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Edward Michael Graham

Capt. Edward Michael Graham, a veteran of World War II and the Korean War, and a beloved husband, father, brother and grandfather, passed away Friday morning at East Texas Medical Center. He was 92. Mr. Graham and his loving wife, Constance "Connie" Graham (nee Reid), celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary two days prior to his death. Born in Oakland, Calif., on Oct. 11, 1921, Mr. Graham was the eldest child and only son of Elveda "Marie" Graham (nee Proensa) and the adopted son of her husband, William Graham. At Roosevelt High School in Oakland, Mr. Graham was active in ROTC, laying the groundwork for a decades-long military career that sent him all over the world. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and shipped off to apprentice at Mare Island Navy Yard in Vallejo, Calif., in October 1942, not two weeks after he and Mrs. Graham were married. They met when a shopping errand led Mr. Graham to the creamery where she worked. There, he found the pitcher of buttermilk he had come for - along with the woman who would become his life partner and the mother of their two children, Michael and Kathleen. Through the end of World War II, Mr. Graham served in the South Pacific as a gunner on an aircraft carrier. He reenlisted in 1949 in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, serving in Korea, Germany and the U.S. Mr. Graham retired from active duty in 1958. Over the next 25 years, he proved an able entrepreneur, running a general store, operating a photography studio and working as a carpentry contractor for the State of California. By the mid-1980s, he and Mrs. Graham yearned to travel, so they bought a fifth-wheel camper and set out to see the country. For ten years, they crisscrossed the western United States, documenting their adventures with Mr. Graham's trusty camera. Mr. and Mrs. Graham settled in East Texas in 1996, and moved to Tyler in 2005 where they joined Trinity Lutheran Church. They have remained active congregants up to the present time. Members of Mr. Graham's immediate and extended family gathered at his bedside at ETMC last week to share stories and say goodbye to the loving, strong-willed patriarch who had touched their lives in so many ways. Those who knew and loved him will remember Mr. Graham's strong work ethic, ingenuity, deep patriotism and devotion to family. He will be greatly missed. In addition to his wife, Connie, Mr. Graham is survived by his sister, Dorothy Johnson of Walnut Creek, Calif.; son, Michael Edward Graham (Wynn), of Evanston, Ill.; daughter, Kathleen Tranah (Ed), of Seven Points, Texas; grandchildren Michelle McDaniel, Galen Graham (Amanda), William Graham and Robert Graham (Sarah); and six great grandchildren, including a baby girl born on Thursday. He was preceded in death by a grandson, Brian Shear. Memorial service will be held on Thursday, October 9, 2014 at 1:00 PM at Trinity Lutheran Church at 2001 Hunter Street in Tyler, TX In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that donations be sent to Trinity Lutheran Church, 2001 Hunter St., in Tyler. For more information, please visit Tomlinson Funeral Home's memorial Web site, at www.tomlinsonfuneral.com/obituaries.

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Aunt Connie, Mike, and Kathy, Some of my fondest memories as a child were those spent in your home - no matter what the occasion. Uncle Ed was a "gruff" man, but I knew underneath that facade was a man with a big heart. I will never forget his "bear hugs"! My thoughts and prayers are with you all as well as Wynn, Ed, and your families. I will miss you Uncle Ed!

Susan Oct 8 2014 12:00 AM

The memory of a good person is a blessing and your memory will live on in our hearts forever. I love you Uncle Ed!

Joyce Wallace Oct 6 2014 12:00 AM

I helped Mr. Ed adopt his beloved dog, Skye. He was such a nice man. He lived a very interesting life and was spunky to the end. You will be missed, Mr. Ed.

Pam Hicks Oct 6 2014 12:00 AM

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Friends and Family Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM