US Air Force

Joseph A. McGraw

December 10, 2020


Joseph A. McGraw, of Wayland, Massachusetts, passed away peacefully at home on Thursday, December 10, 2020.   Born in Philadelphia in 1944, he spent his youth in Albany, New York, and most of his adult and professional life in Boston, Massachusetts, and its suburbs.  In addition to his beloved wife, Karen (Patitz) McGraw, he is survived by his four devoted children, Kathleen a/k/a “Casey” or “Kalindi” (Denver, CO), Mark and his wife Carrie (Boston, MA), Joseph a/k/a “Jed” and his wife, Heather (Boston, MA), and John and his wife, Stephanie (Houston, TX).  He is also survived by his five younger siblings, Kathleen Kelly (married to Michael), Thomas (married to Colleen), Martha Murray (married to Cornelius), Kevin (married to Julia), all residing in the Albany, New York area, and his youngest brother, Mark (married to Tammy), of Nags Head, North Carolina.  He leaves behind as well, eleven precious grandchildren, a great-grandchild, numerous nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, cousins, and in-laws Marcia and Steve Crabtree, and Warren and Karen Patitz, to whom he was very close.  He is predeceased by his parents Margaret and Joseph McGraw, and a younger brother, Robert (married to Martha), and his in-laws Gerhardt and Carol Neimeyer Patitz.  


Joe led a full and exemplary life.  In Albany, he will be remembered with great affection by the countless friends he made as the oldest brother of a family of seven children. Blessed with good looks, an engaging smile and a quiet presence, Joe was a standout athlete and student at Vincentian Institute in Albany, where he graduated President of the Senior Class.  He, like his father before him, later graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 1966 where he earned a B.A. in English and played club Rugby.  In later years, he completed post-graduate courses in business and finance with the University of Utah and at Babson College. 


After graduating from Holy Cross, Joe willingly answered the call of duty from his country, and joined the United States Air Force, where he served for five and a half years. He rose to the rank of captain and flew hundreds of combat missions as an F-4 Phantom jet fighter pilot during the Vietnam conflict, twice earning the Distinguished Flying Cross for “heroism and extraordinary achievement.”  Typically, Joe did not discuss his bravery, as modesty was one of his many endearing qualities.  


Following his service to his country, Joe and Karen settled in the Boston area, where they raised their family, and he pursued a very successful career in the world of finance and investment.  In 1972, was a stockbroker with Smith Barney (‘72-’83), McGraw, Valeo & Co. (‘83-’85), Homans, McGraw, Trull, Valeo & Co. (‘85-’90), HC Wainwright & Co. (‘90-’92) in Boston, MA.  Clients and their interests always came first, culminating in the establishment of his own firm, Yankees Advisers, an independent investment advisor.  Yankee Advisers LLC is well-known for its flagship fund of hedge funds, Yankee Multi-Manager Fund, L.P. which he co-founded with his son, Mark.  Over the years, he enjoyed mentoring numerous interns and young employees, many of whom have become incredible talents both within and beyond the field of finance. In addition to his success in the business world, Joe managed to ensure balance in his life, maintaining an active profile in the community and, most importantly, engaging deeply with his family.  He will be remembered for his numerous volunteer positions of service to charitable and other organizations, including, the YMCA of Boston, the Waltham-Weston Hospital, the Weston Little League, and more recently, The Hills at Mainstone Condominium Trust. Joe and Karen moved into their condo in 2008 and Joe initiated the Grounds Committee at The Hills in order to provide for the ongoing maintenance and beautification of the landscaping, which now includes two wildflower fields.  The property will be forever touched by his careful planning.   


Joe was a lover of music of all kinds, science fiction, poetry and sports (rugby, hockey, skiing, tennis, squash, and golf).  He cherished time with his family at their vacation home on Chappaquiddick Island, Martha’s Vineyard, and was a fixture at hockey rinks throughout New England, where he took great pleasure in watching both his children and grandchildren compete.   


In the last few years, Joe met his health issues with quiet courage and dignity, never complaining while maintaining an upbeat personality.  His fortitude, character and resilience were a source of pride and inspiration for his entire family.  Well known for his gentleness and deep sincerity, Joe had a smile ready for everyone he encountered.  He will live forever in the hearts of all who were lucky enough to know him.   


In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to either of Joe’s two favorite charities – the Pine Street Inn, 444 Harrison Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02188, an organization dedicated to aiding formerly homeless individuals, or Feeding America, a hunger relief organization with a nationwide network of foodbanks.  Funeral arrangements will be private and at the discretion of the family. 


Private Services

© 2021 McNamara-Sparrell Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy