by ROX Media | Photography by Blushing Cactus Photography
Prescott Frontier Days, Inc.® (PFD) President Chris Graff passed away on July 2, 2022 during the Saturday Performance at the World’s Oldest Rodeo®, which is exactly how many people who knew him say he would have wanted to go.
The all-around community leader was born May 18, 1960 in Clifton, Texas and raised in Paullina, Iowa, and brought his own family to Prescott in 1997. An avid outdoorsman, he became an integral part of the local rodeo community and loved the history and culture that its central event brought to the city. His determination and “no-guff” attitude helped to ensure the nonprofit’s ongoing success and led to his selection as PFD’s president in 2016, a title he held for the rest of his life.
One of his favorite quotes was: “Tell me I can’t, then watch me work twice as hard to prove you wrong.”
Jim Dewey Brown, PFD general manager, said, “Graff is now a part of our rodeo’s legacy. He strived to share rodeo traditions with people from all over the world. We will be forever thankful for all he has done for the organization, and our community.”
The Prescott Valley resident was respected as a businessman as vice president of Asphalt Paving/McCormick Construction, where he was employed for 17 years. He was active in numerous other organizations, serving as Chairman of the Prescott Valley Chamber of Commerce and Vice Chair of the Prescott Valley Economic Development Foundation.
He was a board member of Arizona’s chapter of Associated General Contractors, a recent past member of the board of directors for the Association of Rodeo Committees and earlier this year became vice president of the Mohave Valley Contractors Association and a board member for United Way of Yavapai County.
He was a big fan of our Prescott Frontier Days® Rodeo Cookbook to which he donated several of his cherished family recipes.
He is survived by his wife Denine Graff; his mother, Cynthia Lenz; his children: TC “Travis” Graff, Tasha Robbins, Erica Buckavich and Tera Stubelfield; and his six grandchildren.
Chris was a friend to ROX Media and we will miss him, as will the rest of Greater Prescott.