Edythe M. Grafner was born in Akron, Ohio, March 20, 1930 to Whilhelm Grafner and Ella (Poppner) Grafner. A graveside service will be held 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 17 at Sunne Lutheran Cemetery, Wilton.
Her parents immigrated to American from Russia, and settled in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, where her father founded the Akron Vinegar Company.
As Edythe was attending public school, she was stricken with Osteomyelitis at the age of nine, which caused her to be bedridden for two years. Edythe was born with a great love for education and achievement. During her convalescence, she entered a writing contest and won first prize; she began to build model airplanes and won second prize as a member of the Air Cadets in Akron, Ohio. She had such a great love for music, she started taking violin lessons as she had a desire to become a concert violinist.
As she recovered and was able to walk, she attended the Penial Bible Institute in Stanton, Kentucky at the age of 16. At the end of one year, she transferred to the Southwestern University in Texas as she wanted to further her musical career. As a student at Southwestern University (age 17), she majored in music and theology. She was a violinist in the Symphony Orchestra. She became an honor roll student-received the highest Missionary Achievement Award in the history of the Southwestern University. Upon graduation, she graduated from both the School of Music and the School of Theology at the age of 19.
One year later, she entered the Vanguard University in California to continue her major in music. At Vanguard, she was a member of the musical ensemble, as a trombonist, directed by Ralph Carmichael. After she completed her studies at Vanguard, she returned to Ohio and entered the University of Akron as a "special" student to further her violin studies. By invitation, she became a director of music as a conductor of the Chorus and Orchestra at Bethel Assembly of God in Akron. During that time, Edythe joined the Grafner-White Evangelistic Team as a director of music and traveled the U.S. performing sacred music in churches and auditoriums. At an engagement at the Bethel Assembly of God church in Bismarck, she met Miriam L. Johnson (an accomplished pianist), who became her devoted and long-time friend. By invitation, Miriam joined the team of four to make their first recording in Chicago by the United Film Studios, and the recordings were pressed by RCA.
Shortly after Miriam joined the team, Edythe was again stricken with Osteomyelitis. She became bedridden for two years under the care of her devoted friend, Miriam.
Through prayer, God restored her health, and she pursued the science of health. Through prolonged intensive studies, she became a naturopathic physician, receiving her doctorate from the Anglo-American Institute of Renfro, Scotland. She received her doctorate in Theology from Bernadean University of Van Nuys, California. Edythe was a lifetime member of the British Guild of drugless physicians.
She practiced as a naturopathic physician both in a clinical and private setting for many years, helping others improve their health. When she lost her beloved friend and associate, Miriam L. Johnson (died in 2008), she then retired from practice; however, she then plunged into devoting her time to research in natural health sciences.
She is preceded in death by her grandparents; father, Whilhelm Grafner; mother, Ella Grafner, brother, Gerhardt Grafner, two faithful caregivers, Erma Bittner and Gerard Gietzen, and her devoted friend and associate, Miriam L. Johnson.