James Franklin Graham, age 82, of Mystic, Iowa, passed away Sunday, March 24, 2019 at Oakwood Specialty Care in Albia, Iowa.
Jimmy was born on February 10, 1937 in Mystic, Iowa, the son of Ora Franklin and Margaret Helen (Wakefield) Graham. He joined the United States Air Force on December 5, 1958 while living in Augusta (Kalamazoo), Michigan. He was stationed at Wurtsmith Air Force Base in Oscoda Township, Michigan until October 12, 1962, when he was honorably discharged.
Jimmy went to school for Small Engine Repair. He enjoyed working on lawn mowers and other small engines throughout his lifetime. He also self-taught himself how to be an auctioneer. He enjoyed being a ringer at auctions. He loved going to auctions and flea markets alongside Delbert Admire and Delbert Engle. He had the gift of gab, always selling items he bought from auctions and flea markets.
Jimmy was a truck driver most of his life. He drove truck in Michigan before returning back home to Mystic, Iowa after his military service. After he moved back to Mystic, he drove truck for Joe Varese and later, for Rex Young at Young’s Salvage and Trucking in Mystic. He then drove for Zapitul Trucking. He lived in Mystic most of his life.
When he was in his late 20’s, Jimmy enjoyed going to various speedways to race Stock cars in Michigan. He enjoyed racing at Butler Speedway, Kalamazoo Speedway, and Galesburg Speedway. He was an enjoyable, caring and loving person to one and all.
Jimmy had many ways to stay busy. He was an avid fisherman, and was an official member of the North American Fishing Club. As a child, Jimmy made money rabbit hunting, and raising beagles with his mother. He spent time trading horses with Sam Bills. He enjoyed putting in a big garden and farming at the Graham family farm. He was also a member of the Iowa Farm Bureau.
Jimmy is survived by his seven children, James Graham of Alpena, Michigan, Thomas (MaryAnne) Graham of Corpus Christi, Texas, Cindi (Dave) Rivers of Elkart, Indiana, Kristi Boyd of East LeRoy, Michigan, John Graham of Vicksburg, Michigan, Mary (Dennis) Rigdon of Greentop, Missouri, and Cort Graham of Eddyville, Iowa; grandchildren, Tommy and Bonnie Graham, Kailen Randol of Indiana, Kyle Randol of Memphis, Missouri, Nathan and Hillary Boyd of Lake Odessa, Michigan, and Spencer Boyd of Wyoming, Michigan, Mitchell Graham of Vicksburg, Michigan, Seth and Bailey Rigdon of Greentop, Missouri, Christian Graham, Trevor (Amelia Belloma) Graham, and Trysten Graham of Eddyville, Iowa; great grandchildren, Max, Oliver, Ava, Davinia; his sister, Barbara Freedman of Montgomery, Alabama; a niece, Ginger GotLiffe; and his caretaker and friend, Janet Williams; as well as many others, whom will all miss him dearly.
Jimmy was preceded in death by his parents, Ora and Margaret Graham; two sisters, Mada Hunt of New York, and Mary Miller of Galesburg, Michigan; a nephew, Jerry Miller; a cousin, Bobby Wakefield, and close friends, Carl Ray and Billy Bob McGrann.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at 11:00AM, Saturday, March 30, 2019 at Lange Funeral Home and Crematory in Centerville with Pastor Holly Oden officiating. Military Rites will be conducted at the funeral home, following the service. Inurnment will be held at a later time at Elgin Cemetery in Mystic. A Visitation will take place on Saturday, March 30, 2019 at Lange Funeral Home in Centerville, with the family greeting friends from 10:00AM-11:00AM. Memorials have been established to the Mystic American Legion, Post #340, and may be mailed to Lange Funeral Home, 1900 South 18th Street, Centerville, Iowa 52544. Condolences may be shared online at www.langefh.com.