David Adelbert Graham (Dave) passed away Wednesday, April 4, 2018, in Mesa, Arizona, from complications following surgery. Dave was born March 27, 1930, to Howard and Adella Graham in Belt, Montana. After attending school in Belt and Missoula, he graduated from Missoula County High School in 1948. A few years later, while working in a Forest Service Blister Rust control camp in northern Idaho, he met the love of his life, Geraldine Gould (Gerry).
The two were married on September 20, 1953, in Moscow, Idaho. Dave and Gerry resided in Missoula, Montana, while he completed his degree in Forestry at the University of Montana. After graduating in 1954, he served as a Lieutenant in the Air Force in Sioux City, Iowa, for two years.
In 1956, he joined the United States Forest Service in St. Maries, Idaho. For the next 33 years, Dave and his family had the good fortune to travel and live throughout the United States, including Idaho, Montana, Washington, California, Oregon, Washington DC, and Utah. While living in Ogden, UT, he retired as Director of State and Private Forestry in 1989, ending a long and successful career in the US Forest Service. His respect for the woods, however, kept him active, and he continued to work part time as a consulting forester. In retirement, Dave and Gerry enjoyed several years of travel with friends and family in both the United States and Europe, until Gerry’s untimely passing from Leukemia in 1995. Afterwards, Dave divided his time between Victor, Montana and Florence, Arizona.
In his later years, Dave took great pleasure in attending and hosting family get-togethers, traveling to special family occasions (such as grandchildren's sports events, graduations, and weddings), and attending Forest Service reunions with old friends and colleagues. He also enjoyed volunteering with the Victor Public Schools, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and the National Museum of Forest Service History in Missoula, Montana.
Dave is survived by his children—son John (his wife, Toni) Graham of Boise, Idaho; daughter Nancy (her husband, Bror) Cederström of Greeley, Colorado; and daughter Shawna Wyss of Tigard, Oregon. He is also survived by his seven grandchildren—Dave and Bryan Graham; Marcus, Christopher, and Niklas Cederström; and Kaytlin and Jenna Wyss—and one great grandchild, Clayton Graham. He is preceded in death by his beloved wife, Gerry; his brothers, Robert and William Graham; and his sister, Leida Hanning.
There will be a graveside service at the Victor Cemetery on July 5, 2018, at 2pm, followed by a gathering to celebrate his life at his Victor home. Donations in his name can be made to the National Museum of Forest Service History PO Box 2772, Missoula, MT 59806, or the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Donor Services PO Box 98018, Washington DC 20090.
To send flowers to David's family, please visit our floral section.