OBITUARY

William Muir Graham

June 29, 1935July 23, 2013

William Muir Graham, age 78, died Tuesday, July 23rd at Big Bend Hospice House. Bill came into this world on June 29, 1935 in Munhall, Pennsylvania where he spent his childhood and attended local schools. Upon graduation from Munhall High in 1953, he joined the United States Marine Corps. During his service, he was stationed in Japan and Hawaii. After being honorably discharged in 1957, he traveled to St. Petersburg, Florida to visit a friend. Liking the lifestyle in Florida so much, he stayed and enrolled in St. Petersburg Jr. College. While there he met, Marlene Cardalico, who became his wife soon after his graduation. In 1960, the couple moved to Tallahassee so Bill could continue his education at FSU. He graduated in 1962 and began his career in Human Resources with Continental Can Company, in Auburndale, and then IRC Company, in St. Petersburg . He found his calling in life when he joined Goodwill Industries Suncoast, St. Petersburg, as Personnel Director. He soon was transferred to Tallahassee as Branch Director of Goodwill Industries – Big Bend and eventually became President and CEO. Bill worked tirelessly and enthusiastically for 34 years to expand two small Goodwill stores with 12 employees to 23 stores in North Florida with 350 employees. He was also instrumental in building 10 apartment complexes for the handicapped before his retirement in 2002. While with Goodwill, he was active in various associations advocating for the disabled. He served as President of the Southeast National Rehabilitation Association, and was an active member of the Florida Rehabilitation Facilities and Leon County Center of Independent Living. He served as Treasurer of the Florida Council of Handicap Organizations, was founder of Leon Human Resource Association and was a member of the Florida State Rural Development Council, the Florida State Economic Development Council, the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce, and the Tallahassee Downtown Rotary Club. After his retirement, he worked at the Florida Legislature for the Sargent of Arms during the sessions and found it both enjoyable and educational. Bill was a futuristic thinker who enjoyed life to its fullest and had many friends. He was an optimistic and positive person who treated everyone, no matter their status in life, with equal respect. Bill’s first love in life was his family and friends but his second love was golf. He vowed that after his retirement he would play golf every day. He fulfilled that dream and spent the years after his retirement doing just that. He played with the Killearn Senior Group or “SLUGS” at Killearn Country Club for many years and spent his last three years playing at Hilaman Golf Course with the Hilaman Outstanding Golf Seniors or “HOGS”. Bill was preceded in death by his parents Sarah and John Graham, brothers Robert and James and sisters Nancy Keeler and Faye Barrish. Bill is survived by his wife Marlene, son Jeff Graham (Nancy), daughter Jennifer Douglas (Robert) and three grandchildren, Garrett, Matthew and Jason Graham. He is also survived by three nieces Sally Keeler, Patsy Berkner, and Nancy Lex. The family will receive friends at Culley Timberlane Funeral Home on Friday July26th from 5 to 7 PM. A celebration of Bill’s life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations in Bill’s memory be made to either Goodwill Industries Big Bend or Big Bend Hospice.

Services

  • A gathering of Family and friends Friday, July 26, 2013
REMEMBERING

William Muir Graham

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RECEIVE UPDATES
Bob Rosinsky

August 5, 2013

Marlene: It has been several years since I saw Billy, but he was always one of my favorite Goodwill CEOs. The world has lost a great deal of laughter and mischief along with a mediocre golf game despite his best efforts. My deepest sympathy to you and the family. Warmly, Bob Rosinsky

August 4, 2013

I got to know Bill a little in my early years with Goodwill Industries. I found him to be dedicated to the mission of the organization and improving the services it provided. What I remember most is his optimism and how much he enjoyed his work.

Gary McElwain

August 2, 2013

Cousin Marlene and Family,
We are so very sorry to learn of Bill's passing. He was a good sport and was fun to be with regardless of what was on the agenda. We have fond memories of your family visits to St. Pete. and know Bill will be missed by many. You're in our thoughts and prayers.
Len & Kathy Cardalico, Palm Harbor, FL

Linda LaMona

August 2, 2013

Marlene, I just learned of Bill's passing. I am saddened to learn of this. He was a wonderful person and I enjoyed being a colleague of his while serving as CEO with Lakeland Goodwill. It was always fun to get to play tennis at Goodwill social events and I always preferred playing doubles with him as his partner instead of against him. He will be missed and yet remembered with fondness.

Matt Pave

July 31, 2013

Great man who raised a great son; he will be missed but always remembered
Will tip one up to him high at the first FSU game
Go Noles!

Donna Brookerd

July 27, 2013

I didn't know Bill but I know he raised a wonderful son, Jeff, who is my friend and colleague through GLaxoSmithkline. Reading about Bill reminds me of the qualities I have experienced working with Jeff. I knew he must have been a special person to have raised such a nice son. A job well done to Bill in raising Jeff.
Donna Brookerd

Tony Hansberry

July 26, 2013

I am very saddened by the passing of Bill Graham. For many years I had the joy of working with him initially as a Board member of the Goodwill Industries, and later as Chairman of the Board. Bill was a joy to work with and to support in his desire to support those with handicap. He had a love for what he believed in and it was evident when he worked. He loved his work. It was also a joy to see him again when my son was recognized by both Houses of the Legislature (2011). I recall his smile and will always cherish his friendship. I am so sorry that I did not realize his departure earlier . . . he deserved my presence. To the family my prayers are with and for you.

Tony D. Hansberry (Presiding Elder AME Church)
Suwannee-North District
Eleventh Episcopal District
Jacksonville, Florida

Leslie Battiste

July 26, 2013

I will always fondly remember Bill for his tremendous respect for people with disablities and for his confidence in me personally.

John Douglas

July 26, 2013

I was sad to see of Bill's passing in the Tallahassee Democrat. I met Bill when he was director of Goodwill and I worked in the state's rehabilitation services and was active in the Florida Rehabilitation Association. He was a nice person that I admired; very personable and dedicated. He and I played a little tennis once, but his game was far better than mine. I had not seen Bill in many years and as so often happens after you lose touch, I wondered what had become of him. It is good to know that he enjoyed life in his retirement years. My deepest sympathies and best wishes to his family and friends.

David F. Lee

July 26, 2013

In honor and thanks for his service to our Country and the United States Marine Corps.

Semper Fi...
David F. Lee
Marine Corps League
Arthur R. Meyer, Jr. Detachment 472