Thomas William Graham obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Thomas William Graham

February 22, 1925 - January 6, 2018

Obituary


Thomas William Graham Jr., known to his family and friends as Bill, died January 6, 2018 at North Manor, Abernethy Laurels, Newton.

Born February 22 1925 in Manchester Connecticut, Bill was the son of Thomas William and Marjorie Cutler Graham of South Coventry. He graduated from Windham High School and the University of Connecticut and served as a US Navy ensign in the South Pacific during World War II. On September 4 1948 he married Marion Esther Barrows of Mansfield Center, a good friend since high school. She became the mother of his three...

Thomas William Graham Jr., known to his family and friends as Bill, died January 6, 2018 at North Manor, Abernethy Laurels, Newton.

Born February 22 1925 in Manchester Connecticut, Bill was the son of Thomas William and Marjorie Cutler Graham of South Coventry. He graduated from Windham High School and the University of Connecticut and served as a US Navy ensign in the South Pacific during World War II. On September 4 1948 he married Marion Esther Barrows of Mansfield Center, a good friend since high school. She became the mother of his three children, Peter, Pamela, and Sarah, and was Bill's wife and life partner for over 69 years.

In 1949 Bill began a 34-year career with Aetna Insurance Company, working first in Hartford, then in Richmond, Virginia, and finally in Jacksonville, Florida. After his retirement in 1983, he and Marion moved to Hickory, North Carolina, where they embarked upon a new and gratifying phase of life. Together they enjoyed exploring the North Carolina mountains and entered into the communal life of First Presbyterian Church. Bill volunteered with various local organizations, including the Red Cross bloodmobile, the AARP, the Tax Consultant and Longview School Host programs, and the Hickory Soup Kitchen, where his pancakes became a staple of the menu.

The Grahams moved to Abernethy Laurels in 2007. There Bill continued his lifelong roles as good citizen, patriarch, avid reader, and pillar of strength to the organizations he joined and the causes he supported. He served as block captain for Sink Lane, steered the splash cart through the Abernethy clinic halls, and seldom missed a chance to preside over the grill at village cookouts. Bill was faithful in attending Abernethy's stretch and strength classes, maintaining impeccable garden borders at his Sink Lane house, and feeding the neighborhood birds while fighting their competitors the squirrels. As long as their health permitted, he and Marion regularly attended Trinity Reformed United Church of Christ in Newton.

During the last weeks of his life, Bill was warmly nurtured by the care-giving team of Harmony Wing at North Manor. He and his family deeply appreciated the kindness, compassion, efficiency, and professionalism of the CNAs, nurses, and other staff members. Jo An, Stacey, Tara, and many others offered practical care, comfort, and gracious daily interactions Bill fondly valued and his family will always remember with gratitude.

Bill's parents and his sister Eleanor preceded him in death. He is survived by his wife and three children, his daughter-in-law Kaye, seven grandchildren (Austin, Kaitlin, James, Emily, Evan, Tessa, and Travis), and seven great-grandchildren (Clark, Adeline, Audrey, August, Owen, Elliott, and Eleanor).

A memorial service will be held in Spirit Place, Abernethy Laurels, at 11 am on Saturday, February 3. Instead of flowers, those wanting to commemorate Bill's life are encouraged to make donations to Trinity Reformed UCC,the Abernethy Laurels Foundation, Catawba Hospice, or a charity of their choice.