Dewain E. (Bus)
Graham, 95, was welcomed into the arms of Jesus and his beloved wife
Ellen on Wednesday, August 24, 2016. He had been a resident of the
Elizabeth Scott Community for the past 6 months and passed away
peacefully with family by his side.
Dewain (aka “Bus”)
was born in Mercer County, Ohio on February 12, 1921. He was the 8th of
9 children born to parents Grover Cleveland and Ethel (Strete) Graham.
He grew up in Rockford, Ohio, graduating from Rockford High School in
1939. In 1941 he decided to move to Toledo Ohio and took a job at Brown
Avenue Transportation Co., loading trucks. In the spring of 1942, he
took a job at Willys Overland as a tool grinder, and received his draft
notice in September 1942. Dewain served in the U. S. Army Air Corp from
November 1942 to December 1945. In December 1943 he departed on the
Queen Mary for service in Europe. He was assigned to the 892nd Air
Engineer Squadron, 474th Fighter Group, 9th Air Force, as an airplane
mechanic, specifically P38’s. His war service included time in Northern
France, Rhineland, Ardennes and Central Europe, and he was in Florence
Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge. He received the Good Conduct
Medal, WWII Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal,
European/African/Middle Eastern/Campaign Medal with 4 Bronze Service
Stars and was discharged in December 1945 as a Staff Sergeant. Ten days
after arriving home to Toledo Ohio, he married the love of his life,
Ellen Jane (Jacobs) Graham on December 15, 1945. They shared 63 ˝ years
together until Ellen’s death in June 2009.
Dewain took a job
at Wayne Lumber Company, as a millwright, and retired from there in 1986
after 37 years of service. He was also a custom cabinet maker, and
built cabinets and other wood pieces for dozens of homes and businesses
in the Toledo area. His work was perfection and many family members and
friends and neighbors have pieces of his custom work. He was a proud
member of the Carpenters Union.
Dewain and Ellen first lived in a home they built on Richards Road, in Toledo Ohio before moving to Holland Ohio in 1961. Active in his community, Dewain was the oldest member of Holland Post 646 of the American Legion and served as their Commander in 1975. He is best known for his attention to detail on the American Legion Department Bowling Tournaments and served on the Bowling Commission for 17 years. He also was a member of Voiture 141 40 et 8. In the 70’s he was the fourth President to lead the Community Homecoming Corporation (which runs the Strawberry Festival) and was part of a group of Holland citizens who were able to secure the purchase of the property for the Community Homecoming Park, where the Strawberry Festival is now held. In 2008 he was honored as the Grand Marshal of the Strawberry Festival Parade. He was a member of the Spring Valley Saddle Club as well as a Board Member of the Hollandettes Baton and Drum Corp and a founding member of the Springfield Strutters Baton and Drum Corp, and drove their busses, as well as keeping them maintained.
He also used the Strutters’ bus as a “Pep Bus” to transport Springfield High School students to out of town football games, charging a quarter to ride. He was very popular with the students and never complained of the noisy bus rides to and from the games.
Dewain was preceded in death by his parents, and 8 siblings, Eugene Graham, Mary Gecowets, Katherine Egger, Virginia Zizelman, Marjorie Carver, and James Graham. A brother John and a sister Lena died in infancy. He also was preceded in death by several nieces and nephews, all of his in-laws and a Great Grandson, Jamez Alexzander Vanderhorst-Bryan.
He is survived by his four beloved daughters, Evelyn (Joe) Navarre, Mary Ellen Graham, Ruth (James) Vanderhorst, and Linda (Don Meadows) Graham; loving granddaughters, April (Derek) Lick, Theresa (David) Kehrer, Rosemary (Wayne) King, Joyce Meyer, and Laura Vanderhorst, and precious great grandchildren; Joel Schoppman, Gabrielle, Adam and Zachary Lick, Matthew and Samuel Kehrer, David, MaryEllen, Kathleen, Timothy, Gwenievere and Cayden King, James, Joshua, and Jacob Meyer, Christopher Schofield, and Kai and Eliza Vanderhorst-Bryan, and numerous nieces and nephews who loved their “Uncle Bus”.
Dewain was very proud of his WWII service, and 20 years ago he began to write down the details, which ultimately became a softcover book that two daughters, Mary and Linda helped edit and put together. While it was never formally published, his account of his World War II service is a great treasure to those who have a copy.
Dewain will be remembered for his friendly manner and his attention to details, often reminding us not to do the job unless you could do it right. He was a prankster, just like his wife, and there are countless funny stories of his escapades.
Visitation for Dewain will be at Neville Funeral Home, Southwest Chapel, 7438 Airport Highway, Holland (419-865-8879) on Tuesday, August 30, 2016 from 2:00 to 9:00 PM. A scripture service will be held at 7:00 P.M. The Holland American Legion Post 646 will conduct a memorial service at 7:15 P.M. immediately followed by a V 141 40et 8 service. His funeral will take place on Wednesday, August 31, 2016 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 104 W. Broadway, Maumee, OH with visitation one hour prior to the service. Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m. with Interment at Highland Memory Gardens in Waterville.
We wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to all of the caring staff of Building 4 at the Elizabeth Scott Community, as well as the caring people of hospice of Northwest Ohio. Your kindness and compassion is greatly appreciated by us, and our dad was appreciative of all your care and concern. We also want to thank our countless family and friends who were there for us in prayer and just to lend an ear. God bless all of you.
Donations in Dewain’s memory may be made to: Hospice of Northwest Ohio, St. Joseph Catholic Church, Maumee, or the donor’s choice. Condolences and memories may be shared at http://www.neville-funeral.com.
Together Again, Mom & Dad;
Gone yet not forgotten,
Although we are apart,
Your spirits live within us,
Forever in Our Hearts.
Your Girls, Evelyn, Mary, Ruth and Linda
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