ONEONTA – Robert James Graham, 92, former Fox Hospital business manager and well-known musician who was active in community life in Otsego and Delaware counties, passed away from pneumonia on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, at Robinson Terrace in Stamford.
He was born in Delhi on Dec. 20, 1924, the son of Tracy Lyman Graham and Elizabeth Mable Graham.
Bob attended A.L. Kellogg School in Treadwell for six years, and then entered Delaware Academy in Delhi, where he graduated in 1943. He was a co-captain of the football and basketball teams, solo clarinetist in the senior band for three years, king of the junior prom, and president of his senior class.
On July 20, 1946, Robert and Marjorie Scoon were married at the Congregational Church in Hall, Ontario County. A daughter, Margo, was born in 1949.
Bob worked with his father on the family farm on Spring Lake until August 1947, when he entered Central City Business Institute in Syracuse. After graduation, he began employment at the Russell Archibald Co. in Delhi, a Cadillac dealership.
In 1968, Bob began employment with Fox Hospital as a collections manager, and later as the business office manager. During that time, he was active in the Hospital Finance Management Association and the American Guild of Patient Account Managers. He was president of the NY Chapter in 1971.
Before his graduation from high school, Bob’s professional music career began with the Burt Pease Orchestra. Through the years, he played the following instruments with most of the popular groups, and some of the best bands of all time: saxophone, clarinet, accordion, piano, organ, and keyboard. He was an accomplished musician, providing entertainment throughout Delaware, Otsego and Schoharie counties, as well as Lee County in Florida. For 14 years, Bob was affiliated with Otsego County’s recreation program for the elderly, providing musical programs at their senior centers sponsored by the Office for the Aging.
Bob was an honorary member of the Delhi Fire Department. He was a member of the department’s organizational committee, which established ambulance service in the community. He served as a squad member for five years. Bob was a Red Cross Senior First Aid Instructor, and also taught emergency medical technician classes.
Bob was a 36-year member of the First Presbyterian Church in Delhi, where he served as Sunday School superintendent, trustee, and ruling elder. Since moving to West Davenport in 1972, he has been a member of the West Davenport Methodist Church.
Bob was raised to the degree of Master Mason at Delhi Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, in 1954. He served as Master of the Lodge, as organist for six years, and as the Service Officer for the District Deputy Grand Master, Delaware District.
Bob was also a volunteer, project manager, and acting director of Executive Service Corps of Otsego and Delaware counties.
The most important hobbies in Bob’s life were bass fishing on Goodyear Lake, waterskiing, snowmobiling, and constructing miniature buildings.
Bob was probably best known for his wonderful sense of humor. He has published four joke books for family and friends.
Bob was a caring, loving, and thoughtful husband, father, and friend. He is survived by his daughter, Margo Graham of West Davenport; his best friend, Catharine Ward, of Oneonta; and his sister, Bernice Telian of Delhi.
He was predeceased by his wife, Marjorie, in 1999; and his brother, Glenn William, in 1935.
There will be no calling hours or funeral service. A graveside service will take place at a later date in the Little Church Cemetery, Stanley.
Bob has requested any memorial donations be made to Catskill Are Hospice, 1 Birchwood Drive, Oneonta, NY 13820.
To light a candle or send the family an online condolence please visit www.bookhoutfuneralhome.com
Funeral arrangements are by the Bookhout Funeral Home of Oneon