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Lou Ann Graham

1926 - 2016 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Lou Ann Graham Obituary
Graham, Lou Ann

Lou Ann Graham, beloved mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, teacher and friend passed away peacefully on November 1, 2016 at the age of 90.

She was born on February 3, 1926 to Robert and Mae Jones in Independence, Kansas. The family moved to Albuquerque when she was only two.

Lou Ann is survived by her brother, Robert M. Jones and her daughter, Sharon Hall, both of Albuquerque, daughter-in-law Michelle Hall of San Jose, CA, grandson, Chad Hall of El Dorado Hills, CA, nieces Dot Hester, Nancy Dingess, Marty Wilson, Cathy Sheyka, Bobbie Lee Swaim, Janet Lloyd and many loving grand-nieces and grand-nephews.

She was predeceased by her parents, her daughter Robin, son Bill, four sisters, Venus Speer, Vivian Vance Dodds, Dorothy O'Neal and Mickey Bowyer, nephew Bill Speer and niece Vivian Wilkison.

After graduating from Albuquerque High, Lou went on to study nursing and then to UNM where she became a cheerleader and met her first husband, William E. (Bill) Hall, Jr. They married in 1947. Bill became Director of the School of Journalism at the University of Nebraska, while Lou Ann completed her M.A. in Theater at NU. She directed productions at the University and worked with the Lincoln Community Playhouse.

Lou Ann and Bill divorced in 1965, and Lou moved to the San Francisco Bay Area with her children. She and second husband, Ross Graham, founded the Young Conservatory of the American Conservatory Theater, and later started their own company, The San Francisco Attic Theater. They fell in love with Europe over several vacation trips and moved to the south of France in 1985 where they lived for 10 years until moving back to San Francisco on the death of Lou's son, Bill.

Her children and her family meant everything to Lou, and in 2001 she returned home to Albuquerque to live. She and Ross separated, but remained friends. Since, she has been a substitute teacher at Manzano HS, taught drama, and been active in local theater productions and events.

Lou Ann was the youngest sister of actress Vivian Vance of I Love Lucy fame. She hosted presentations about Vivian at the Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque Little Theater, the Kimo, Oasis and venues throughout the city as well as at the annual Lucy/Desi Jamestown (NY) Festival. In 2014, she was flown to LA to accept Vivian's award into the Academy of Television's Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame. Lou wrote two books - Viv's Scrapbook and Memories of My Big Sister, Viv - and the second edition of her book on teaching acting, We Are Players has just been published.

The family would like to thank Ambercare Hospice, Genesis at Bear Canyon, and the staff who cared for her at Presbyterian Hospital, with special appreciation to Dr. Grandhe. Lou donated her body to UNM where cremation will take place at a later date.

Lou Ann was full of life and love for family, the arts, nature, animals and social justice. A memorial service and reception in her honor will be held on Saturday, November 19th at 4pm at the First Unitarian Church, Carlisle & Comanche. In lieu of flowrs, please make donations to The Albuquerque Little Theater or First Unitarian Animal Advocates.
Published in Albuquerque Journal from Nov. 12 to Nov. 13, 2016
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