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Thomas C. Graham

1938 - 2020
Thomas C. Graham Obituary
Thomas C. Graham

Thomas Carter Graham, 81 years of age, passed away on January 8, 2020 at Evergreen Hospice Center in Kirkland, WA. The cause of death was congestive heart failure due to a heart attack he suffered in May 2019. The heart attack was preceded by a stroke in January 2019, from which he recovered nicely.

Tom was born in Poplar Bluff Missouri on May 21, 1938 to parents, Clyde and Eileen Graham. In 1948, Tom's father took a job with General Electric in Richland, WA, also the home of the Hanford Atomic Energy plant, and moved his family West. Tom and his older brother, Dr. C. Benjamin Graham (deceased), found themselves in a town populated by young families from a variety of U.S. cities. It was an exciting place to grow up. Tom has always said that Poplar Bluff, Missouri was a great place to be FROM!

Tom was active in baseball and basketball and graduated from Richland High School in 1955. Brother Ben attended Washington State University and later the University of Washington Medical School graduating as a Radiologist. Tom was always very proud of brother Ben (wife Pearl (deceased) and daughter Leslie).

In 1959 Tom obtained a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Washington where he was active in campus life and a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity. After serving as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, he received an MBA from UW in 1964. He married Carol Zentner in 1961 and they started married life in Bellevue, WA. They had three sons, David Charles (wife LaDonna/grandson Spencer), Jeffrey Thomas (deceased/grandsons Jamie and Tyler), and Michael Benjamin.

Tom's work life started at The Boeing Company. He went on to co-own Evergreen Services, a commercial landscape business, and was involved in several startups where his management skills were put to good use. At the time of his death, Tom was the Chief Operating Officer for Aminex Therapeutics, a small biotech company presently testing their cancer drug in Phase I human clinical trials at three U.S. cancer centers.

Tom enjoyed many interests including Seattle Round Table and Forum group; coaching and serving on the Board of the Bellevue Boys and Girls Club; hosting the Tom Graham Invitational Funday golf tournament at Mount Si golf course; March Madness basketball with his sons; UW sports, Seattle Supersonics, Seattle Seahawks, and playing spinner baseball with his grandson Spencer. Tom's sense of humor and ability to tell a story have entertained many. He was kind, non-judgmental, always optimistic, a loyal friend, and a wonderful father and husband.

At Tom's request, a memorial service is not planned. In his honor, we suggest folks reach out and initiate a random act of kindness for someone.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to the Bellevue Boys and Girls Club (www.bgcbellevue.org) OR the Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research (www.v.org).

Carol and the family thank you for your prayers, friendship, and kindness.
Published in The Seattle Times on Jan. 19, 2020
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