Alton Jackson McGraw

October 9, 1924July 31, 2013

Alton was born in Spartanburg, SC in 1924, the second youngest of fourteen children and was raised on a farm. Alton enjoyed telling stories about farm life, his large family and the crops they grew on the farm.

He left High School and joined the Army during World War II. He participated in the Beach Landing at Anzio as part of the Allied conquest of Rome. In the Bourges Mountains, working alone, he protected his Company by directing Artillery fire from an advanced position. For this brave action he was awarded the Bronze Star at 18 years of age. Alton was later wounded and awarded the Purple Heart, as well as the Croix de Guerre with Palm.

He returned home to marry his High School Sweetheart, Helen, to whom he was married for 67 years. Alton finished High School and attended Wofford College in Spartanburg where he graduated in three years. Alton went to work for Sherwin-Williams where he had a distinguished forty year career until his retirement.

Alton was an active member of Edenton Street United Methodist Church in Raleigh. He was also an active and dedicated member of the Raleigh Lions Club. He served as Lions Club President and was active in many fund raising events including working numerous years in the annual Lions Club sponsored Horse Shows. He was always proud of his efforts to raise money to help the blind.

Alton was a true Southern Gentleman and unfailingly polite. However, Alton had a quick wit and loved a good joke or prank as many of his friends can attest to.

Alton is survived by his wife of 67 years, Helen H. McGraw, his daughter, Mary Elizabeth “Libby” Auman and her husband, Mark Auman of Raleigh, his son, Alton J. McGraw, Jr. and his wife, Barbara McGraw of Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania. He is also survived by his two Grandsons, Joseph Alexander Auman of Raleigh and Jackson Samuel McGraw of Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Ruth Sheets Adult Center at Edenton Street United Methodist Church in Raleigh or to the Raleigh Lions Club.

Services will be held at Edenton Street United Methodist Church at 11:00 AM on Saturday, August 3, 2013, with family to receive following. Graveside Services and Military Honors will be held at Raleigh Memorial Park.

Condolences to the family at



  • Funeral Service Saturday, August 3, 2013


  • Visitation to Follow Church Service, Graveside Service, with Military Honors

Alton Jackson McGraw

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August 19, 2013

Aunt Helen, I wish we could have been there for uncle Alton's funeral. He was a favorite of mine with a bag full of bubble gum and always some great jokes. The last time I talked with him he was still raising money for the Lions horse show and we got him a donation from Phillips Petroleum. So sorry to hear he had to leave us. You take care of yourself, okay!
Love you,
Marshall and Tana

August 11, 2013

Al and Helen stood with me for Baptism as an adult at Edenton Street...for which I am forever grateful. I met them on a church bus to Savannah, when I told them I was contemplating church membership. Helen said, "Just do it!" On Baptism Sunday, there they were - standing by me, without being asked.

Marie McGraw-Swofford

August 7, 2013

Aunt Helen, Libby and Al: I am sorry to hear about Uncle Alton's death. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Beth Reaves Murray

August 5, 2013

Graw-I'm so sorry about Big Graw. I didn't learn of his passing until this past weekend and I am very sorry I didn't get to attend his service. He will be missed. Many good times are remembered by me and my husband, Wendell, but, especially me of Big Graw. Please know you are in my heart and in my thoughts.

August 2, 2013

Mrs. McGraw and family, Mom told me about Mr. McGraw's passing. I'm so sorry. I'm in NY for the summer, otherwise I would be there for the service. You both meant a lot to the Reaves family when we were neighbors on St George St. I guess the last time I saw you was at Eddie's service in 1997. My thoughts are with the family at this sad time...Love, Pat Reaves

August 1, 2013

Helen, I was saddened when Phyllis called to inform me of your loss. I have loved my "boyfriend" since I was six years old and I love you, too. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

DeAnn and Bob

Vicky Langley

August 1, 2013

Al was one of my favorite people and a fellow Lion. Everyone loved him and he will be so greatly missed.
Vicky Langley

Larry (Lawrence) Tew

August 1, 2013

Al, I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your father. We have a Facebook page for those who grew up in Worthdale, and we've been trying to find you. Our prayers are with you and the rest of your family.