Sunday, December 16, 2012

Frank Graham 1956 - 2012

Frank was once married to my cousin Laura. I first met him in the early 1990s, when he lived in Pasadena and worked for the Clear Lake Citizen. I always thought highly of Frank; he was friendly and intelligent and I had many pleasant conversations with him about journalism, sports, philosophy, politics and architecture. He and Laura moved to Nebraska in 1995, but I would still occasionally see him at family functions. The last time I saw him as several years ago at my uncle's funeral. He and Laura later got divorced.

Last week Frank passed away after a brief battle with cancer. His obituary ran as a full-length story in The Llano County Journal, where he was editor, and per my custom I am posting it here as well.
Frank L. Graham, 56, editor of The Llano County Journal, died Tuesday, Dec. 11 after being hospitalized at Scott & White Medical Center in Round Rock on Friday.
He had been the editor of The Journal since Dec. 12, 2011, and had over 33 years of experience in the newspaper business as a reporter, editor, publisher, sales director, marketing director and general manager.
He is survived by daughters Sarah Lee and husband Antwan of Anderson, Texas, and Kathryn Graham of Hickory, N.C.; son Frank Luther Graham Jr. and wife Glenna of Navasota, Texas; brother J. Tom Graham and wife Kathryn, of Frankston, Texas; sisters Samantha Anderson and husband David of Oglesby, Texas, and Timilu Latham and husband Angus of Apopka, Fla.; a host of nieces, nephews, and cousins; and his best friends and constant companions, Charlie, Max, and Oliver.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Dec. 29 at the 4A Ranch, 850 CR 303 in Oglesby near Waco. Friends, family and co-workers are invited. Memorials in Graham’s memory may be directed to the Christ-Yoder Animal Shelter at Lake Buchanan, P. O. Box 1041 Marble Falls, TX 78654, the Highland Lakes SPCA, P.O. Box 1275, Marble Falls, TX 78654 or any area animal rescue organization or shelter. 
Graham was born on Oct. 6, 1956 to Faye and Jeff Graham in Knox City, Texas.
"When we met, Frank told me his desire was to return to his home state and end his career in the role he enjoyed most – as the editor of a small newspaper in a town where the courthouse square was still the center of community life,” said Roy Bode, president and publisher of The Journal."Fortunately, he enjoyed his wish for a year. Sadly, the end came far sooner than anyone would have expected.

"We’ll remember his friendly manner and winning smile, the joy he took from his three dogs, the gift of professionalism and a lifetime of experience he brought to the newspaper, and his dedication to the calling of journalism,” Bode added.
He started his career in 1978 at the Del Rio News-Herald as a composing room supervisor. There he managed a crew of six for the five-day a week paper until being promoted to general manager of the Pharr Press in Pharr, Texas, where he managed the sales, editorial, composition and circulation departments until 1982.
Following that he took a job as a sales director for the daily Bay City Tribune in Bay City, Texas for two years. In 1984, he moved to the Temple Telegram, as marketing director until 1989.
Graham was appointed general manager for the Sebastopol Times and News and the Bodega Bay Citizen both in California in 1988 and stayed until 1991 when he returned to Texas and worked at the Clear Lake Citizen as the paper’s publisher.
Graham moved to Nebraska in 1995 and was a beat reporter for the six-day North Platte Telegraph. There he covered the city and county crime beat, city government, the local community college, and sports. He also managed special editions and sections for the newspaper.
In 2003, Graham and a friend started the North Platte Bulletin, where he was a co-owner and co-publisher for the next eight years.
Eight years later, he sold his half of the Bulletin to his partner and once again returned to Texas, taking a temporary reporter position at the Frankston Citizen, a paper his brother owned.
In December 2011, Graham became the editor of The Journal and worked in nearly every aspect of the business including managing operations, reporting, editing, photography, layout, and occasionally, sales.
Graham described himself on his resume as being "an energetic, creative and enthusiastic person with a desire to bring meaningful impact on the readers’ lives in the Llano area.”
He won a number of awards in his newspaper career. In 2008, the Bulletin was named the top weekly newspaper website in Nebraska after winning second place in the same category the year prior, and in 2006 the paper was awarded second and third place in News Writing and second place in spot news in the Nebraska Press Association (NPA) Better Newspaper Contest.
The Bulletin was also awarded first place for in-depth writing and news writing by the NPA Better Newspaper Contest. Graham was personally awarded first place for best columnist in the daily division at the North Platte Telegraph in 2000.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I worked with Frank for a year and a half in North Platte, where he served as cohort, co-conspirator, and mentor. It's been a year to the day since his passing, and the world seems slightly worse without him. R.I.P. Frank.
Mark S. Baker