Decatur native and longtime Athens resident Dr. Frank Graham passed away Wednesday, September 27, 2017, at Limestone Health Facility. Dr. Graham was born to James Frank (Pete) and Esther Graham on October 30, 1934, in Montgomery, Alabama.
Dr. Graham graduated from Decatur High School in 1952 and held degrees from Auburn University (where he was a proud member of the Auburn University Marching Band), Athens State University and Appalachian State University. A former employee of Thiokol Industries in Huntsville, Dr. Graham had a highly successful 33-year NASA career. He was also a math professor at Calhoun Community College for over 20 years.
Dr. Graham's life was one of service. He served six years as a member of the U.S. Army Reserve and was reserve deputy for the Limestone County Sheriff's Department. He was an active member of the Athens Jaycees where he served a term as president. Following retirement, he turned his attention to volunteer activities benefitting Athens and Limestone County. He was a leader in the local law enforcement TRIAD community service organization, enjoyed opportunities to tutor students, served on the boards of the United Way and Athens Limestone Hospital Foundation and served at both the Limestone County Health Department and Hospice of Limestone County.
Dr. Graham was a member of First United Methodist Church (Harris Sunday School Class), where he served many years as an usher. He enjoyed a wide range of activities, from fishing to amateur radio but was most fond of traveling with his lovely wife, Joy. Their favorite trips involved river cruising, often on the Delta Queen or American Queen, where they made many friends.
Preceded in death by his parents, Dr. Graham was survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Joy Rosenau Graham; son Bill Graham (Donna) of Athens; daughter Kathy Vreeland (Rob) of Chapel Hill, NC; grandson, Avery; and granddaughter, Athena. The family would like to express its sincere gratitude to Dr. Graham's loving caregivers who brought great peace and comfort during his final months.
A graveside service will be 3 p.m. Friday, September 29, 2017, at Roselawn Cemetery in Athens with Kenny Baskins officiating. Visitation will be from 1 to 2:45 p.m. at McConnell Funeral Home. Honorary pall bearers will be the Harris Sunday School Class from First United Methodist Church in Athens. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to First United Methodist Church, Hospice of Limestone County and the Athens-Limestone Hospital Foundation.
Published on September 27, 2017