James Edward Graham, a resident of Nodine, Minnesota, passed away on March 9, 2023, at the age of 74, surrounded by his loved ones after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. Jim courageously faced the challenges of the disease for nearly 24 years, which he contracted during his time of service in the Navy in Vietnam. His family announces his passing with great sorrow, yet bittersweet gratitude, as they find solace in knowing that he no longer suffers.
Jim was born in 1948 to Virginia and Pearce Graham in Little Fork, Minnesota, and graduated from Little Fork/Big Falls High School in 1966. He joined the Navy in 1968, driven by a sense of duty and service. Jim served in the VQ1 Squadron as a jet mechanic until 1972, where he proudly performed his duties as a Jet Inspector after scoring high on testing. During his service, he had the honor of serving on the USS Ticonderoga in Vietnam and was based in Japan, Guam, and De Nang Vietnam. After his time in the Navy, Jim returned to Big Falls and worked as a logger. In addition, he served as the Mayor of Big Falls, volunteered as a firefighter, and worked as a police officer. He later used his logging skills in Southern Minnesota and worked in the logging industry for many years.
Jim was known to be an extremely hard worker and he and his wife were tireless advocates for Vietnam Veterans affected by various diseases from their exposure to Agent Orange. They were especially passionate about Parkinson’s Disease, and their efforts led to changes in federal law, providing medical coverage to numerous deserving veterans. Jim had a quick wit, loved to tell stories, was an avid gardener, and had a deep love for his precious dogs.
Jim is survived by his wife, Terri Graham (Miller), his children, Dane Boes Graham, Chantill Roberts (Graham), Cory Graham, and Amanda Pelaez (Graham), 17 grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.
Visitation will be held from 10 AM until the funeral service at 11 AM on Friday, March 17, 2023, at the Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home, 376 E. Sarnia St., Winona. Military honors will be conducted at the funeral home after the service by the American Legion Leon J. Wetzel Post 9 of Winona. Following the military honors, a luncheon and reception will be held at the funeral home.
A family burial will be held at a later date at the Evergreen Cemetery in Big Falls, MN.
Please visit www.watkowski-mulyck.com to leave online condolences, and to view a video recording of the service when it becomes available.
Should you feel inclined, you can donate to The Michael J. Fox Foundation in Jim's memory.
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