Anna Ruth “Ann” Graham, a faithful servant of God and the epitome of a lady, died Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, in hospice care at Homewood Health Campus. Her son and daughter-in-law, Greg and Debbie Graham, other family members and faithful friends had spent the last few weeks nurturing and supporting Mrs. Graham with constant love and care at her home and then in hospice.
A native of Montgomery County, Mrs. Graham was the true “first lady” of Lebanon and Boone County, being crowned “Mrs. Liberty” — the first official Mrs. Boone County — in 1956. She was the consummate example of the spirit of Christianity, devoted wife and mother, and mentor to numerous generations.
Mrs. Graham was born April 26, 1925, a daughter of the now late James and Ada McClellan. She was graduated from New Market High School in 1943 and was married Oct. 26, 1944, at Parkersburg, to her loving husband, Albert Francis “Ab” Graham. He preceded her in death on May 6, 1995.
She had been employed by local school bus manufacturer Hicks Body Company as an administrative assistant and by Stewart Warner Corporation as an executive secretary.
Mrs. Graham is affectionately remembered by many longtime residents of Lebanon as the Welcome Wagon Hostess who brought a smile and a flower-bedecked basket filled with gifts and goodies from local merchants to their homes when they moved into town or welcomed home their first child. Mrs. Graham beautifully performed her duties as the “Welcome Wagon Lady,” from 1966 into the 1990s.
She was also known and loved by a plethora of friends — old and young alike — who would adamantly state that they never heard her say an unkind word about anyone.
She was a 50-plus year member of Centenary United Methodist Church. Still very active until recently, Mrs. Graham passed on her deep faith and love of Jesus Christ through activities at her church including serving as a personal mentor of a child who was in the 2011 confirmation class at Centenary UMC.
She also was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star and Zonta Club of Lebanon and was a charter member of Beta Upsilon chapter of Epsilon Sigma Alpha philanthropic sorority. A visionary, she had served on the Lebanon Redevelopment Commission.
Mrs. Graham is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Pastor Greg and Debbie Graham of Hudson, Ohio; grandchildren, Casandra Graham of Nashville, Tenn., and Cody Graham of Indianapolis; sisters, Bonnie Jolly of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., Mary Frances “Toadie” (Pete) Nolan and Bernice (John) Wilson, all of Roachdale, and Shirley Ford of Homewood, Ill.; and several nieces and nephews.
Visitation is 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9, at Myers Mortuary, 1502 N. Lebanon St., Lebanon. Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, at Centenary United Methodist Church, Lebanon, with Pastor Greg Graham, the Rev. Jim Ramsey and the Rev. Marcy Patrick officiating.
Memorials contributions may be made to Centenary United Methodist Church, 910 Fordice Road, Lebanon, IN 46052.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.myersmortuary.com.