Hazel S. GrahamSeptember 29, 1921 - January 20, 2007
Hazel S. Graham, 85, wife of William F. (Bill) Graham and mother of William (Bill Jr.) and Sharon (Sherry), passed away on Saturday, January 20, 2007 at her home in Phoenix, Arizona.
Hazel was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee on September 29, 1921 to Garnett F. and Mary Yesia Smithson. At age seven, Hazel moved to Akron, Ohio, where she lived until she completed high school and business college.
She worked in industry and for the federal government in Washington, D.C., prior to her marriage to her high school sweetheart, Bill Graham, in January, 1943.
Hazel followed her newly drafted husband to his various postings across the country until he was sent overseas to the Pacific theater in WWII. At the end of the war, Hazel and Bill settled in California, where their two children, Bill Jr. and Sherrie, were born.
In February 1954, Hazel and the two kids joined Bill in Saudi Arabia, where both parents worked for Aramco, remaining there for the next 25 years. Originally posted to Abqaiq for nine years, the Graham's moved to Dhahran in 1963, where they lived until Bill retired in May 1978. Hazel was a "Casual" employee in both Abqaiq and Dhahran, working as a secretary in the schools and in Personnel and various other departments. She also taught summer-student courses.
Hazel did some acting in Abqaiq (where she won an "Abby" Award!), and both Hazel and Bill were dedicated members of Community choruses and the Abqaiq and Dhahran Protestant Fellowship choirs. They also enjoyed playing recreational volleyball and badminton.
The couple returned to the US in 1978, upon their retirement, moving to their current home in Phoenix (Arcadia), where they have lived for 28 years. In retirement, Hazel continued to enjoy acting, choral singing, reading, and writing. For six years she volunteered as a first grade teacher's assistant at Hopi School in Phoenix. She was also fond of gardening and was an excellent cook. She was a member of Scottsdale Presbyterian Church for many years, and most recently attended Shepherd of the Hills Congregational Church (UCC).
In addition to her husband of 64 years, she is survived by her two children, William F. Graham, Jr., of Arlington, Washington (state), and Sharon G. Tate of New Canaan, Connecticut; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
A memorial service was held on Saturday, January 27 at Shepherd of the Hills in Phoenix. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the church or the Salvation Army.
Cards or notes may be sent to Bill (Sr.) at:
5111 E. Calle Redonda
Phoenix, AZ 85018-4424