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George C. Graham


1924 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
George C. Graham Obituary
Dr. George C. Graham, O.D., an entrepreneur who co-founded the successful First Optometry chain in Michigan, died on May 12. He was 94. A member of the "Greatest Generation" of World War II veterans, George was born May 11, 1924, in Detroit, Michigan, to Vasile and Zenovia Grama. After graduating in 1942 from Detroit's Denby High School, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps and served as a radio operator on B-17 Flying Fortress bombers. On his third mission, he was shot down on a bombing run over Berlin and was one of only two crew members to survive. German forces held him prisoner for a year before he was liberated April 29, 1945, by troops led by U.S. Army Gen. George C. Patton. Back in the U.S., he used the GI Bill to attend the Northern Illinois College of Optometry before returning to East Detroit, Michigan to start his optometry practice. He married Jeanne Margaret Colombo, a classmate in both elementary and high school, on April 29, 1950. In 1974, George partnered with Dr. Donald Borsand, O.D., to create First Optometry which became one of the largest practices of its kind in the United States.The longtime resident of Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan served for decades as an active member of the East Detroit Lions Club and Michigan Optometric Society. As a hobby, George pursued his love of flying and obtained his pilot's license. He and Jeanne retired to New Bern, North Carolina, in 2004 to be close to their daughter Christine and her family. In their later years, the couple enjoyed the camaraderie of and reunions with his former bomber squadron, the 398th. George was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 64 years, Jeanne. After her death in 2014, George moved to Wilmette, Illinois to live with his son, Darrell and his family. He loved his weekly Saturday breakfast dates with Darrell, and their leisurely drives around the north shore. George often walked to the coffee shop around the corner, Alchemy, where he enjoyed coffee, delicious scones, and the friendship of owners, Blair and Julie Cooke, and their wonderful staff. George was also preceded in death by his brother, Dr. Nick B. Graham, O.D., of Irvine, California. George is survived by his children Georgean (Mark) deBlois, Christine (Phil) Bounous, and Darrell Graham (Monica Creighton); grandchildren Madeleine deBlois (Matt Mugmon), and Meredith deBlois; Charlotte (Blake) Perdue, Mathhew Bounous; and Maeve, Jack and Michael Graham; and great-grandchildren Hudson Perdue, and Owen and Emmett deBlois Mugmon. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you donate to the . Interment in Arlington National Cemetery will be private.
Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on June 11, 2018
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