to honor Richard Graeber and to let Richie know “his dad’s life had value.”
From KOIN 6 TV 03/05/15
Woman finds veteran’s cremains, plans memorial
Norma Guthrie also paying unpaid bills left behind from man's caretaker

By Kohr Harlan and KOIN 6 News Staff
Published: March 5, 2015, 4:21 pm Updated: March 6, 2015, 3:48 pm

VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN 6) — He served his country bravely, but was forgotten in death. Now, a deceased veteran has an afterlife advocate in Vancouver.

In February, Norma Guthrie found a surprising discovery while cleaning out the storage unit of a friend who had passed away over a year ago: the cremated remains of a U.S. veteran.

“Any veteran that served our country, whether they have family or not, everybody should step up and at least pay respect,” Guthrie told KOIN 6 News.
The cremains are Richard Graeber, a helicopter door gunner in the Vietnam War, who died at age 67 more than a year ago. According to Guthrie, in Graeber’s final days he was taken care of by a man who used up all his money, and left his cremains and belongings in the storage unit.

Guthrie arranged a funeral service for Graeber, and she said she’s trying to pay long overdue bills his caretaker never paid.

Among his other belongings was a picture of Graeber’s 7-year-old son, who was adopted by another family less than a year before his father’s death.

“Richard knew he was getting bad and so just before his son got adopted Richard went down and spent like four or five days with his son when he was in foster care,” Guthrie said.

Because the boy has been adopted, Guthrie said he won’t be eligible for his father’s social security benefits — but he is entitled to his military retirement.

Guthrie has scheduled a memorial for Guthrie on March 30 at 1 p.m. at Willamette National Cemetery.

“I just want him to go in peace,” Guthrie said. “Everybody deserves that.”

Guthrie told KOIN 6 News she is worried she and her husband will be the only ones at the funeral.

“We probably will be, but two is better than none,” she said.
Fox 12 KPTV 03/30/15
Vietnam vet's ashes discovered in storage, receives memorial year after death

Posted: Mar 30, 2015 7:42 PM PDT Updated: Mar 30, 2015 7:52 PM PDT
By FOX 12 Staff

A veteran of the Vietnam War received a memorial Monday after an old neighbor found his ashes sitting in storage a year after his death.

Norma Guthrie says she thought Richard Graeber's caretaker took care of his memorial a long time ago, but that wasn't the case.

“We found Richard's ashes in a storage unit,” Guthrie says. “My husband is a vet so we decided to do the right thing.”

Graeber served in the Army as a helicopter gunner in the Vietnam War. Members of the Patriot Guard Riders made sure he was buried with full military honors.

Guthrie says she was worried Graeber's family wouldn't show up to the funeral. She made phone calls to the Department of Homeland Security and things started coming together.

“I'm just happy that everyone could make it out and help me find Richie, because this is for them, not for me. This is the most important thing to a family,” Guthrie says.

Guthrie wasn't able to get in touch with all of Graeber's family, but she says she did find the important ones, including his 6-year-old son, Richie.

“We've taught him a little bit about what to expect. He doesn't fully grasp it. One day he will be able to look back,” says Richie's adopted father.

Copyright 2015 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

Click To Return To Main Page

 Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away

Copyright 2015  Q Madp  PO Box 86888  Portland OR 97286-0888