“My father didn’t tell me how to live. He lived and let me watch him do it.”
William M. Graham passed away in his sleep after a long illness on Wednesday, August 30, 2023, which was his 95th birthday. He is survived by his two sons, William Lynn Graham and Rory M. Graham.
William was the son of John and Thelma Graham. He was affectionately known as “Bill”, and was born and raised in Bedford, Virginia. In 1945 Bill enlisted in the Navy, where he served proudly with Air Group seventy-four aboard the aircraft carrier USS Midway.
In 1949 he enrolled in Hargrave Military Academy to finish his education. While at Hargrave, he met and fell in love with the “love of his life,” Janice Geyer. After graduating, Bill married Janice on August 4, 1951. In 1953 they had their first son Rory, and Bill accepted a job with the Seven-Up Bottling Co. in Danville, VA. In 1957 his career with 7up continued as he was promoted to the Washington DC operation as the office manager. During this time, two more sons were added to the family, Lynn and Shawn. In 1964 7up promoted him again and moved him to Norfolk, VA as Vice President and Assistant Manager. It wasn’t long before he was made President of the Hampton Roads operation. He retired from 7up in 1983.
In 1984 Bill and his son Rory embarked on a new business venture and created Allied Video Services in Chesapeake, VA. He retired from AVS in 2001. In 2003 after a fifty-two-year marriage, Bill lost Jan after a lengthy illness. Bill contributed significantly to support the construction of the Landon-Davenport Science Center at Hargrave in memory of his wife, Janice.
Throughout his life, Bill was an excellent role model. He demonstrated integrity, honesty, and personal responsibility daily. Watching him, we learned a lot about creating a loving family, a successful marriage, and a productive life.
We would like to thank the staff at Commonwealth Senior Living at Georgian Manor and Sentara Hospice for the wonderful care, concern, and attentiveness that they provided to him and us during this time.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to The Michael J. Fox Foundation at https://www.michaeljfox.org/