NEAL GRAHAM, 66, passed away on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, at home surrounded by his family. Born Mar. 13, 1946, in Fort Wayne, Neal graduated from Ball State in Music Ed., going on to teach within several area music programs over the years, including North Side, Northrop and Snider High Schools. He enjoyed teaching percussion privately and playing locally in a variety of facets such as the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Civic Theater performances, rock band gigs including his latest in 'Story Band', and a drummer for the praise bands at St. Joseph U.M.C. where he was a member. In 1972, Neal opened the Percussion Center, and in 1981, XL Specialty Percussion, best known for his design and production of Protechtor drum cases. Most recently, he sold his company to Gator Cases in December of 2008, staying on as General Manager. He is survived by his loving wife of 43 years, Robin; daughters, Tina (Jeremy) Torres and Joy (Brooks) Dodson; five grandchildren, (Jocelyn, Ryne, Lydia, Jordan, and Bryce); and brother, Doug Graham. He was preceded in death by his parents, Earl and Verda Graham; and brother, Mark Graham. Funeral service is 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, at St. Joseph United Methodist Church, 6004 Reed Road. Visitation is from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 4, 2013, at the church. Burial in Highland Park Cemetery. Memorials may be given to St. Joseph U.M.C. Music Department or the Heartland Hospice Memorial Fund. Arrangements by Hockemeyer & Miller Funeral Home.
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Published in Fort Wayne Newspapers on Dec. 30, 2012