Robert D. Graham

May 1, 1939March 12, 2021

Robert (Bob) Graham, 81, passed away on March 12, 2021 in his Raymondville NY home from complications of kidney cancer.

Mr. Graham was well-known in the community as a high school English teacher and administrator at Norwood-Norfolk Central School from 1963 to 1997, and then served a decade on its school board. His many friends included several generations of former students - some who became colleagues in teaching and school administration. He was always pleased to talk to former students in the community, although many could be flummoxed to adjust to his new direction: "Call me Bob".

His teaching drew from his own love of reading and writing, which focused on his passions. He was a life-long St Lawrence University hockey fan. "Go Saints: The Saga of St. Lawrence University Hockey 1912-2001" was written as a gift to his beloved alma mater. In the 1980's, he also wrote the official history of the Hall Corporation of Canada (Halco) shipping company

He was born May 1,1939 in Jersey City, New Jersey. Early years were in Staten Island NY. In 1946 he moved with his parents to Morristown NY . At 13, he left for Manlius military school near Syracuse. His 1955 summer on the Halco freighter, Eastcliffe Hall, up the Saguenay River was a formative experience, fueling his passion for everything nautical and his later book. At St Lawrence University, he met his wife and shipmate Betty (Horwitz), leading to 59 years of marriage. Both graduated with English degrees in 1961. Their first two years together were in Colorado Springs, where Lieutenant Graham served as a tank commander at Fort Carson.

Returning to the North Country, both Bob and Betty began teaching careers. He advised a variety of school organizations, including the National Honor Society, and PBS Quiz Team. His family enjoyed decades of boating on the nearby St. Lawrence river. He belonged to numerous maritime organizations, writing for their publications and speaking at events.

In over twenty years of happy retirement, Bob and Betty enjoyed travel across Europe and beyond, with winters in Florida. A life-long car enthusiast, he traveled to many sports car and Formula 1 racing events in the US and Canada over five decades, with friends and family. He shared his love of sports cars by volunteering as a docent and researcher at the Revs Institute of Naples Florida, contributing many articles to their newsletters and also local club publications.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by a daughter, Barbara (Cliff) of St. Louis, Missouri; a son, David (Pamela) of Birmingham, Michigan; and three adult grandchildren Ryan, Maria, and Evan.

A celebration of life will be scheduled for the summer.

Memorial contributions can be sent to Hospice and Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley. Condolences and fond memories can also be shared online at


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Robert D. Graham

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Paul Harrison

March 23, 2021

Joanne and I were deeply saddened to hear of Bob's passing.
Our sincere condolences to Betty, Barbara, David and the grandchildren.
We will cherish the times we joined with Betty and Bob for a luncheon catch-up visit at our home and in Raymondville.
We have good memories of the happy times we shared while on vacation in Florida.
Like me, Bob was an avid sports car enthusiast and a dedicated motorsport historian.
We spoke the same language during long conversations about our shared passion for all things wheeled.
Bob was a consummate gentleman, respectful of others and always genuinely interested in what they may have to say.
Bob's gentlemanly qualities never changed and that made a strong impression on me.
He unfailingly encouraged and supported my Porsche book project.
He was one of my very few close friends and I miss him profoundly.
Auf Wiedersehen, Bob.

Paul Harrison and Joanne Aubé
Burritts Rapids, Ontario

Lionel Birnbom

March 22, 2021

To Betty and the family.
I just learned of Bob's passing, and was very saddened to learn the news.
As a fellow car-guy, Bob and I shared many enjoyable get-togethers - both on the phone and in person - having long conversations about cars in general, and racing in particular.
He was a fine gentleman, a good friend, and will be sadly missed.
Melanie and I wish you all the very best, and lots of strength going forward, assisted by many years together and wonderful memories.
Our deepest condolences.
Lionel and Melanie Birnbom
Ottawa, Canada.

Jay Bascom

March 19, 2021

Our most sincere condolences to the family from the executive committee and members of the Toronto Marine Historical Society. Bob was a longtime member of the Society and a staunch supporter. Not only did he assist on many occasions with material for our publication "The Scanner", but he also was guest speaker at our annual May Luncheon meeting in 2019. We shall miss his friendship and his wise counsel.

Joel Godfrey

March 19, 2021

I was fortunate enough to come into contact with Mr Graham in 2010 through an article I was writing for the Aycliffe Hall. We shared a connection in that during his time on the Eastcliffe, he encountered my partners Great Grandfather Captain Ross Sinclair. He shared some beautiful stories with us and gave me great guidance in writing a piece for TI Life about Captain Sinclair.
Thank you for the memories Bob. The boat nerds will miss you and my family will never forget the memories you shared with us.

May God bless you with safe passage.

The Godfreys

Julie Lanphearjlanphear@

March 19, 2021

So sorry to hear of Bob's passing. I remember Bob when we were both kids in Morristown. A few years ago Bob and Betty were at a Morristown Museum gathering that I attended. He gave me a number of facts about the old Elmer Jones ferry. He had fond memories of my grandfather, Tom Cree, allowing him to pilot ferry across to Brockville. That was part of his initiation into maritime adventures. A good person.

Sarah Fiacco

March 19, 2021

My condolences to you Betty, and your family. May your memories of your wonderful life together give you peace.

Chrystal Hayman

March 18, 2021

Dear Graham Family,
Our first meeting with Bob was a chance encounter at the Potsdam Summer Festival Antique Car Show in the mid 1990's. Bob's car was parked and meticulously clean, gleaming in the sunshine. We pulled in and parked beside his car which was our twin. Our lifelong friendship started that day. Beyond car interests and events, we as a couple, have spent countless dinners, coffee, swims, trips and phone conversations. There are so many memories.
Bob has been a voice of reason , logic and caring. He was always a gentleman. Betty, you were his ideal partner. We will sorely miss him in our lives.

Dennis & Tamara Durant

March 17, 2021

Betty and Family.
We were so sorry to hear of Bob's illness and passing. We cherish our friendship with and memories of you and Bob through boating as do our children for whom you often acted as surrogate grandparents! Bob was always so generous with his knowledge of boating and with encouragement for our cruising adventures and misadventures. We so looked forward to visiting with you on summer weekends at the dock and on the occasional shared trip. Still sorry about the dog-tail-wagging-red-wine-new-white-boat-carpet incident! Thank heaven for club soda.

Love and miss you,
Dennis and Tammy

Lisa Dufore

March 16, 2021

Mr. Graham was one of my absolutely favorite teachers. He gave our class and assignment on how to write an essay based on sarcasm. When I turned my paper in and he graded it, he asked to let me read it in front of the class. That act made me feel special, important and intelligent. As a teacher he always seem to bring out the best in a students. I also remember his love of Saturday night live TV show with a not ready for prime time players. He could relate to us kids and that’s something very rare.

Kim Maxin

March 16, 2021

I will miss our dinners and good talks before going to the Saints games. Hockey was our common interest but your mentorship/ friendship meant the most to me.