Michael D. “Mike” Graham
September 24, 1946 ‒ January 25, 2009
Michael D. “Mike” Graham, age 62, of Edison, died January 25, 2009 at his residence surrounded by his wife and daughters following a battle with cancer.
On September 24, 1946, Mike was born in Marion General Hospital, the son of Dean Graham of Kingston Residence in Marion, and the late Margaret (Allen) Graham, who preceded him in death on July 16, 2008. A lifelong resident of Morrow County, he was raised in Cardington and graduated from Cardington Lincoln High School in the Class of 1964.
Following graduation, Mike worked for a brief time at the HPM Corp. in Mount Gilead, until he was drafted into the U.S. Army. A Veteran of the Vietnam War, he was stationed in Germany and served his beloved country as a Specialist 5.
Shortly following his honorable discharge from the Army, Mike was encouraged by a friend to make a road trip to meet a lovely young college student from Amherst, Judy Sennhenn. Knowing fate brought these soul mates together, Mike and Judy married a year after meeting at a little country church in Brownhelm, Ohio, on July 26, 1969. For nearly forty years they have been “a great team,” sharing everything together, and lovingly raising their close-knit family. They attended St. John’s Lutheran Church at Windfall.
After serving his country, Mike returned to HPM for a brief time before finding employment with Allen Vail at the Northgate Community on SR 61, where he mastered the art of setting and servicing mobile homes. In 1981, after dabbling in real estate, Mike purchased the Smith Insurance Agency from Max Smith. For the past twenty-eight years, he has cared deeply for the needs of his clients, always going the extra mile no matter the circumstance. Known for his “speeches,” he provided guidance about life to many through his insurance business, especially to teenagers learning to drive. Mike is honored to have his longtime friend and colleague Pam Linder carry on his family business providing the same level of care and concern for their clients.
Dedicated to his Morrow County community, Mike was a member and past president of Kiwanis, where he started the men’s pie baking contest. He was a member of the Morrow County Chamber of Commerce. In 2008, with the help of his many friends, his namesake team, the Graham Scram, earned the first ever Platinum Award in Morrow County from the American Cancer Society Relay for Life.
Mike and Judy have loved their journey of restoring their current home, which they bought in 1981 from Bill and Mary K. Wolfinger. They have spent countless hours creating their dream home. Mike also had a passion for building and designing, and built with pride their gazebo, pond and playhouse. He hand picked trees from the Wolfingers’ woods, took them to the sawmill to be cut into timber that he used to build the garage. Mike and Judy have enjoyed sharing the fruits of their labors, holding many family gatherings and neighborhood parties at their home.
Being avid antique collectors, Mike and Judy loved to go to antique stores and ask for pieces “in the rough” that were stored in the basement or in the back room. They enjoyed restoring antiques from start to finish. Mike even went as far as to restore an antique tractor, a Silver King, making it look as good as new. This also led to him being a member of the Morrow County Antique Tractor Club.
A family man first and foremost, Mike loved his family with all his heart. An overwhelmingly supportive husband, father and grandfather, Mike has been “incredible” with the many ways he has helped his wife with her chronic illness and for how he has been there for his children and grandchildren.
Mike will be dearly missed by his beloved wife, Judy Graham of Edison; two daughters & sons-in-law: Stephanie & Mark Zmuda of Mount Gilead, and Kristi & Brian Bulkowski of Columbus; grandchildren Erin & Evan Zmuda, and soon-to-be Baby Bulkowski; a sister and brother-in-law, Sue & Dick Mermann of Mount Gilead; and a brother and sister-in-law, Bill & Pam Graham of Waldo.
The Graham family will greet friends from 4 – 7 p.m. on Thursday, January 29, at the Snyder Funeral Home, Craven Chapel, 67 N. Main St., Mt. Gilead, where services celebrating his life will be held Friday at 11:00 a.m. with Pastor Donald Pletcher officiating. Inurnment with military honors provided by the V.F.W. Post 8054 and Amvets Post 87 will follow at a later date in Rivercliff Cemetery. His family would like to invite all friends and family to a meal in Mike’s honor that will be held at St. John’s Lutheran Church at Windfall.
For those wishing to make memorial contributions, they may be made to Hospice of Morrow County, 228 South St., Mount Gilead, Ohio 43338, for the care they gave to Mike and his family.
Online condolences are encouraged and they may be expressed to the family at www.snyderfuneralhomes.com.