Michael Graham

Michael W. Graham

Sunday, October 8th, 1944 - Wednesday, May 20th, 2020
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Michael W. Graham

Maryville, Missouri - Michael Wayne Graham passed away May 20, 2020 at Nodaway Nursing Home, Maryville, Missouri. He was born October 8, 1944 in Grinnell, Iowa to Robert Crawford Graham and Wanda Winters Graham.

After graduating from BGM Community School in 1963, he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Education from Simpson College in 1967. In 1970 he was drafted and served in US Army as Military Police in Vietnam for two years. He then returned to Drake University to complete his Master of Science in Education in 1973.

Michael and Pamela Diane Willand married June 16, 1973 at Sion Lutheran Church, Lake Mills, Iowa.

He completed his PhD in Education in 1985 from Iowa State University. The family moved to Maryville, Missouri for Mike’s dream job as a professor of Education at Northwest Missouri State University. He served as Chair of the Department of Educational Leadership until his retirement in 2008.

Michael is preceded in death by his wife Pam and his parents.

He is survived by his partner Kathy O’Riley; daughters Jennifer Graham Zimmerman (Dan) and Amanda Graham Langston (Mike); seven grandchildren and four bonus grandchildren; siblings Sandra Spellman, Robert Graham (Nancy), and Linda Bottema (Bob); sisters and brothers in law and numerous nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Friday, May 22 at Price Funeral Home, Maryville for family.

Burial will follow at Oak Hill Cemetery with a graveside service open to family and friends.

COVID-19 protocol will be followed.

Open viewing will be 8:00-5:00 on Thursday, May 21 at the funeral home.

Memorials may be directed to Mosaic Hospice or Maryville Public Library.
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Service Details

  • Interment

    Oak Hill Cemetery
    Maryville, MO 64468


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Steve Shively

Posted at 06:07pm
Mike Graham--what a great guy. I appreciated his wisdom, his sense of humor, his willingness to speak up (sometimes when nobody else was willing), his concern with doing the right thing. He was also a lot of fun. I was a better professional educator and I am a better human being for having known him. My sympathy to his family. Steve Shively

Sandy Spellman

Posted at 03:44pm
My brother Mike was one of a kind. He was a man of few words, but those that he did speak meant something to someone. I often wondered why he chose education as a profession since he wasn't that talkative. He and I were alike that way. It always took me awhile to warm up to someone.
There are so many memories of our times together I could probably write a book. I will share one memory of him that everyone may enjoy. One year around Christmas time I drove down to Maryville for a visit. One day Mike, Pam, the girls and I went to KC to shop and see the lights. Instead of shopping with us Mike found a spot in one of the stores and sat down to read his book. Don't know how long we were gone but he was still sitting there when we got back. How many books did your Dad get read during all the shopping sprees? I know he read Steven King, which is another thing we had in common. He was also a big Elvis fan.

Rest in Peace Mike. Going to miss you.

Jeff, Rachel, Madison & Ava

Posted at 01:12pm
Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
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Mike Buckler

Posted at 11:28am
Dr. Graham was my advisor as I completed my Masters and Specialists degrees at NWMSU. He was the one of the best people I ever was associated with in my 30 year career in Education. Dr Graham was “down to earth”, and never acted like he had all of the answers. We spent a lot of time before and after class just “talking about what was going on in our lives”! I had Dr Graham as an instructor for courses both on the Maryville and St Joseph campuses.
I remember one time when I was the Principal at Robidoux Middle School, Dr Graham stopped by to observe a student teacher. When he had finished he stopped by my office and asked if the little diner next to our building “had any good pie”? We walked down the hill and ate a couple of slices and drank coffee AND solved all the worlds problems for a couple of hours!! He was the best and will be missed!! Thoughts and prayers go out to his family.
Mike Buckler - St Joseph, Mo

Dr. Sharon Kosek

Posted at 11:23am
It was my great privilege to work with Dr. Graham as I attained my Ed.D. through the wonderful offering of a NWMSU Cohort by University of Missouri-Columbia. Dr. Graham was an outstanding and passionate educational leader! I will remember him sitting at the table as I defended my dissertation. Dr. Graham was such an inspiring individual. Thank you, Dr. Graham, for your dedication to the many, many students whose lives you touched! You will long be remembered with gratitude!

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