Dorothy "Dee" Elizabeth Graham Demmon, a widely known Boulder native, passed away on Dec. 10, 2012, in her home with her son Bill at her side. She was 102 years old.
She was born Feb. 11, 1910, daughter of William Atkinson Graham and Anna Beryl Evans Graham, at the University Hospital on the CU-Boulder campus. Dee once told Boulder historian and Daily Camera columnist Silvia Pettem, "Whenever I tell people that I was born in Boulder, they say, 'What! People are born here?' " William and Anna Graham travelled from their birthplace in Ohio to Boulder in 1904. William Graham was a partner and subsequent owner of Graham Furniture Store on Pearl Street.
Dee's childhood was a happy time, filled with family events including the occasion when she met the famed Wild West showman Buffalo Bill Cody when he visited here. Along with her older sister, Margaret Graham Royal, and her younger brother, Bill Graham, Dee attended Mapleton Elementary School and Northside Intermediate (now Casey Middle) School, then graduated from State Preparatory School (predecessor of Boulder High) in 1928. She met her future husband Irvin Edwin "Irv" Demmon at the Prep School; he took her ice skating on their first date. After dating for 10 years, the couple married in the First Presbyterian Church on August 26, 1936. For the first few years of their marriage, they lived in the Graham family home at 710 Concord Ave. in Boulder. By the time of their marriage, Dee and Irv had graduated from the University of Colorado and were working as school teachers. Dee's first job out of CU was teaching the children of miners in Magnolia, a small mountain community west of Boulder. Dee taught in Delta, CO, was a substitute and home-bound teacher in Boulder, and was the secretary at Uni-Hill Primary in Boulder. In 1943, when Irv and Dee bought their own family home on Ninth Street in North Boulder, the street was not yet paved. They later bought a cabin in Meeker Park, where they spent many happy hours. After Irv and Dee retired, they traveled the world, making friends wherever they went. To celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary, they walked on the Great Wall of China. During her 100th birthday celebration, Dee was asked the secret of her long life. Her response: "I met the right man and drank lots of Boulder water!" Irv died on Oct. 28, 1994. Her many activities included working as the bookkeeper for the acclaimed band, the Astronauts, in which son Bob was the leader of the group and played rhythm guitar. In September 2012, the group was inducted into the Colorado Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Dee attended the ceremony and was seen clapping and dancing to the music, a huge smile on her face. As a CU undergraduate, she was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority in which she maintained a lifelong interest. Dee also was an active member of PEO and of the First Presbyterian Church. Dee showed her love for her family, time with friends far and wide and her many travels by faithfully recording them in yearly photograph albums. She loved her teddy bears, especially Johnny Bear, given to her during WWI. Dee was a big Denver Broncos fan and an even bigger CU football fan. She was a Buffs season-ticket holder since the mid-1950s. One of Dee's most prized possessions was a CU football helmet signed by the players. It was presented to her at her 100th birthday celebration at Folsom Stadium by the CU athletic director, Mike Bohn.
Dee is survived by her son, Bill, Lieutenant Commander, USN (Retired) and his wife, Elisabeth, of Bremerton, WA; their three sons and families: Keith Demmon of Lafayette, CO, wife Aubrey, their three children, Kyle, Matthew and Teia; Michael based at Fort Stewart, GA, an Episcopal Priest and Captain (US Army), presently serving in Afghanistan as the Battalion Chaplain to his combat unit, wife, Libby, and daughter, Willa; and Gregory, of Bremerton, WA. Dee was predeceased by her son Bob (2010) and his wife Barbara Gelwick Demmon (1998). Dee is thus survived by her grandsons and families, Sean of Port Hueneme, CA, wife Darcy, and daughter, Summer; and Chad Demmon of Milwaukee, WI, wife Laure, and three children, Elodie, Sean and Luc; as well as her nieces and nephews from the Royal and Graham families.
Dee's family would like to acknowledge and give thanks: To her caregivers from Dignity Care, LLC, and Family Hospice for their exceptional care which enabled Dee to remain in her family home to the end; To Andy Goodheim for the blessings of friendship and years of devoted care to Dee; To the wonderful neighbors who watched over her, and enjoyed the visits on her front porch; To the Rev. John Hess of First Presbyterian Church and the Rev. Mary Kate Rejouis of St. Aidan's Episcopal Church for their pastoral care; To Meals on Wheels of Boulder; And for all of YOU who touched her life in ways too many to count.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the football program at the University of Colorado, 369 UCB, Boulder, Colorado, 80309, www.cubuffclub.com, (303) 492-2200. (Please make checks payable to the CU Foundation.)
A memorial service for Dee will be held on Saturday, Dec. 22 at 2 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Boulder, Rev. Hess officiating.