On Monday, June 24th, 2019, John Wallace Graham (Wally), our beloved father, grandfather, husband, and friend, passed from this life at the age of 89 in the company of his family.
Born on September 9, 1929 to John Campbell Graham and Gabrielle Kopp in Orange, New Jersey, Wally soon left the United States with his mother to live in Europe. Ten years later, he found himself alone on a ship, heading back to New Jersey to escape the Second World War. Back in the United States, he learned to speak English, completed his primary education, and then volunteered to serve in the US Army where he served as a paratrooper, demolitions expert, and a member of the Army Modern Pentathlon Team.
After an honorable discharge he obtained a degree in chemistry from Springfield College (Massachusetts) in 1956, as well as a Doctorate of Medicine from McGill University (Montreal) in 1960. Dr. Graham then embarked on a medical career that lasted more than 60 years in both the United States and Canada, running laboratories, doing private forensic pathology work, and working as Chief Medical Examiner. He truly enjoyed his work and retired officially in January 2019.
As dedicated as he was to his profession, it never prevented him from pursuing his hobbies. He obtained a private pilot’s license in 1950, and over the next 40 years accumulated almost 3000 hours in single-engine aircraft. His flight paths regularly included locations as distant as Mexico, Canada and as far east as the Caribbean- often landing on remote beaches in search of the best fishing. His other lifelong passions included fishing, hunting, camping, skiing, soccer, investing, his family, and his dogs. He loved traveling the world with his wife Lynn, his companion for 20 years. One of his other joys later in life was teaching his grandchildren to fish.
Throughout his life he was an outstanding example of positivity and optimism. He appreciated the value of education, arts and music, and made many contributions to the community in which he lived.
He is survived by his wife, Lynn Nicholas; his children, Robert, Ian, and Suzanne, Lynn’s children Brian and Donald Maffly and Elizabeth Lovell; and 11 grandchildren.
We would like to sincerely thank the staff at Legacy Village, Sugarhouse, where he lived for the past six months as well as his entire care team at the University of Utah Hospital for his excellent and loving care.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, June 29, 2019 at 4:00 pm at Starks Funeral Home at 3651 South 900 East, Salt Lake City. A celebration of Wally's life will follow the service from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Guests are encouraged to use the complimentary valet parking on the north side of the building.
In lieu of flowers please considered a donation to Trout Unlimited at www.tu.org