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Samuel Lee Graham, Jr.

December 16, 1936 July 21, 2022
Samuel Lee Graham, Jr.
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Obituary for Samuel Lee Graham, Jr.
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Samuel Lee (Buzz) Graham Jr. was born December 16, 1936, in Jackson, TN. He was the only child of Dorothy Elizabeth Taylor and Samuel Lee Graham. On July 21, 2022, he departed this life.
Sam completed elementary school in Memphis, TN and high school in Danville, IL.
His aptitude for numbers served him well at Fisk University in Nashville where he graduated cum laude with Mathematics and Physics degrees in 1958. After college, Sam taught high school
math in Chicago, moonlighted as a cab driver and assisted in his uncle's funeral home business.
In the 1960s Sam traded his teaching career for a new one in business. He began his corporate career at Honeywell as a programming instructor. The next professional decision relocated him from the Midwest to the San Francisco Bay Area and positioned him for his 26-year tenure with IBM where he enthusiastically embraced the company logo, “I’ve Been Moved.” Over his career, Sam had 12 different
addresses – in the Bay Area alone! His other IBM moves included stints in Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Stamford, Connecticut, and Washington, D.C. The travel highlights were his four trips around the world which were filled with once-in-a-lifetime memories and experiences. He retired from IBM in 1994 and spent
a short time with the United States Department of Energy.
Sam believed in living life with few regrets. He enjoyed traveling, a delicious meal with good friends and a good robust debate. Besides his family, Sam had two loves: flying and bridge.
He earned his pilot’s license soon after graduating from college and loved nothing more than taking his family and friends up above the clouds for a view only the blue sky could provide. Flying was Sam’s favorite pastime for nearly four decades. But the formation of cataracts in his signature hazel eyes forced him to land his plane.
Sam was a Gold Life Master in the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) and a Gold Diamond player with the American Bridge Association (ABA). Sam became a Master Bridge player which allowed him to play, compete and teach. He was the ABA Education Chairman for years and taught hundreds others at National events. Both Sam and his wife, Velma, traveled all over the world playing bridge; it was their shared passion.
The card game and the many friendships he developed enriched his life during the more than 60 years he played.
Sam was a cancer survivor defying the odds many times mostly due to the care of his wife. Whatever Sam did, and wherever he went, he made friends. His ability to bring laughter to a room drew people to him, and he will be missed.
Sam was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Ralph Wiley and sister Linda Graham Shaw. He is survived by his wife Velma Lee Rice Graham, his daughter Kimberley Graham Newton, son-in-law Nikki Newton, only grandchild Piper Newton, his sister Janet Graham Alexander, his Aunt Barbara K. Jones and host of relatives and friends.

Serenity Funeral Home, Tel. (901)379-0861.
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11:00 AM 7/30/2022 11:00:00 AM
Serenity Funeral Home and Cremation Society

1632 Sycamore View Road
Memphis, TN 38134

Serenity Funeral Home and Cremation Society
1632 Sycamore View Road Memphis 38134 TN
United States

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