1935 - 2021
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Benjamin L. Graham, 85, of Imperial, CA passed away on Saturday, December 19, 2020 at his home of cancer with family nearby at his bedside. Benjamin was born on September 18, 1935 in Hickman, Missouri. Benjamin "Buddy" grew up on a farm in Springfield, Missouri. He came to California with his parents in 1950. When he traveled through the dunes of Glamis he knew he wanted to give up horses for a dune buggy. He finished high school through the GED program at Imperial Valley College. He proudly served his country in the Army National Guard from 1951 through 1959 in Holtville, CA as a Specialist Second Class. His first job was as a bag boy at Safeway downtown Main St, El Centro, Ca. His second job was working as a welder at Jackson Welding Shop in Imperial, CA. His last job was of 35 years with Imperial Country, Building, and Ground. On June 21, 1996 he married Susan Graham at the Imperial County Courthouse. Benjamin retired in 1997, started an Off-Road Buggy Engine Repaired shop at his home. Benjamin (Buddy) was a celebrity in the desert. People recognized him as being featured in the Hot VW's and Sand Sports in 1989 magazines. He was also featured in the Imperial Valley Press as a human interest story in 1989. Buddy was known as a legend and best dresser in the desert. He built 20 dune buggies in his lifetime. He was a member of the Imperial Valley Timing Association Drags In the Sun established in 1956, Holtville, CA. His last hobby was working on Jeeps. He attended Tierra Del Sol Jeeps 4x4 events yearly when he could. He was preceded in death by his father, Jesse Graham; mother, Gordie Graham; brothers, Jesse Graham Jr. and Bob Graham; son, Rick Graham. He is survived by spouse, Susan Graham; sister, Sharon Hudson of Jacksonville, NC; daughter, Pam Cooke (Danny) of Brawley, CA; daughter-in-law, Ronna Graham of Imperial, CA; grandsons, Gabe Graham (Lisa) of Imperial, CA and Brian Graham, of Imperial, CA; four great- grandkids, Nicole, Brian Graham Jr, Stephanie, and Mike and his beloved dog Bella. The family suggest donations be made to American Cancer Society, in memory of Benjamin. Burial will be held on Friday, February 12, 2020 at 12 p.m. with Steve Cochran officiating, at Evergreen Cemetery in El Centro, CA. Burial services are privately limited due to Covid 19. The Celebration of Life will be held later in the fall. Thank you, Imperial Valley Hospice for the care of my husband. Special thanks to Caroline his nurse's aide.

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Published in Imperial Valley Press Online on Feb. 7, 2021.
12:00 PM
Evergreen Cemetery
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3 entries
February 13, 2021
Thanks for all the tributes to my late husband Benjamin L Graham. Yesterday, at the burial there were tears from heaven. Rain a little. The military was present with the American flag. Very impressive ceremony.
Susan M Graham
February 9, 2021
Hi, this is Sherie. I was married to one of Buddy’s old friend Steve Edgar. I’m so sorry to hear of his passing. Hi Susan. Prayers to you all.
Sherie Layton
February 9, 2021
My deepest condolences to all family and friends. Ben always brought an air of cheer and positivity wherever he went. I don't think I ever once saw him without a smile on his face. He will be missed.
Christopher Beltran
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