SPRINGFIELD – Robert Bob Mentor Graham, 67, of Springfield passed away Thursday, Sept. 18, 2008, at Memorial Medical Center after a long battle with cancer.
He was born March 29, 1941, in Springfield, the son of George Robert and Emma Babe Stubbs Graham.
His father and a sister, Evelyn Lee Curly Graham, preceded him in death.
He was a lifetime member of St. John’s Lutheran Church. He graduated from Springfield High School in 1959 and served in the Illinois National Guard from 1959 thru 1961. He also graduated from Brown’s Business College.
Bob was employed with Oak Ridge Cemetery for 35 years and served as managing director until his retirement in 1996. He was also chairman of the board for Springfield City Employees Credit Union for many years, serving until his death.
He was a member of Lincoln’s Laughter Clown Alley, making his most popular pearl poodles, balloon animals and magic tricks at Children’s Birthday parties, nursing homes and church functions. He was a member of Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and a life member of American Rifle Association. He was also a member of the Springfield Ghost Society. Bob was company commander with the rank of colonel of the 114th Infantry Regiment Civil War unit for 40 years, which is the official honor guard for the governor of the state of Illinois. The 114th Infantry Regiment performs flag lowering retreat ceremonies at Lincoln’s Tomb from June to August.
Bob touched the hearts of many, many people. His philosophy was if he couldn’t make at least one person laugh each day, then the day wasn’t complete. He loved to cook, go camping at his hideaway in NSPOA campground and traveling many times to Hawaii and cruising on the QE2.
He is survived by his mother; sister; Marlene Carnduff; an aunt, Eloise Lane; and several cousins.
Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 22, 2008, at Staab Funeral Home. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2008, at Staab, with Pastor Paul J. Olson officiating. Burial will be at Oak Ridge Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or St. John’s Lutheran Church.