William Smith (Bill) Graham, 77, went to be with the Lord on April 30, 2013.
A native of Tahlequah, he was the son of Thomas Oscar Graham Sr., and Ruth Smith Graham of Tahlequah. In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by brothers, Thomas Oscar Graham Jr. of Tahlequah, Rev. Archie Graham of Decatur, Ga.; and sister, Wahleah Allen of Pacific Grove, Calif. Bill is survived by Elsie Vickrey Graham, his wife of 52 years; daughters, Lynn Ellen Graham of Franklin, Tenn., and Gayla Carol Miller (Matt) of Brentwood, Tenn. He is also survived by granddaughters, Olivia, Caroline and Meg Wilson; and their father, David Wilson; nephews, Tom Graham (Luraly) of Tahlequah, Larry Graham (Carol) of Johnson City, Tenn.; niece, Sylvia Wiman of Sherman, Texas; and brothers-in-law, Dr. Ray Vickrey (Sharon) of Dallas, and Bob Vickrey, of Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Bill graduated from Tahlequah High School in 1953 and Wheaton College in Chicago, Ill., in 1957, where he majored in economics and business administration. He received his ministerial degree in 1960 from the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Bill also did post-graduate work at Northeastern Oklahoma State University and the University of Louisville. Bill retired from Brentwood Baptist Church, Brentwood, Tenn., in 2003, where he served as minister of pastoral care. Prior to his retirement from the church, he was employed as director of the book store division at the Baptist Sunday School Board (now known as LifeWay Christian Resources) for 28 years, retiring in 1992.
Bill stood tall in stature and integrity. His ministry to hurting people endeared him to many. He engaged friends and strangers alike with his quick wit and genuine interest in their well-being.
The family will receive friends from 4-6 p.m., Sunday, May 5, at Brentwood Baptist Church. To celebrate Bill’s life, Dr. Michael L. Glenn will conduct a service at 1 p.m., Monday, May 6, at the church with another time of visitation from noon until time of service.
Honorary pallbearers are members of the deacon body, former staff members at Baptist Book Stores and Brentwood Baptist Senior Link Fellowship.
In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to American Bible Society, P.O. Box 96812, Washington, D.C., 20090-6812; or Hope for the World Missions at Brentwood Baptist Church, 7777 Concord Road, Brentwood, Tenn., 37027. Sign the online guestbook at AustinFuneralService.com.
Austin Funeral Service, Brentwood, Tenn., (615) 377-0775