In Memoriam: Longtime Lakes resident Patricia “Pat” Graham

Thursday, October 5, 2017 0 Comments

In Memoriam: Longtime Lakes resident Patricia “Pat” Graham

Patricia (Pat) Culbertson Graham, longtime Miami Lakes resident, widow of William (Bill) A. Graham, and matriarch of the Graham family that founded and developed the community of Miami Lakes, passed away in her sleep on September 25.

Pat Graham was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on August 16, 1924 to Roy and Cynthia Culbertson. As a college student at the University of Minnesota studying journalism, she met Bill Graham who was stationed there for training with the Army Air Corps.

An encounter at the Student Union changed her life forever, as they were soon married and moved to Miami. Following WWII, the couple settled briefly in Coral Gables before moving to Miami Springs where they would raise their five children – Sandy (Younts), Bill (B), Carol (Wyllie), Cynthia (Gordon), and Beth (Martinez) before ultimately moving to Miami Lakes in 1971.

A lover of education and culture, Pat held numerous community and philanthropic leadership roles in South Florida. She was a founding member of the Theta Sigma Phi Miami Chapter, served as room mother chairman every year from 1956-69, was active in the Miami Springs Jr. Women’s Club (president in 1957), the Citizens Committee for Juvenile Court, the Advisory Council for General Adult Studies in Dade County, the Mental Health League, Dade County’s Citizens’ Safety Council, University of Miami Women’s Guild, Friends of the Ring, the Museum of Science Patrons for 32 years (serving as its president in 1972-73), Museum of Science Board of Trustees and its Endowment Fund, PEO, Historical Association of South Florida (1977-79 Harvest chairman), and the Dade County Library Advisory Board for over 20 years.

As husband Bill’s top confidant, she played an important role in the development of the Miami Lakes community.

Despite all of her accomplishments in the community, Pat was most proud of her marriage, children, 10 grandchildren (Andrea Graham Rechichi, Kris Graham, Laura Wyllie, Philip Wyllie, Kay Gordon, Lee Gordon, Danny Martinez, Alison Martinez, Mike Martinez and Katie Martinez), and great grandson (William Rechichi).

She cherished time spent with her family, whether it be making the holidays special, family gatherings in Vail, Colorado, and the Albany, Georgia farm, sharing her beloved London, or traveling elsewhere across the globe with them.
Fortunate to have a wonderful caregiving team in her late years, the family thanked Eva Bassan and Theresa Harris for their endless patience and caring attitudes. The family was also very appreciative of Bobby Cavanagh, who played a role not only as caregiver, but also as a true companion in her last years – sharing countless car rides, cooking (even a little baking), Miami tours, visits to the Bill Graham Farm to fee the goats, and hours upon hours of movies – all while providing her exceptional care.

The family will celebrate “GeeMommy’s” life at their farm in Albany. Donations in her memory may be made to the Miami-Dade Public Library, 101 Flagler Street, Miami, FL 33130, or to the Main Street Playhouse, 6766 Main Street, Miami Lakes, FL 33014.

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