John Richard Graham
March 5, 1938 – February 8, 2019
John Richard Graham died on Friday, February 8, 2019, at CarolinaEast Medical Center with his wife, Linda; son, David; and family friend, Susan Barney surrounding him with their love.
Born in the rural farming community of Canton, Illinois, he moved to Southern California at age 17 after the passing of his surviving parent, Annabelle Orendorff Graham. His father, Guy Houston Graham, had died when John was ten. His lineage traced back to George Washington but he was too humble to pursue membership in the Sons of the American Revolution. He was also a descendent of the Orendorff tractor family, who along with the Parlin family, were the forerunners of the International Harvester company.
At the passing of his mother, John was raised by his maternal Aunts Mary and Marion who advised him to use his share of a small inheritance to invest in himself. He graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a degree in Agricultural Business Management. His work passion led to a thirty-six year career in the newspaper industry.
He moved to New Bern in the mid 1980’s to further his career as Publisher of the New Bern Sun Journal where he worked until his retirement in 2000. He pledged the Sun Journal as title sponsor of many community events because of his strong belief in supporting his local community. While he enjoyed membership in the New Bern Rotary, the New Bern Golf and CC and various other associations, his passion was serving on the Salvation Army Board of Directors. He found his dream home on the Trent River and lived there until his death, always with at least two and up to four rescued dogs. He married Linda in 2001 and they enjoyed close to twenty years at their beach home in Pine Knoll Shores and on his Century Farm outside of Trenton, NC.
He was very handy around the house and enjoyed tinkering with anything mechanical. He was extremely proud of his 1938 Graham Supercharged Sharknose car. In his younger years, he enjoyed off-road motorcycle riding in the mountain region of Southern California with his son, David, who was his best friend. He leaves a legacy of respect for women’s empowerment , a quick wit and fondness for laughter.
He is survived by his wife, Linda R. Cotten; his son, David John Graham (Sue), granddaughters Jylian and Danielle (Rob), his stepson, Rod L. Cotten IV, and four rescued dogs: Lucky Two, Red Rose, Buddy and Boscoe.
The family acknowledges with gratitude, the professional support, expertise and exquisite care of the CarolinaEast Medical Center staff.
Visitation will be at Cotten Funeral Home on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 between 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. Service will be at two o’clock with Wake County Celebrant, Dyanne Miller, officiating. Entombment will follow with a committal service at the Lakeside Chapel Pavilion in Greenleaf Memorial Park.
Flowers are welcome or memorials may be made to the Salvation Army of New Bern.
- Visitation Tuesday, February 12, 2019
- Funeral Service Tuesday, February 12, 2019
John Richard Graham
February 11, 2019
Ms. Cotten, I am so very sorry to hear about your husband's passing. Please know that you and all the people who loved him will be in my prayers. -- Sharon Weaver, NCCC
February 10, 2019
My dear cousin Linda,
Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. I'm so happy that Craig and I had the pleasure of spending time with you and John "On the River". Sharing a picture of the four of us in Charleston SC.
Memories we will cherish forever.
I love you and miss you and hope that we will chat soon.
February 9, 2019
My heart goes out to you and the family during this difficult loss. John will be greatly missed . Please let me know if I can do anything for you and the puppies. Love, Patsy