Capt. Richard E. Graham ’61
Richard Edward Graham died on April 23, 2021, lovingly cared for in his home during his last month by his wife, children, and a grandson, from complications following treatment for lung cancer. He was 81.
Dick was born on April 20, 1940, to Edward C. and Gertrude (Beote) Graham, in Newburgh, New York. The family moved to Fortunes Rocks in 1946 until their home was destroyed in the forest fire of October 1947. His family moved to Kennebunkport where Dick enjoyed an idyllic childhood with free rein of the village, riding his bike, playing pickup baseball and swimming in the Kennebunk River. The family home was within walking distance of Cape Arundel Golf Club where Dick got a summer job as a caddy at the age of ten, rising to the level of caddy master. This experience introduced him to his lifelong love of golf. He was an athletic and gifted golfer, eventually becoming a decades-long member of Cape Arundel Golf Club. In recent years he belonged to Old Marsh Golf Club and enjoyed traveling to courses in Maine as a member of the Maine State Golf Association.
Dick graduated from Kennebunk High School class of 1958. He graduated from Maine Maritime Academy in 1961 to begin his 45-year career at sea. He crossed the Atlantic several times, visiting ports from Germany to Italy, to the Caribbean, Argentina, through the Panama and Suez Canals, along the west coast and across the International Dateline to Hong Kong. He finished his career in 2003 retiring from Hvide Shipping as Captain of the Seabulk Magnachem.
On April 28, 1962, Dick married Patricia Bowley of Kennebunk. They had a loving marriage for 59 years. As their family grew, Dick stopped shipping internationally and settled into a more family-friendly routine of coastal shipping, between Searsport, Maine and Houston, Texas.
Dick was a strong dignified man, a gentleman, a loving husband and supportive parent and grandparent. He enjoyed close friendships from golf, his time at sea, and Maine Maritime Academy. He was the family patriarch who, with Patti, welcomed the Bowley, Meserve, Graham and Woods families, and several close friends for picnics on July 4 and for Christmas open houses. Dick was always at the helm of the grill or oven.
In addition to his wife, Dick is survived by four children: Stephen of Sanford; David and wife Debra of Kennebunkport; Alison of Darien, Conn; and Peter and wife Jessica of Wellesley, Mass. He had eight grandchildren whom he loved dearly: Uriah and Nat; Harrison and Parker; Graham Rissel; Charlotte, Isabelle and Walker. He is also survived by siblings Peter and wife Gretchen of Kennebunkport; Susan and husband Jon Eagleson of Kennebunkport; sister-in-law Beverly Meserve; brother-in-law Steve Bowley and wife Maureen, and several nieces and nephews.
A private celebration of life will be held this summer.