Ronald G. "Ted" Graham

September 19th, 1938 to December 5th, 2014
Ronald Garfield “Ted” Graham, 76, of Marysville, died on Friday, December 5, 2014, in his home, after a 5 year battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

He was born September 19, 1938 in Detroit, the son of the late Wellington Garfield and Cecelia Graham. He married Ruth A. Presutti on March 5, 2005 in Bradenton, FL.

Ronald, affectionately known as Ted, grew up in East Detroit and attended school at St. Phillip Neri.

At age 8, he started delivering the East Side Shopper and went on to deliver the Detroit News, sometimes carrying two routes. That enabled him to purchase the prestigious Schwinn Black Phantom Bicycle.

Ted and his brother, Bob, spent many summers in Longford Mills and Orillia, Canada. They traveled by train from Detroit and stayed with their grandparents and many relatives. Their biggest thrill was when they stepped off of the train, and went into the little market. They took their American dollar for an ice cream cone and received a dollar and ten cents back! Water was brought in from the well, and horse and buggy was the mode of transportation. They learned hard farm work as youngsters as well as the rewards of planting a huge garden for food on the table.

At age 15, Ted worked in a produce market and on the Huckster trucks selling fruits and vegetables in the Detroit area. He was a devout Catholic and would go to Mass at 5 a.m. with the local farmers.

From 1959 to 1961, he worked for Bigelow-Liptak Corp. as a laborer at $3.43 an hour.

In 1961, he was drafted into the US Army. It was December 7 and on to Fort Lenerwood for boot camp. Upon completion, he was assigned to the 72D Ordinance Battalion, APO 227, reporting to Bremerhaven, Germany. Ted was placed in a highly respected, top secret group of soldiers. For an additional $100 a month, he worked a full time side job at the NCO Club in Kaiserslautern as a bartender. The extra job afforded Ted the privilege of traveling around Europe. He loved traveling and experiencing other cultures. He enjoyed taking beautiful photographs. He did a lot of side work for the “higher ups” which in turn gave him the opportunity to use the Army Vehicles. Wherever Ted was, he made friends and earned respect because of the man he was. He returned home by ship in November of 1963. There they received word that their President (Kennedy) had been assassinated. He also experienced a horrendous ship ride across the ocean with the strong November storms. Ted would continue on with the US Reserves until 1967.

After his service to our country, he would spend the rest of his working life over a drawing board, designing wire cable handling machines and the many facets of that business. Ted was hired by Weber Enterprises, Inc. of St. Clair Shores. There, he would work with Wally Weber for 23 years, producing machines of the highest quality.

In 1986, Ted founded his own business, Graham International, Reeling Systems LLC, in St. Clair. He was a brilliant man gifted by God. He worked long hours and worked hard. He was highly respected and loved by his employees and his customers.

Ted moved his family to a beautiful home on St. Clair Hwy. There he would have yearly corn roasts-a huge party with a live band. He would accommodate well over 100 people. Family and friends as well as business associates attended from everywhere, including Canada.

He loved cars, all cars. He restored them for years. When they were finished, they were showroom worthy. He was admired and respected by those in that industry as well.

One could not say enough about this giant of a man. He was a friend to everyone, gentle and kind, compassionate and forgiving. A stellar business man, traveling everywhere to sell his products. He walked upright and proud, confident, unruffled. A man of many words, but always saying something. A firm handshake and promises kept. Ted helped many, many people throughout his life. Most of who forgot to thank him. The world is a better place because Ted has walked through it. He will be missed terribly by his wife, Ruth and other family members.

He is survived by his wife, Ruth; his children, Robyn (Howard) Wideman, Flint, Donald Graham, St. Clair, Cynthia (Jeff) Harmer, Port Huron and Christopher Graham, Allenton, MI; loving stepchildren, Felicia Koenig, Novi, Daniel Zieleniewski, Kimball, and Rachel Hawks of Marysville; eight grandchildren; two great grandchildren; sister, Helen Holzman, Clinton Township and many nieces, nephews, and cousins in Canada. He was preceded in death by his parents, and a brother, Robert Graham.

Visitation will be from 2 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, December 9, 2014 in the Karrer-Simpson Funeral Home and from 10 a.m. Wednesday until the time of service in the church.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, December 10, 2014 in Colonial Woods Missionary Church. Reverend Stan Liechty and Reverend Bruce Ake will officiate. Military honors will be conducted under the auspices of the United States Army and the Veteran’s Honor Guard Alliance.

Burial will be in the St. Columbkille Cemetery in Orillia, Ontario.

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