In Memoriam 1941-2023
Charles Bryan Graft, affectionately known as C.B., passed away peacefully on April 23, 2023, while surrounded by family. Despite many health challenges in his final years, C.B. never lost the joy he found in his family, his friends, and his community. Most importantly, C.B. always kept his life-long devotion to Jesus Christ.
C.B. was born on January 15, 1941, near Putnam to Paul and Ethel Graft. Along with his older brother, R.B., and sister, Pometa, C.B. was raised on the family farm where he developed a love for farming. During his school years at Custer City, C.B. enjoyed playing sports and was active in the FFA. C.B. then attended Southwestern Oklahoma State University where he played basketball and ran track.
In the third grade C.B. made the decision to become a lawyer. That dream became a reality in 1966 when, after farming to support himself through school, C.B. graduated from the University of Oklahoma school of law. C.B. opened his first law practice with the late Judge Goodwin in Clinton in 1967 and later formed Graft & Cabaniss with his good friend, Ellis Cabaniss. In 1984, C.B. and his dear friend, Don McNeill, started their partnership in banking, leading to the founding of The Bank of the West. While C.B. enjoyed building and running a business, his true passion came from the deep friendships he formed over the years with the people of Western Oklahoma.
After moving to Clinton, C.B. met and married the love of his life, Tricia Sauer. Together they raised five children—Brendon Graft, Channing Graft, Aaron Graft, Chaille Graft Walraven, and Jordan Graft—attending an untold number of baseball, basketball, and football games in the process.
During his 82 years on this earth, C.B. poured his life into those around him. He was a faithful husband, father, friend, and mentor. He ran the race, fought the good fight, and persevered to the end. He was a friend to many and enriched all of our lives with his wisdom, humor, and generosity. His was truly a life well lived.
C.B. was preceded in death by his parents and his brother. He is survived by his cherished wife, Tricia, his five beloved children, his sixteen grandchildren upon whom he doted, and four great-grandchildren. He will be missed dearly by those left behind, but we take great comfort in the knowledge that he is finally home with his Savior.
- University of Oklahoma Law School J.D., 1966
- Southwestern Oklahoma State University B.A., 1963
United States District Court, Western District of Oklahoma
Areas of Practice:
- Real Estate
- Oil and Gas
- Probate Administration
- Oklahoma Bar Association
- Oklahoma Bar Foundation
- Custer County Bar Association
- Southwestern Oklahoma State University Distinguished Alumnus Award
- Served on the Board of Directors for the Oklahoma Baptist Foundation
- Served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Clinton Regional Hospital
- Inductee in the Dewey County Hall of Fame
- Chairman of the Board of The Bank of the West since 1994