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James William Graham, age 75, of Mission, Kansas passed away February 3, 2024 in Overland Park, Kansas surrounded by his family and loved ones.
Jim was born July 29, 1948, in Quincy, Illinois to parents James (Don) Graham and Helen Graham. Preceded in death by his parents, two brothers; Terry and Jeff, and his beloved son Alex. Survived by his wife of 49 years, Martha Graham, of Mission Kansas and his two loving daughters; Lisa Graham (Mission, Kansas) and Amber Claussen (Merriam, Kansas). Jim had one daughter-in-law Kat Graham (Spring Hill, Kansas) and one son-in-law Jordan Claussen (Lenexa, Kansas). Jim was also survived by his oldest brother Alan Graham (Springfield, Missouri). Jim was the world’s best Papa/ Pops to his 10 grandchildren; Sierra (25), August (24), Hallie (22), Summer (21), Blake (21), Valyrie (20), Aidan (18), Dakota (16), Liliana (10) and Juliana (10). Jim had a huge and very loving community of family and friends.
Jim was a Vietnam Veteran who served from October 1967 to October 1970. He was active with numerous Veteran related organizations and took pride in being a veteran and educating younger generations about his experiences. Jim was the honored guest to many school assemblies invited by his grandchildren to be honored and acknowledged for his service.
Jim had an incredibly strong work ethic that he passed on to his children and grandchildren. Jim worked for the Shawnee Mission School District from 1991 to 2011 and said he loved working with the families and teachers to make a positive difference in the lives of those he met. While working for the Shawnee Mission School District Jim met his best friend Harold West (Wyandotte, Kansas) who he affectionately referred to as his “Little Buddy”. They were both proud veterans and Harold was the best friend a guy could have supporting Jim until his last moments.
Jim’s favorite thing to do was spend time with friends and family. He affectionately referred to himself as a working Papa, and took great joy in picking his babies up from school, loading them up with sugar and dropping them off with their parents. He supported his grandbabies by going to sporting events, plays, recitals, and many school events. He proudly stepped in for “Donuts with Dads" when his grandbabies lost their own Dad.
Jim was the absolute best Dad and supported all of his children without fail. There is not enough space to describe and adequately capture the immense impact and love he had for his children. The love he had for his family is evident in his children and grandchildren and the immense void and heartache they feel with his passing. Jim’s love of family and togetherness was passed on to his children and grandchildren.
Jim’s wife used to complain that Jim couldn’t go anywhere in the world without running into someone he knew. Jim was a very kind and personable man. He loved to help out his friends, family, neighbors, or anyone in need. Many times his children heard the words; “I love your Dad.”, “I wish your Dad was my Dad.”, “Your Dad is adorable.”, “Your Dad is just a big ol’ teddy bear.” Although his kids joked and said they called dibs on Jim years ago and didn’t like sharing, they were happy so many people care for him as much as they do. Recently Jim was surprised to find he was considered the “Favorite Uncle” amongst his nieces and nephews. When he expressed his astonishment and said “But I haven’t really done anything.” his daughters responded with “Yes, you did. You were you.” He made everyone feel special and his hugs could brighten anyone’s day.
Jim’s untimely passing has left his family at a loss for words and robbed the world of one of the most beautiful loving souls. His strength and memory will live on through his loving family and friends. We invite you to share any memories you may have of our Dad.
Wounded Warrior Project
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