Mary Edith Graham
July 24, 1935 ‒ May 16, 2020
Mount Gilead, Ohio
Mary Edith Graham, best known as “Maw” and “Grandma”, was reunited with her husband, Paul, on Saturday, May 16, 2020, at home surrounded by her big loving family as they were sharing all their favorite Graham family stories.
On July 24, 1935, Mary was born in Campbellsville, Kentucky, the fifth of six children of the late John W. “Pap” and Esther “Big Mama” (Ford) Powell.
One fateful day at the skating rink, Mary met her soul mate, Paul Elliott Graham, whom she quickly married on December 22, 1951, just before he left for the Korean Conflict. For nearly fifty seven years, they were “each other’s world,” sharing an “undying love” and a “secret hiding place.” He died unexpectedly on May 12, 2008, and she suffered from a broken heart every day since.
Paul was an oil man, and during the oil boom of Morrow County, he and Mary loaded up their family and her brother, Joe’s family; moving from Kentucky to West Virginia to Mount Gilead in 1963. He was an oil producer and she was a “domestic engineer”. She was a “mother and grandmother to all”, raising half of the children of Morrow County. Her door was always open for anyone, anytime. She also enjoyed helping with the 4-H and Girl Scouts.
An excellent cook, it was impossible to leave “Grandma Graham’s” house hungry. She always found a way to have enough food for everyone, whether ten people or fifty people would show up at her house. Her family had many favorite meals that came out of her kitchen, and Mary loved spoiling her kids and grandkids with something special for their birthdays and holidays.
The Graham way has always been to “go through life from cookout to cookout,” even in the snow at Christmas. You never wanted to miss a cookout, because you were guaranteed to laugh until you cry…or sometimes you would just cry together. But more importantly, you didn’t want to miss being a part of the next infamous Graham story that would be told and retold for decades to come, oh…that poor flattened mouse. You could feel Paul and Mary’s love at every cookout, as they all cherished every moment together.
Whenever Mary caught a break from cooking, she would head out shopping. She would “buy everything”, especially when it came to clothes or anything she felt her grandchildren needed. She also loved putting together photo albums and making crafts.
Mary was a “feisty, lovable, spitfire.” She could cuss you out and put you in your place, somehow with a smile on her face. She was always looking out for her family, and she often wrote letters to make sure they were on the right path. She especially loved gabbing with her family, and it was impossible to get off the phone with Grandma. She had a huge heart, and she often showed her love through keeping everyone fed and clothed.
She will be dearly missed by four of her children: Paul Keith (Vivian) Graham of Cardington, Donna Marie (Rick) Manning of Pinch, West Virginia, Doug (June) Graham of Mount Gilead, and Jannetta Martin of Marion; nineteen grandchildren, twenty eight great grandchildren, and four great-great grandchildren; one brother, Joe Powell; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Including her husband and parents, Mary was preceded in death by her daughter, Elizabeth “Libby” Seitz; son-in-law (Son), Douglas Martin; and four siblings: Guy, Maude, Marie, and John Jr.
Her family will greet friends from 4 – 7 pm on Wednesday, May 20, 2020, at Snyder Funeral Homes, Craven Chapel, 67 N. Main St., Mount Gilead. Services celebrating her life will be held at 11 am on Thursday, in the outdoor shelter of the V.F.W. Post 8054, 4960 St. Rt. 61, Mount Gilead, with Pastor Dale Baker officiating. For those unable to attend her service, you can watch the live stream via the Snyder Funeral Homes Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/MtGileadSFH/). Burial will follow in Rivercliff Cemetery in Mount Gilead. Guests attending her services are encouraged to abide by the current guidance from the Ohio Department of Health, wearing masks and practicing safe social distancing.
On behalf of her family, they would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to her daughter-in-law, June, aka “Big Mama 2.0”, for being by her side for months, helping tend to her every need. They also are grateful for the care provided by Grace Hospice, as they kept her as comfortable as possible. They also want to thank Chad Snyder and Snyder Funeral Homes, for always being there in times of need.
Rather than flowers, memorial contributions may be made to her family, to help with unexpected expenses and help pay for the next cookout.
Snyder Funeral Homes of Mount Gilead are honored to serve Mary’s family and your condolences may expressed to them via www.SnyderFuneralHomes.com.