A proud member of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Nation, John E. Graham Sr., 67, died at his Grand Coulee, Wash., home during the early morning hours of Saturday, March 16, 2013, following a courageous battle with the rare ailment amyloidosis.
Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, to Hazel Graham-Shopbell on February 5, 1946, following his graduation from high school John served in West Germany with the United States Army. On August 26, 1995, John married his soul-mate JoAnn Butler in Federal Way, Wash. He retired as a quality control technician with Kenworth Trucking in Renton, Wash., and was known by all who knew him as a man who loved living life to the fullest. John loved being on the water and deep sea fishing, was a member of both the Grand Coulee Moose and Eagle Clubs as well as Electric City American Legion Post #157. He enjoyed spending time in his shop tinkering and building things with…often “mixed” results, but always with heart. John’s greatest love though was sharing life with his family whether spending days aboard his pontoon boat on Lake Roosevelt, fishing, camping, horseback riding or in their basement party room laughing and singing karaoke (doing his famous Elvis impersonation) until the wee hours of the morning.
Predeceased by his mother, brother Bill and sister Leah; John’s legacy lives on through JoAnn – his beloved bride of 17 years; children: John Graham Jr. (Stephanie), Darryl Graham, Bill Butler (Patti), Linda Butler-Novotney (Jerry) and Bruce Butler; 13 grandchildren; brothers: Douglas, Bruce, Darryl, LaMonte and Rockey; sisters: Candy and Melody; “Aunt Bea”; numerous nephews and nieces and his constant canine companion “Wylie”.
Cremation has taken place at John’s direction. A traditional Sioux blessing of his cremated remains will take place at the Seattle, Wash., home of his sister Candy at 2 p.m., on Saturday, April 6, 2013. Graveside services with military honors for John will take place at 1 p.m., in Spring Canyon Cemetery of Grand Coulee, Wash., on Saturday, April 20, 2013.
John’s family requests that his friends be encouraged to make donations in his memory to AMYLOIDOSIS SUPPORT GROUPS, 232 Orchard Drive, Wood Dale IL 60191 or online at www.amyloidosissupport.com/donations_form.html.
Strate Funeral Home of Grand Coulee, is honored to be serving John’s family. All are encouraged to sign John’s online register book at www.stratefuneralhome.com.