Bill lost his fight against Lewy Body Dementia on May 6th, 2020. He died peacefully in his sleep surrounded by his loving wife of 55 years, Mary, his two daughters, and granddaughter.
Bill graduated from Elk City High School in 1958, Southwestern Oklahoma University in 1962 and the University of Kentucky, with a Masters in Counseling and Guidance In 1966.
Bill was an inspiration to others. Anything he did, he did well and gave a 150% effort. He taught English in Fullerton, CA and San Diego. He was a middle school and high school counselor in Lompoc for 34 years. His past students remember him fondly and recall how he was patient and kind and knew just what to say to help motivate and encourage them in their most troubled times.
Bill loved his family and had a large group of friends with which he enjoyed spending time. All of his friends and family recall what a great sense of humor he had. Whether it was his flair for costumes, his crazy jokes, or his impersonations, Bill could always make us laugh.
He earned the name “Mr. Sporty” from his family, as he had a passion for playing tennis, running, mountain and road bicycling, downhill and cross country skiing, surf kayaking, whitewater canoeing, horseback riding, fishing, hiking, backpacking, photography, camping, playing guitar, and singing. Bill was a true outdoorsman. He instilled the love of outdoors and adventure in his wife and daughters, whom he led around the Western US for lengthy car camping road trips for many summers.
In his retirement, Bill volunteered at the La Purisima Mission, taking care of the animals. This work rekindled his love of horses from his youth, when he worked on his uncle's ranch in Texas. His love for the animals was apparent as he cared for them as if they were family.
Bill is survived by his wife, Mary Graham, his daughter, Staci, her husband, Chris, and grandsons, Brian and Patrick Holloway, his daughter, Karlie, her husband, Scott, and grandkids, Finn and Lucy McCurdy, his older sister, Anna Lee Grisham, and numerous cousins, nephews, and nieces. His family would like to give thanks to all of his friends, caregivers, and family, who were always willing to help, whenever needed, and in the final months, the love and care from Hospice.
Bill touched the lives of all who knew him and will not be forgotten. A celebration of Bill's life will be scheduled at a later time, when we can gather, hug, and laugh together. In lieu of flowers, if you would like to make a donation to any of the following in Bill's name, he would have appreciated that; Make checks to Stanford University Lewy Body Dementia Research IMO Bill Graham. Mail to Anne Longo, Stanford Medicine, 485 Broadway Street, 4th Floor, Redwood City CA 94063. or the Docents at Prelado de los Tesores, 2295 Purisima Rd, Lompoc, CA 93436, or Dignity Health Hospice, 124 S. College Drive, Santa Maria, CA, 93454 or Lompoc High School Athletics, 515 W College, Lompoc, CA 93436, or a charity of your choosing.
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