Robert Edwin (Bob) Graham III, 81, of Apache Junction, Arizona passed away peacefully on April 22, 2017. He was surrounded by his wife and three children. Bob was born August 20, 1935 in Gurdon, Arkansas to R.E. Graham Jr. and Thelma Keys Graham. He was married 56 years to his loving wife, Nancy Laney Graham. He was a devoted father to 3 children: Grace Johnson, Robert Edwin Graham IV, and Leslie Saulsbury. Bob had three grandchildren that he loved dearly: Leslie C Kennedy, Chelsea Cook and Luke Saulsbury and two great-grandchildren. He will be dearly missed. He was truly one of a kind. Bob was preceded in death by his sister, Mildred Donn Calaway. He is survived by 2 brothers, Larry Graham and Tommy Graham and host of family and friends that he treasured. Bob enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corp at the age of 17 and was proud to have served his country. He graduated from Henderson State University with a degree in English. He was an exceptional writer and story teller. Bob often said there were three significant events in his life; his time in the marine corps, marrying Nancy, and getting his education. He enjoyed a long and successful career. In the 1970's, he was with Ozarks Regional Commission in Little Rock, Arkansas where he helped with the development of the Mountain View Cultural Center, the Mid America Museum in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and water systems for some Arkansas' small communities. He founded Graham and Associates where he contracted with federal, state, and local agencies developing systems for more efficient processes, economic development and codifying all the laws concerning the counties of Arkansas. During the 1980's, he was the budget manager at Atlantic Research Corporation in East Camden, Arkansas where they developed the multiple rocket launcher for U.S. military. He was head of the economic office at Southern Arkansas University working to bring federal contracts to south Arkansas to benefit small businesses. He was very proud of the metal workers program developed to train students while still in high school to do precision metal working. His last position before retiring was as the Arkansas State Ombudsman for the state pollution and ecology agency. One of the projects he was most proud of was getting grants for small communities to get public water in areas where ground water had been polluted. He retired in 1999 and soon after he and Nancy bought an RV and traveled the United States and Canada before settling in Apache Junction, Arizona. Bob also loved Nova Scotia, Canada and Ireland and traveled there on more than one occasion enjoying the beautiful scenery. He always loved and never forgot his Arkansas friends and his home town of Gurdon, Arkansas. He spent a lot of time with nephews, brothers, and friends at the family cabin on the Ouachita River. A private memorial service will be held later. Memorials may be made to the ASPCA(www.aspca.org/donate) as Bob loved animals, The Way International, P.O. Box 328, New Knoxville, Ohio, 45871-0328 or to Harp's Cemetery Association (Elvis Grissom) 3106 Dyer Street, Malvern, Arkansas 72104.
Published April 26, 2017