Sylvia Sophia Graefe

November 24, 1941
October 27, 2021

Sylvia Sophia Graefe, age 79, of Green Bay, passed away at home after a brief illness on Wednesday, October 27, 2021. Sylvia was born in Sheboygan, WI on November 24, 1941, to German-Russian immigrant parents, John and Anna (Jurk) Kraemer. She graduated from Sheboygan Central high school in 1960 and married the love of her life (James) on October 21, 1961, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Sheboygan. They moved to Green Bay with their growing family in 1966.

Syl, as her many friends called her, is remembered as a devoted and tenacious woman, who fiercely supported her family, friends and many causes. Alongside Jim, Syl gave her time and resources to many local charitable and civic organizations, as well as numerous environmental causes. Always generous with her love, guidance, time, resources and a warm loaf of bread, Sylvia will be missed by so many. Her generosity and hospitality made everyone feel welcome.

Sylvia enjoyed adventure and travel during her lifetime, including several camping trips with her family to Colorado and Idaho, a week-long vacation on a sailboat in Long Beach, CA, a trip to the Bahamas in a 4-passenger plane and various trips to visit family and friends.  She was always happy to try new cuisines and appreciated learning about different cultures. Syl and Jim enjoyed concerts, art exhibits and supporting local initiatives together.

Syl was an extraordinary mother to three daughters, two sons, one daughter-in-law and three sons-in-law, in addition to the many others she considered part of her close-knit group of loved ones. She was “Bubbie” to six grandchildren, providing them with love, guidance and an abundance of lessons in baking, knitting, cooking, canning, gardening, entertaining and so much more.  She raised lifelong learners who use their hands and hearts to help others. Her perseverance and integrity were an inspiration to everyone that had the blessing of being a part of her life.

Sylvia leaves a legacy of love for all that knew her and lives on in the hearts of her friends and family. Her beautiful soul will be sadly missed by her husband of 60 years, Jim; her children Margaret (Paul) Brunette, Sara (Dean) Temlitz, Jennifer (Chris) Graefe-Olander, Charles, and Samuel (Jenny). She is further survived by her sister Marianna Hartman, six grandchildren: Clara and Konrad Temlitz, August and Leopold Brunette, Rory and Ellie Graefe; step-grandchildren: Megan and Alicia; and many nieces, nephews and loving friends.

The family would like to give a special thank you to the staff at: Green Bay Oncology Radiation Therapy, Unity Hospice, and St. Vincent hospital for their care at this difficult time, along with their dear friends and neighbors that provided assistance and support.

According to Sylvia’s wishes, no services will be held at this time. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to The Friends of Brown County Library, Early Literacy Program (, Paul’s Pantry of Green Bay ( or a charity of your choice in Sylvia’s name.