Bernard Lee DeGrave

February 16, 1922 ~ November 10, 2013

Bernard Lee DeGrave, 91, of Vancouver, WA, passed away peacefully Nov. 10, 2013. He was born Feb. 16, 1922, in Yakima, WA to Roy and Lenore "Betty" DeGrave. Bernard spent his childhood in Wapato, WA where he lived and worked on an apple orchard. His family moved to Ellensburg, WA for his high school years where he graduated from Ellensburg High.
Bernard joined the Navy right after high school in 1940. He served on the USS Montgomery where he survived the attack on Pearl Harbor. He also served on the USS Tasker H. Bliss where they were torpedoed and sunk off the North coast of Africa. He returned to the U.S.A. where he served on the ferry crew transporting ships from one coast to the other. His final WWII assignment was on the USS Las Vegas Victory in the Pacific Ocean theatre where they passed ammunition to ships and survived a close call with a Kamikaze attack before the end of the war.
When Bernard returned home from the war, he worked for the Washington State Department of Agriculture in the Colville, WA area. He was called back into service for a year of the Korean War and served at a communication center on Bainbridge Island. He returned to the Dept. of Agriculture in Bellingham where he met and married Cecelia A. Closson. They moved to Vancouver, WA where they raised their sons and retired.
In his retirement, Bernard enjoyed travelling with Cecelia. He was an active member of the Knights of Columbus and various veterans' organizations such as Pearl Harbor Survivors and 40 et 8. He was also an active member of the Retired Public Employees Association.
Bernard is survived by his sons, Brian (Julie) of Vancouver, WA, Kent (Janet) of Bothell, WA and Kevin (Sharon) of Ferndale, WA; grandchildren, Kimberly (Ryan) Crabtree, Sarah DeGrave, Christopher Ostrom and Olivia DeGrave; and Bernard's niece and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; twin sister, Barbara L. (DeGrave) Thurman; and wife, Cecelia.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Our Lady of Lourdes on Nov. 23, 2013 at 11:00 a.m.
Funeral arrangements by Hamilton Mylan Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: Knights of Columbus Council, 1327 Scholarship Fund, PO Box 61536, Vancouver, WA 98666-1536.
Please sign his guestbook at:


Funeral Home

Hamilton-Mylan Funeral Home, Inc. - Vancouver
302 W. 11th Street  Vancouver, WA 98660

Published in The Columbian on Nov. 17, 2013