Memorial Service for Civil Rights Leader, Rev. Robert Graetz, Jr.
The memorial service for the late Reverend Robert Graetz, Jr. Was held Sunday. He’s remembered as a Civil Rights icon and acclaimed human rights advocate.
The memorial service for Rev. Graetz was held at Montgomery’s Historic First Baptist Brick-A-Day Church. The church was an important gathering place for activities related to the Civil Rights Movement, and it became associated with the Montgomery Bus Boycott’s mass meetings and the Freedom Rides of 1961.
His wife Jean Graetz, family, friends and city leaders came out to show respect to one of the last iconic figures who was a dear friend to Rosa Parks. Greatz also marched with Dr. Martin Luther King.
“Pastor Graetz, he still loved people regardless of what they tried to do him or regardless of what they tried to do to his family,” ASU President Dr. Quinton Ross said. “He basically exemplified that unwavering love that we should all have.”
“He was here for years and raised their children,” family friend Tim Lennox said. “Many of them were in the house at one point when one of the bombs went off at their house. They are an integral part of the civil rights history and a unusual part in the fact that they are white.”
He was the only white minister to publicly support the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955.
Graetz was 92-years-old. He died on September 20th after several years in hospice care.
The family has asked in lieu of flowers to make a donation to the nonprofit Graetz Foundation or to Alabama State University’s fund for the National Center for the Study of Civil Rights & African American Culture.