Donald Graham

Published on Wed, May 14, 2014
Read More Obituaries

(Raymond) Donald Graham of Birch Bay Village was born in Boston, MA. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts
 (Amherst) with a BA in history and served as a Lieutenant in the United States Air Force stationed in Alaska at Utopia, a Distant Early Warning Line site. Upon returning home in 1955 he married Phyllis Anne McDonald.

In 1956, Don became a member of the original faculty at the still unfinished Shuksan Junior High School, Bellingham, Washington and obtained his Master in Education from Western Washington College of Education in 1958. He became a true Northwesterner, enjoying reef netting and gill netting for salmon.

Don’s first priority was always family; his wife Phyllis and children Alison (Russell) of Suisun City, California; Joanna of Seattle; Linda (Ray) of Vancouver, British Columbia; and David (Heidi) of Bellingham. Next was his passion for organic gardening “food for his family,” every plant had to be productive. (He left the flowers to his wife!)   He was especially proud of his tomatoes, all grown from seed. He would grow 40-50 tomato plants of various kinds (cherry, yellow, purple, striped and square). He ascribed his success to the kelp he gathered from the beach.

Don was an environmentalist before that term came into common use. In those days it was called “cheap,” or as he preferred, “frugal!” Another trait was what he called “useless bits of information.” Ask about a date, event or something obscure in history and he would have the answer. He could quote Shakespeare or pertinent facts from the newspaper.

Besides his wife and “four little baby chicks,” he is survived by three grandchildren:  Marine Sgt. Christopher (Brandi) Davis, Angela (Seb) Gilbert and Jack Graham; a sister Jane (Paul) 
Kavanaugh and brothers Bob (Wilma) Graham and Paul (Cheryl) Graham and Aunt Ada Graham and long time friend and business partner, Herb Cole.

A celebration of Don’s life will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 7 at the Blaine Boating Center (in the Harbor Master’s Building), Marine Drive, Blaine.

If desired, donations may be made in Don’s name to Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association, PO Box 32594, Bellingham, WA 98228 or RE Sources for Sustainable Communities, 2309 Meridian Street, Bellingham, WA 98225 (or