James Powers “Dude” Graham, 91, of Bardstown, passed away Sunday May 19, 2019 at Radcliff Veterans Center. He was born May 27, 1927 in Fairfield, he was a retired parole officer and real estate broker, founder and first President of Kentucky Parole Officers Association, World War II Navy Veteran and at age 17 attended Naval Gunnery School at Sampson, New York for 16 weeks and then assigned to U.S. Naval Anti-Aircraft Training Center at Prices Neck, Rhode Island. After graduation, the Commander who rated Mr. Graham said, “at 17 I was one of the youngest Petty Officers in the Navy and he was sure at 17 I was the youngest Gunnery Instructor.” He was a 66 year member of American Legion, life member of Veterans of Foreign War and Disabled Veterans, 61 year member of Robinson Masonic Lodge of Louisville and Duvall Masonic Lodge of Bardstown, member of Kosair Shrine, a Kentucky Colonel, was appointed by Jerry Falwell to serve on the Board of Regents of Liberty University, graduate of Transylvania College where he was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, and a member of New Salem Baptist Church.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Bruce Alexander and Bessie Caldwell Graham; six brothers, Henry, Milton, Billy, Davis, Alan, and Dr. James B. Graham; and five sisters, Kitty Ann Graham, Lena O’Brien, Jenny Bruce Barbre, Mildred Franklin Graham, and Peggye Buzick.
He is survived by his wife, Norma R. Graham of Bardstown; son, Bruce (Tara) Graham of Louisville; two step-daughters, Kathy (Johnny) Thompson and Lisa (Bob) Filiatreau; brother, Dr. Jerry Graham of Huntsville, Alabama; granddaughter, Amber; great-granddaughter, Taylor, and several nieces and nephews.
His funeral service will be 10:00 am Friday May 24, 2019 at Barlow Funeral Home, with burial in New Salem Baptist Cemetery. Pastor Jonathan Gann will officiate. Visitation will be 4 – 8 pm Thursday May 23 and 9 – 10 am Friday May 24 at Barlow Funeral Home. A Masonic service will be held 6:30 pm Thursday.
Memorial contributions may go to New Salem Baptist Church Cemetery Fund.