Gene Graham

Obituary of Gene Graham

Gene Roy “Skipper” Graham, 88, of Murfreesboro, passed away peacefully on Sunday, May 6, 2018 at the Alive Hospice care facility in Murfreesboro.  Born in Newell, WV at the start of the Great Depression in 1929 to Hazel and Sanford Graham, he lived in West Virginia before joining the United States Air Force just after WWII and serving in North Africa and Germany.  Upon his honorable discharge, Skip settled in Maryland in a series of banking and finance management positions, married Mary Agnes Beall and had three children.  Widowed at age 30 he married Jane Ann Fuss of Bristol, MD on July 25, 1964 and she stayed by his side for the next 54 years.  They had two additional children and she and all five children were at his bedside during his final days.


A graduate of Northeastern Illinois University, Skip retired from the Department of Education in 1990 to the south - first Georgia then Florida and finally in Murfreesboro, TN.  A lifelong interest in woodworking lead to Skip starting a toy making shop in his garage and throughout the next 20-plus years he made thousands of wooden toys and ornamental pieces for family, friends, children of the neighborhood and, most importantly, charities including Toys for Tots and the Ronald McDonald House.  However, Skip’s first love was sitting in his driveway every Halloween and telling each child they could have one piece of candy and one toy.  Children from years ago returned as young adults to get their toy from the Skipper. 


Skip was extremely proud of his five children and ten grandchildren and many loving great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and extended family. He shall always be known to them and all who loved him as the Toymaker.


A special thank you to the angels of mercy at Alive Hospice in Murfreesboro, TN for their loving care and support. In lieu of flowers the family would respectfully request memorial donations in Skip’s name to Alive Hospice.  

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