Arizona Obituary Archive

Search      Post Obituary

Milton H. Graham

Posted 2013-11-12 by Pat Wilson
Milton H. Graham was born on March 23, 1919 in Fairfield, Iowa, the son of Lonnie and Bertha Graham.

He graduated from Fairfield High School in 1937 and entered Parsons College. Later he earned his private pilot's license, and after graduation he entered the Army Air Force's Aviation cadet program. His first look at Arizona was while instructing pilots at Luke Air Force Base. Military assignments took him to the European Theatre as a fighter pilot during World War II.

After the war he returned to Phoenix in early 1946, opening a water softening equipment distributorship under the name of Milt Graham Distributing Company. In the fall of 1950 he met Margaret Elizabeth Bouck at an Arizona State University football game. They were married December 22, 1951. He was later married to Charlotte Kelly.

Mr. Graham first became active in the Phoenix Junior Chamber of Commerce in 1950 and was a member of the JC board of directors for five years and served as president in 1955-56. He was a life member of the Phoenix Thunderbirds. He was also a member of the Phoenix JC Rodeo Committee for ten years and was rodeo chairman in 1960.

Mr. Graham was a three-term mayor for the City of Phoenix first elected in 1964. When he left office in 1970 Phoenix had a population of 581,000. Despite his busy schedule, Mayor Graham always took the time to rove the city, inspecting housing conditions, municipal facilities and problem areas. Mayor Graham was instrumental in the efforts for the completion of the original civic plaza convention center, dedicated in 1972. Mayor Graham met with President Lyndon Johnson on several occasions and was one of only three Mayors to meet with President-elect Richard M. Nixon to discuss urban affairs and one of nine Mayors to meet with President Nixon and Vice President Spiro Agnew at a special meeting at the White House in 1969. Mr. Graham appeared before numerous Congressional Committees representing the U.S. Conference of Mayors and National League of Cities and presented portions of policy positions of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and National League of Cities to the 1968 Republican Platform Committee. Mr. Graham visited over 50 foreign countries, was the special guest of two foreign governments (Germany and Italy), and although not Catholic, held private audiences with Pope John Paul XXIII and Pope John Paul VI.

Mayor Graham is survived by his sister Elizabeth Sinn, Roswell, NM, 3 nieces, Sonnie Olsen, Winona, MN; Billie Sue Parry, San Mateo, CA; Cathy Rempe, Santa Barbara, CA and a nephew, Hugh Parry, Santa Fe, NM.

Private services were held Tuesday, August 29th. Contributions may be made to the Arizona State Veteran Home, Attention: Donna Adams, 4141 N. 3rd Street Phoenix, AZ 85012

Published in The Arizona Republic on 9/1/2006.

See Also: Find_A_Grave

Note: These obituaries are transcribed as published and are submitted by volunteers who have no connection to the families. They do not write the obituaries and have no further information other than what is posted within the obituaries. We do not do personal research. For this you would have to find a volunteer who does this or hire a professional researcher.

Questions About This Project?