Thomas “Tom” Graham

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Thomas “Tom” A. Graham

Thomas A. Graham
May 29, 1930 • October 16, 2016

Thomas “Tom” A. Graham, 86, of Benson, Minnesota died October 16, 2016, at the St. Cloud Hospital.  Visitation was from 12 - 1 p.m., followed by the funeral at 1 p.m., Saturday, October 22, 2016, at Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ in Benson.  Interment was in the Benson City Cemetery.  

Thomas “Tom” A. Graham was born May 29, 1930 in Benson to Thomas J. and Anna M. (Zengel) Graham. He was baptized and confirmed at the Pilgrim Congregational Church.  Tom grew up in Benson and graduated from Benson High School in 1948.  He joined the MN National Guard in 1947 and later served in the United States Army during the Korean Conflict until his Honorable Discharge in 1951.  

May 21, 1955, Tom was united in marriage to Irene Lorraine Dahl at the East Zion Lutheran Church in rural Starbuck.  This union was blessed with more than 58 years of marriage, three children, three grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

Tom worked at the Benson Bottling Company starting when he was 11 years old, after school and on the weekends, and continued working there full time after his military service, and later drove truck for Cenex.  He was a member of the American Legion in Benson and was an active member of Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ.  Tom’s interests included reading, fishing, swimming, skating, gardening, cooking, music, and his beloved pets.  He loved being outside with nature; sitting in his lawn chair, watching the birds and squirrels with his cat friends – listening to country music on his radio.  He enjoyed working in the yard and gardening and riding his bike around the neighborhood.

He was a humble and kind man who was thankful for what he had and the people in his life. His hearty laugh and sense of humor and quiet wisdom will be missed.

Tom is survived by his children: Patty (Mike) McLaughlin of Benson, Donald Graham of Willmar, and Steven (Denise) Graham of Farmington; grandchildren: Jennifer McLaughlin of Blaine, Stacie Graham of Fargo, ND, and Thomas Graham of Farmington; great-grandchild, Payton Sharp; also Jacob and Samantha Sylvers; brothers-in-laws: Darwin (Marge) Dahl and Delmont Dahl, all of Benson; sister-in-law, Evie Dahl of Cloquet; and many nieces, nephews, and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas and Anna Graham, and his wife, Irene Graham,  April 25, 2014.

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