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Daniel L. “Dan” Graham

Posted By Hall-Wynne On January 7, 2015 @ 9:45 am In Durham,Obituaries,Pittsboro | 28 Comments

Daniel L. “Dan” Graham, 87, of Pittsboro, NC peacefully passed away in his sleep Saturday afternoon, January 3, shortly before a mass for his beloved late wife was being said at the St. Julia Catholic Church. Dan was born on April 28, 1927 in Donnelsville, Ohio, the son of Louis J. and Barbara Jane (Leffel) Graham. After graduating Olive Branch High School, he served in the United States Navy, including the end of WWII. He attended Wittenburg University on the GI Bill of Rights, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Education in 1951. That year he was hired at Clark Air Base on Luzon Island, Philippines, where he was a popular teacher. Dan left Clark AB in 1959 to farm coffee in the Bukidnon Province of Mindanao Island, Philippines, a place he loved and would share stories about. He met his late wife, Jean, during his time in Bukidnon and together they moved to Pohnpei Island, Micronesia in 1971 where he served as teacher at Ponape Agriculture and Trade School and later as Economic Development Advisor for the governments of Pohnpei and Chuuk Islands. In 1983, their family moved to Pittsboro where Dan was a farmer and woodworker, spending Saturday mornings selling with his family at the Carrboro Farmers Market. He and Jean grew many vegetables and fruits and he handcrafted cedar chests and other wood products. Even after health made it difficult to farm and woodwork, he continued to attend the Carrboro market with his son. Dan was energized by the vitality of the market and he relished the friends who would visit him there to share discussions on current events, theology or philosophy. Dan enjoyed BBC and NPR radio and reading; in his later years he remained sharp, desiring to continually seek knowledge and truth. At nearly 70, he learned to use the computer where he typed numerous essays and connected with friends from around the world. Dan also loved to spend time with his grandchildren and would often call them his pride and joy. He delighted in their accomplishments and growth.
Dan is survived by his son Daniel “Danny” Graham, Jr. of Henderson, NV and grandchildren Desirea and Darryl Graham, his daughter Charleen (Graham) Cody and husband Jeff of Chapel Hill and grandchildren Chance and Bryce Cody, his son Louis T. Graham and wife Patricia, of Pittsboro and grandchildren Sydney and Louis Graham, Jr. and his son Jonathan T. Graham and wife Samantha of Suffolk, VA. Dan is also survived by two sisters Mollie (Clarence) Mohr of Springfield, OH and Susie (Robert) Hazel of Lexington, KY. He was preceded in death by his parents, beloved wife Generosa “Jean” (Flora) Graham, sister Barbara Lou Sotomeyer and brother Louis “Luke” Graham.
As Dan was a gift in life, so he was in death with his wish to serve anatomical research. A memorial service will be held at the Carrboro Farmers Market Commons on Saturday, January 17 at 1:30PM. Online condolences may be made at www.hallwynne.com


Condolences for the family of “Daniel L. “Dan” Graham”

Condolence from Ann Davis on January 7th, 2015 10:53 am

What a beautiful obituary. I only met him once, but his smile was infectious. My condolences to your family for the loss of an amazing man.

Condolence from Brenda branch on January 7th, 2015 11:47 am

I am so sorry for your loss. I pray that you will find comfort in the beautiful legacy Dan leaves behind. Love to you all!!

Condolence from Rebeccah on January 7th, 2015 1:16 pm

All my love to your family during this time of sadness. It was a pleasure to know your dad — he was an amazing man. Wish I could give you each a hug.

Condolence from Sharon Brookbank on January 7th, 2015 5:49 pm

To the family: Each of you can be especially proud of Dan Graham. He has passed on a part of himself to each of you in his own way. I am especially glad I got to be around him the few times that I was. You are all in my thoughts and prayers at this time.

Condolence from Daryl at Ayrshire on January 7th, 2015 6:19 pm

Have learned out here in Colorado of Dan’s passing. I am so sorry and send you all my very deepest sympathies. But he leaves you with some amazing memories which you will always have. Warmest wishes to all the family during this difficult time.

Condolence from Allison Buckner on January 7th, 2015 7:09 pm

I am thinking of you all and praying for comfort and grace for you during this difficult time. Dan was so proud of each one of you… Much love.

Condolence from Mary duke barnwell on January 7th, 2015 7:26 pm

Wonderful words…I too am having my body donated for medical purposes…when its my time…very generous…

Condolence from Larry Bruton on January 7th, 2015 7:27 pm

Dan was a friend and great inspiration to me. Many of his projects in Chuuk in the ’80s continue to inspire me as I carry on with many of them today. He will always be remembered by me as a great resourceful innovator.

My heartfelt condolences to the entire family. My love and prayers,

Larry Bruton
Chuuk, FM (Micronesia)

Condolence from Brian Kileff on January 7th, 2015 9:41 pm

Opening your email brought tears to my eyes.

I met Dan and Jean 30 years ago at the old Farmers Market and already they stood out as remarkable, special people. As the years passed I came to know them better, and learn a little about their story, and what a fascinating one that was. In recent years Dan would send me pieces he had written about his time in the East, and then ideas about the world today. I loved the extraordinary and all too short autobiography he sent. I kept asking him to expand on it, but he was too modest and did not think it would be of much interest to anyone – on the contrary, it very much was! The few subsequent essays he sent me showed a keen interest in the world, the condition of his fellow man. Through them all his interest and faith in humankind shone brightly through.

Over the last year Dan told me of some of his health issues, but he never complained. He kept his interest in everything and everyone around him. Dan was one of a kind, positive whatever the circumstances, genial, much beloved, a hard working man which you could see in his hands and face, a wonderful, rich in so many ways, human being, someone I respected immensely and looked forward to seeing each week. I treasure the cedar pieces I have of his, all of which I had him sign. The Farmers Market will never be the same for me.

May I send you Charleen, Louie, Jonathan, all the family my congratulations on having found such a fine father for yourselves, for having kept him so long, and shared him with us all. My heart aches to have to say goodbye, for you, for me, for his many, many friends,

Brian Kileff

Condolence from Lydia MacKenzie on January 7th, 2015 11:15 pm

All my life I was told stories of the adventures of Uncle Danny and I remember helping my grandmother tie string around his packages she would send him to the Phillipines and she would read to us his letters he would write her.

my deepest sympathy is extended to his children, grandchildren, family and friends with love and prayers.

Condolence from John &Sherry Outland on January 7th, 2015 11:48 pm

My heart goes out to the Graham family. We are so very sorry for your loss and pray that God will give you peace and comfort during this difficult time. We hold your family in our thoughts and prayers.

Condolence from Linda and Steve James on January 8th, 2015 5:26 am

You are all in our thoughts and prayers during this time. What a special father and grandfather and what a legacy he leaves. We love you all so much!!! May God bless you during this difficult time.

Condolence from Mary Ann on January 8th, 2015 10:50 am

Dan will be greatly missed. He had vision, strength, and determination and he created a life that reflected his values: he will remain an inspiration to us all.

We will keep your family in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

Condolence from susan (graham) hazel on January 8th, 2015 8:49 pm

so sorry, but we know where he is, praise God. aunt susie

Condolence from Michelle (Daigle) Greenough on January 8th, 2015 10:24 pm

love and prayers to the whole family, especially Charlene, Danny, and Louis-your dad was such a generous man who lived with passion and love. I hope I can pass on his legacy by blessing others with love and compassion in my own life to honor of the way he blessed my family and me.
Xoxo

Condolence from The Thomson Family on January 9th, 2015 11:53 am

It is with such sadness in my heart to hear about Mr. Graham’s passing. I never called him “Dan” always Mr. Graham – he was an elder of the community and deserved the respect. He watched my children grow up these past 18 years and the first item for our home in Chapel Hill was one of his cedar chests. My Saturday mornings were always brighter after greeting him and admiring his pieces on display. The entire family is in my heart and prayers for healing from this pain and loss. We will miss Mr. Graham always.

Warmest wishes for the Grahams
Ruth, Lance, Peri, Emma and Anna Thomson

Condolence from Diane on January 9th, 2015 1:06 pm

Oh what a shock to learn of Dan’s death! He was such a “constant” at the market, smiling, greeting, and discussing so many different topics and ideas with all who enjoy the Carrboro market. His presence at market will truly be missed. All of his cedar pieces I’ve purchased now have significantly more meaning as a reminder and appreciation of a all he was to so many people whose life he touched. What a loss to you, the family, and to his many friends. But his spirit will live on as we share stories about him and cherish his handiwork and other talents.

Blessings and Peace!
Diane McGrath

Condolence from Billie Cunningham on January 9th, 2015 1:26 pm

It was an honor to know your father.

Condolence from Melanie & Jeff Raskin on January 9th, 2015 2:16 pm

Louie, Tricia, Sydney and Louis,
We’re so sorry for your loss. Dan was a bright light at the Farmers’ Market. We enjoyed chatting with him each Saturday and loved his energy, intellect and enthusiasm for life. He was interesting and interested in everyone and everything. Beautiful. Squeezes to you all.
-Melanie & Jeff

Condolence from Betsy Hackney on January 10th, 2015 7:27 am

I will miss Dan’s cheerful presence at the market. I have shopped with the Grahams for many years and remember Jean well. Saturdays won’t be the same without him. Louis, Tricia, Sydney and young Louis, my thoughts are with you.
Betsy Hackney

Condolence from The Christopher Family on January 10th, 2015 11:41 am

What a fitting obituary for an amazing person. He was a wonderfully skilled and kind man. The beautiful cedar chests in our home will remind us of him for many years to come. We will all sorely miss seeing him at market. We are terribly sorry for your loss and offer our condolences to the whole family.

Ray and Maria Christopher, & Malati Linzmeyer

Condolence from Elise Bortz on January 11th, 2015 3:31 pm

I am sorry for your loss, I always enjoyed talking with Dan at Market, he was a very kind man.

Condolence from Greg Rimando on January 13th, 2015 11:27 am

A very nicely written obituary Charleen… Aunt Nora and I share in your sadness and our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Condolence from Karl Schaefer on January 15th, 2015 9:39 am

Dan was a great person to talk with as you never knew where the conversation would go. He had such a broad area of interest that we might talk about cedar furniture or about farming in Micronesia. I loved watching him tell his customers about the stange looking produce he had for sale. In the 8 years I managed the market he never tired of explaining his products and outlook on life.

I send my thoughts to his family on the loss of Dan. The world is a little darker with his loss.

Karl

Condolence from Charles and Joan Holeman on January 16th, 2015 3:25 pm

So sorry about your loss. He will truly be missed. You are all in our prayers.

Condolence from D.G. Martin on January 17th, 2015 11:26 am

Visits to the Farmers Market won’t be the same without have Daniel Graham there to explain his wonderful cedar woodworking projects and give me upbeat comments about our hopes for a better world. I am grateful for his friendship and for his family, folks I look forward to seeing every week and remembering together this great man.

Condolence from Karen Geisler on January 18th, 2015 12:35 pm

My prayers to the family on your loss. I have the hangers Daniel gave me and will always remember him.

Condolence from Dora Weaver Owens on January 23rd, 2015 11:02 am

Dan Graham was always such a great friend and neighbor to our family. I know you all miss him very much.

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