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Gary Graham: a quick wit, committed professor
Memorial services planned Thursday for engineering faculty member

ATHENS, Ohio (April 11, 2007) -- A quick wit and a tremendous sense of humor are traits Ken Halliday valued in his good friend Gary Graham.

Gary GrahamGraham, 48, of Athens, an Ohio University professor of mechanical engineering for two decades, died unexpectedly Saturday afternoon at Columbus' Riverside Methodist Hospital after a short illness. 

Memorial services will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 12, at Hughes-Moquin Funeral Home in Athens. Friends may call at the funeral home two hours prior to the service. Halliday and Khairul Alam, both faculty colleagues of Graham's, will share remarks.

"He had one of the fastest wits I have ever encountered," Halliday said. "Literally countless times I have left an encounter with Gary and finally realized what he had just said and how absolutely right it had been."

A voracious reader, Graham was particularly fond of a book on the wit and wisdom of Winston Churchill. "Over the years, he and I have shared about 100 books on topics ranging from history and philosophy to a little fiction and a lot of biographies," Halliday said.

In preparing the eulogy, Halliday said he spoke with Associate Professor Israel Urieli, who used Graham as a role model as he prepared to teach thermodynamics, and Professor Bob Williams, who remembered Graham as a straight shooter with no agenda of his own.

Graham, a faculty member in the Department of Mechanical Engineering since 1986, served as associate dean for academics in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology from January 2000 to June 2004. He also served as a patent agent for the past 12 years.

"He'll be remembered as a friendly and committed person by everyone in the college," Russ College Dean Dennis Irwin said of Graham. "I worked with him closely when he served as associate dean, and I appreciate the sacrifice that entailed for his career as a researcher."

As associate dean, Graham advised incoming students and met with prospective students and their parents.

Graham earned his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering from Texas Tech University.  Born Oct. 28, 1958, in Venezuela, he was the son of Robert and Barbara Gerardi Graham of Montgomery, Texas. 

He is survived by his wife of 24 years, Tacy; two sons, Matthew and Nicholas Graham, both at home; and two sisters, Katherine Kilman of Lubbock, Texas, and Rebecca Boldt of Madison, Wis.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Russ College of Engineering, General Scholarship Fund, Ohio University Foundation, P.O. Box 869, Athens, Ohio 45701.

Messages of sympathy can be shared with the family by visiting www.hughesmoquinfuneralhome.com.

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Written by: Mary Alice Casey

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