The former Eileen Buss was born and raised in Hagerstown, where she graduated in 1964 from North Hagerstown High School.
"She went to work for the Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co. and the only job open was for a nurse. She did that for several years before they moved her over to the sales and marketing side, where she worked on commercial accounts," said her husband of 34 years, William R. Graeff, who had worked in the government relations division of Verizon.
While working at the phone company, Mrs. Graeff attended college at night and earned a bachelor's degree in 1982 in psychology and counseling from what is now Loyola University Maryland.
Mrs. Graeff retired in 1998 from successor company Verizon.
The longtime Ellicott City resident was an avid reader and physical fitness buff. She had been a member of the Howard County YMCA, where she swam and worked out five days a week. She also supported the Y's charitable efforts.
Mrs. Graeff enjoyed playing bridge and sailing the Chesapeake Bay.
She was a former member of Hagerstown United Church of Christ.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. March 19 at the Roman Catholic Shrine of St. Anthony, 12290 Folly Quarter Road, Ellicott City.
In addition to her husband, Mrs. Graeff is survived by a stepson, Ben Graeff of Baltimore; two stepdaughters, Lara Doyle of Arlington, Va., and Jen Madrone of Honeydew, Calif.; two sisters, Helen Buss Mitchell of Ellicott City and Linda C. Krupa of Richmond, Va.; and five step-grandchildren.