OBITUARY

T. L. Graham

March 5, 1919May 13, 2020

Tom L. Graham passed away on May 13, 2020, in Dallas, TX at the age of 101. Tom was born March 5, 1919, in Hastings, OK to Nora Cotner Graham and Arthur Graham. Tom served his country twice, first in the Army, then after Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the Navy during WWII, serving as radio and radar man aboard the USS Glendale in the Pacific Theater, seeing the entire Philippine Campaign from his battle station as forward deck gunner on twin 40mm cannons. Following the war, he was crew delivering the Glendale to the Russian Navy at Cold Bay, AL. He married Mary Helen Jones in 1938, and they moved to Oklahoma City. They had two children, Vicki Clark Gourley and Michael L. Graham, after he returned from the Navy. Graham served on The Village council from 1960 to 1964, and then again from 1972 to 1975. He was twice elected Mayor by the city council, 1961-62, then 1973-74. On his 100th birthday, both the City of The Village and the state of Oklahoma declared Tom Graham Day by proclamation in 2019. Graham celebrated his 101st birthday on March 5 with his children, Vicki and Michael, and wife, June, at the Juliette Fowler facility in Dallas, where he lived for the past five years. Graham founded and owned Graham Pest Control, Industrial Weed Control, and The McCoy Plantation in Captain Cook, HI with his partner, Dr. Kid McCoy. He also partnered with Braniff Airlines to build and run a fishing camp in the Amazon basin near Miraflores, Columbia. He taught Sunday School and coached the junior high football team at OKC's Baptist Temple Church. After moving to The Village, he was a member of Village Baptist. Active in civic and charity projects, Graham served as president of the Uptown Kiwanis Club. He was a member of the Masons' Amity Lodge and was the oldest member of the India Shrine of Oklahoma City. After moving to Hawaii in the 1980s, Graham served as a board member and president of Kona Crafts for developmentally disabled children and was president of the Kona Country Club's Men's Golf Association. Tom married Beth Finefrock in 1988 in Kealakekua, Kona, HI. She died in 2010. While Tom loved building his businesses, golf, and fishing, he loved his children, Vicki and Mike; and his grandchildren, Kelly Clark, Brandon Clark, Holly Graham Mitchko Boney, and Jeff Graham; and his great-grandchildren, Graham Clark, Gavin Clark, Charles Mitchko, Isabel Mitchko, and Alianna Graham, more than anything. Instead of flowers, donations may be made in Tom's name to India Shrine Transportation, 3601 NW 36th St., OKC 73112, for Oklahoma children and their families to go to Shriners Hospital.

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