Edward's Story

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Edward A. Graham, 91, a much loved father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend died at his home in Bluefield, VA, surrounded by family on January 19, 2018. Ed was born on November 25, 1926 to Florence (Bergeron) and Albert Graham in Bluefield, Virginia. Ed is lovingly remembered by his four children: Michael H. Graham, Patrick E. Graham and wife Debi, Kelly F. Graham and wife Rosellis, and Teri McKee and husband Ryan Laughna; his five grandchildren Angela Graham Johnson and husband Scott, Adrienne Graham, Graham McKee, Max McKee, and Lily McKee; three great-grandchildren, Anna Scott, Wade, and Nash Johnson; brother-in-law Ralph Kiser and wife Shirley, sisters-in-law Queteen Bowling and Betty Kiser. Ed was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Frances (Kiser) Graham, his parents, and his siblings Esther, Max, George, and Richard.
Ed graduated from Graham High School and left before his prom and graduation ceremony to join the U.S. Army where he served in the Pacific theater during World War II. Upon returning to Bluefield he met and married his wife, Frances, in 1948. They were married for 61 years until Frances' death in 2009. He continued his government service after the war as a postal railway clerk in Washington, DC. His career brought them back to Bluefield where Ed worked in the USPS for many years eventually serving as postmaster of Falls Mills, VA, where he retired in 1988.  Ed was one of the last surviving railway mail clerks and he contributed to the Smithsonian National Postal Museum railway car replica by relaying his experiences.
Many people will remember Ed as a staple in town through his Dairy Queen. Ed and Frances opened the Bluefield, VA, Dairy Queen in 1968. It has remained a family run business for 50 years. Ed was always hands on with the business and many of his family and extended family had their first jobs at the Dairy Queen. A hot dog with chili and a DQ treat will always bring a memory of Ed.
In addition to owning a local business, Ed served on town council. His contributions were many but most notably was his help in creating the Westgate Park and advocating for clean drinking water. As a lifelong member of St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Ed served on the vestry as Junior and Senior Warden, and represented St. Mary's at the Annual Diocesan Council. He was a self- taught stained glass artist and made beautiful stained glass pieces from window catchers to lampshades and windows. Ed's knowledge of stained glass helped preserve the windows at St. Mary's, two of which were made by Tiffany and Company. Anyone who received one of Ed's creations knew how much time and love was given.
A memorial service and reception immediately following will be held at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Bluefield, VA, with the Reverend Dr. Tom Day officiating on Saturday, February 17, 2018 at 1:00 pm. One of Ed's contributions to St. Mary's was the creation of the columbarium where he will rest eternal.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to the Children's Miracle Network or St. Jude's Children's Hospital.
Those wishing to share memories or condolence messages with the family may do so by visiting www.MercerFuneralHome.com
Mercer Funeral Home of Bluefield is serving the Edward Graham family.
Published on January 31, 2018
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