Palm Beach County community stalwart Dan Calloway has commissioned Andrew DeGraffenreidt a minister of sorts. No, DeGraffenreidt wasn’t a licensed minister but instead a proliﬁc attorney. A friend for over 30 years, Calloway always told DeGraffenreidt that he was destined to be a minister because he had a heart for the people and gave generously to those in need. Calloway said he gave quietly and wanted no accolades for his numerous good deeds.
DeGraffenreidt, who hailed from Fort Lauderdale, but resided in Palm Beach County for many years, succumbed to injuries he sustained after an outdoor accident at his home two weeks ago in which he was burned extensively. After a brief but valiant ﬁght with family by his side, he passed away Tuesday afternoon in Miami.
DeGraffenreidt had been the Riviera Beach City attorney for two stints, most recently up until 2018.
“MOST GIVING PERSON”
He is survived by his wife Mary, and a blended family with seven children. He and Mary had one child from their union, a son. Also cherishing his memory are grandchildren and siblings who are highly accomplished in law and education. Last week his sister Carol DeGraffenreidt, assistant attorney general for Palm Beach County, thanked the countless well-wishers who were praying for their dear brother and sharing love and concern.
Calloway says his friend was far more than a lawyer who made a difference, but more importantly a man of God who made a difference. Calloway is the godfather of DeGraffenreidt’s wife Mary, and says the gentle giant wanted Calloway to think of him as a son, not one of the guys.
“He always looked out for me, and protected me as you would a father. He was the most giving person I know. He gave hope to the hopeless and he comforted those in need. He was Christ-like, and now he’s up there (in heaven) sitting on the right hand of Christ,” he said.
Others admired his intelligence and wisdom. Florida State Sen. Bobby Powell, saddened with a heavy heart upon hearing of the horrible accident, said DeGraffenreidt often gave him honest advice. Powell called him a staple in the community.
ODE TO FAMILY
The DeGraffenreidt family is noted in Fort Lauderdale where his father made history by becoming the ﬁrst African-American elected to the Fort Lauderdale City Commission in 1973.
A longtime friend, Barbara Finley of Riviera Beach, dedicated an ode to the DeGraffenreidt family:
“We are born for a higher Destiny than that of earth; there is a realm where the rainbows never fade, where the stars will be spread before us like islands that slumber on the ocean, and where the beings that pass before us like shadows will stay in our presence forever.”
Arrangements are forthcoming.