Iryl D. Grafton, Restaurant Owner

August 01, 2009|By Frederick N. Rasmussen

Iryl D. Grafton, former owner and operator of several area restaurants, died July 21 of complications from Alzheimer's disease at her Bel Air home. She was 83.

Iryl Copeland was born and raised in Comers Rock, Va., where she attended public schools.

Mrs. Grafton, who later moved to Harford County, was a cafeteria worker in county public schools, and had been a sales associate in several Bel Air stores.

During the 1950s and 1960s, she owned and operated the Twin Kiss soft ice cream stand in Bel Air.

She also had been co-owner of the old Hamburger Junction at Joppa and Harford roads, with Jim Gentile, noted Orioles first baseman and power slugger of the early 1960s.

"An electric model train delivered hamburgers and other food from the kitchen to the customers," said her daughter, Pamela R. Sturgill of Havre de Grace.

During the 1970s and 1980s, Mrs. Grafton was a sales associate at The Hub, a Bel Air clothing store.

Mrs. Grafton had been a member of the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary Post 39 and was a longtime member of Deer Creek United Methodist Church, where services were held July 25.

Also surviving are her husband of 44 years, Kenneth Redfern Grafton; a brother, James R. Copeland of Darlington; a granddaughter; and a great-granddaughter. Her son, J. Kevin Shields, died in 1995. An earlier marriage to John Howard Shields ended in divorce.

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