EAST PEORIA - Ralph S. Graham, 84, of Sherrills Ford, N.C., formerly of East Peoria, passed away at 7:43 p.m. on Saturday, April 20, 2013, at Heartland Care Center of Peoria.
Ralph was born Aug. 31, 1928, in White Hall, Ill., the son of Louis N. and Caroline J. Hartman Graham.
Ralph first married JoAnn Frey in Peoria on July 31, 1948, with whom he had his five children. He later married Nancy Kier Brown on Nov. 25, 1983, in Peoria.
He is survived by his wife of 29 years; his children, Linda (Larry) Purfield of East Peoria, Ralph L. (Debbie) Graham of Albany, Ore., Sheryl Wilmes, Robert Graham and Kurtis Graham, all of East Peoria; four stepsons, Todd Brown of Imperial Beach, Calif., Ted Brown of Reston, Va., Eric Brown (Muy Leng) of Wayne, Ill., and Matthew (Kirsten) Brown of Elmhurst, Ill.; nine grandchildren, Andrew (Elaine) Harris of Fallon, Nev., Cameron Graham of East Peoria, Amy Harris of Arlington, Va., Pamela Graham of Portland, Ore., and Carrie Graham of USMC, Miramar, Calif., Hadley and Austin Brown of Elmhurst, Ill., and Ericson and London Brown of Wayne, Ill.; one great-grandson, Daniel Harris of Fallon, Nev.; one sister, Helen Sandlin of Morton; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was employed by Caterpillar Inc. for 36 years until his retiring in 1980 as a millwright. He installed aluminum siding and gutting for Lynch Aluminum for many years. After retirement he delivered Meals On Wheels for 18 years and participated in mission projects for his church, where he was a member of Methodist Men's Club.
He belonged to the National Historic Railroad Society and the Lions Club of Sherrills Ford, where he served as president for two years.
Ralph was known for his quick wit, sense of humor, keen mind and problem solving, especially crossword puzzles.
He built four homes of which he was especially proud and assisted in building many others.
Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. on Wednesday April 24, 2013, at Remmert Funeral Home. Pastor Mary Arnold will officiate. Visitation will be Tuesday, April 23, 2013, from 5 to 7 p.m. and an hour prior to services on Wednesday. Burial will be in Fondulac Township Cemetery in East Peoria.
Memorials may be made to his church, Hopewell United Methodist Church in Sherrills Ford, N.C., or Hospice Compassus.
To view or leave an online condolence, please go to www.RemmertFuneralHome.com.
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