William E Graham left me, Kayla, family, and dear friends much sooner than our hearts expected. He was loved and adored by so many. He made us laugh and enjoy life every day. I am positive God welcomed him with open arms and had Bill sit next to him as he too must have enjoyed watching Bill’s sweet spirit and antics while here on earth. Bill had a gruff `exterior, but I knew the minute I saw him that he was a kind and loving soul. I fell in love with him instantly and waited patiently for him to fall in love with me too. It took just over a year for us to get married. On our Wedding Day, he asked the judge to add an expiration date to the marriage certificate. I was thrilled when the judge looked shocked and said it can’t be done. During the ceremony the judge told us to never go to bed angry and if we ever got mad at each other to say three simple words. Bill jested “it’s not my fault – wait that’s four words”. The judge said we should say “I’m sorry honey.” We never really had to use those three words much, however I recall Bill using his four words many times throughout the years. It usually made me smile.
Bill and I were fortunate and had the opportunity to travel frequently. Our favorite places were New York, San Francisco, Fort Lauderdale/ Keys, and Hawaii. He made friends and lifetime connections wherever we went. The most memorable trips for me were when my dad or Bill’s mom would join, and we laughed until our stomachs hurt. So many fun memories, great conversations, delicious food, and entertainment. Our most cherished trip was with Kayla in Hawaii. Our most recent trip was to Marysvale with our family of friends that always make you feel warm and loved. I feel blessed to have so many precious memories and feel guilty now for wanting more.
Bill enjoyed flying glider planes since his early twenties. He loved that gliders are supported only by the reaction of air against its lifting surfaces. They typically take advantage of naturally occurring elements to obtain lift. I believe that is how Bill lived his life. He got his lift while lifting others and collected so many friends along the way. Bill learned early on not to worry about things he could not change and to enjoy fully what life’s journey had to offer. When “I’ll Have Another” won the Preakness Stakes, Bill announced we needed to see him run in the Bellmont. Three weeks later we were there. The owner ended up retiring the horse before the race, however Bill and the trip did not disappoint. When Bill told me the Indi 500 was going to be held in Salt Lake, I was immediately all in and online looking for tickets. To my dismay he was only teasing, as the race location does not change. This is one time he could have used the three words the judge offered us years prior. We packed a lot of living in the eighteen years we were together. If I had known that Bill wouldn't be here anymore, I would have made all those moments last a little longer.
Bill had his first cancer treatment on January 4th and February 4th he was placed on home hospice where his friends and family gathered with him every day until his passing on 2/11/2023. He is now with his dad and mom, Eldin C. and Helen E. Graham, his brother Michael Graham, Aunt Kate, Uncle Stan, my son Steven Bailey and all others that passed before him. So many friends and family still surround him – it is too numerous or should I say expensive to note. For over ten years Bill has been one of four Amigos (precious friends) and now there are only three. I hear they are keeping the seat open for Bill just as God did for Bill for 73 years. A heartfelt thanks to all who loved my husband deeply and shared your lives with us. Thanks to all for your love and prayers.
Funeral service and Internment will be held Wednesday, March 1, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. at the Episcopal Church, 24th and Grant, Ogden. Please join us in Tuttle Hall at the church after the service to celebrate him and enjoy food, drinks, and lots of laughs. Everyone is invited.
In lieu of flowers please send a donation to the Ogden Episcopal Church or Cancer Research at the Huntsman Cancer Institute.
-written by Johanna Bailey-Graham -edited by Kayla Bailey. Kayla says: “MUHAHAHAHAH I EDITED HEHE”