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Patricia Graham
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Patricia Ann 'Pat' Graham, 86, died Tuesday, Aug. 30 in Oakdale.

She was born in Winegar (Presque Isle), Wisc., the only child of Samuel Kyle Carlin and Ann Agnes Corrigan.

After her father's death in 1933, she made the first of her many long automobile trips, coming to California with her mother. In 1936 they returned to Wisconsin, where she graduated from De Padua High School in Ashland. They returned permanently to California in 1943.

In 1948 she married William M. Graham. After her husband graduated from California Polytechnic College in San Luis Obispo in 1956, he began working for the Stanislaus County Department of Agriculture and the couple moved to Oakdale.

Mrs. Graham soon enrolled at Modesto Junior College; then, at the newly-opened Stanislaus State College. She received her B.A. in 1966 and her teaching credential in 1967. In 1968 she was the first faculty member hired at the new Riverbank High School, where she taught English for 13 years until her retirement in 1981. She also served as Chair of the RHS English Department. She took special interest in encouraging students whose potential others did not recognize.

She was active in the Oakdale community from the start, beginning with the PTA and Newcomers' Club. In the mid-1960s, she joined others to found the Oakdale Friends of the Library. She joined the American Association of University Women, Community Sharing, the Oakdale Women's Club, Mater Christi chapter of the Young Ladies Institute, and the Oak Valley Hospital Auxiliary.

She served on the first Parish Council at St Mary's Church and the first Diocesan Pastoral Council of the Diocese of Stockton. She was a member of the Election Board for 13 years and of the Oakdale Museum Advisory Commission. In 1984, she helped start English For All, an English as a second language program under the auspices of the Stanislaus Literacy Council. In 1986 she and Billie Benedix co-founded St Mary's Seniors and Friends, whose monthly newsletter she edited for 20 years.

Her 12-year tenure as a member of the City of Oakdale Senior Advisory Commission began in 1996. When the Oakdale Senior Citizens Foundation was established, she became a charter member and served as Chair for two years. She was also a member of the Oakdale Senior Forum, affiliated with the Stanislaus Elder Abuse Prevention Alliance. Her final project was the Oakdale Community Aquatic Therapy Foundation.

For fun, she kept in touch with family and friends all over the U.S. She made many long-distance drives, planning her routes to include visits from Florida to Alaska. She was proud of having driven in all 50 states. Her final big trip was a European river cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam in 2007.

Mrs. Graham received many awards and certificates of recognition for her numerous contributions to her community. Among the most memorable: her nomination as Stanislaus County Woman of the Year in 2002, presentation of the papal medal "Benemerenti" from Pope Benedict XVI in 2007, and selection for the 2010 Oakdale Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award in January 2011.

The family thanks the dedicated caregivers in the 300 Wing at Oak Valley Hospital, Dr. Andres and Imelda Arellano, and Dr. Leslie and Margaret Konkin.

She is survived by her children, Rev. James K. Graham of San Jose, Robert C. Graham of Riverside, Jean A. Graham of Twentynine Palms, and Barbara J. Green of San Jose; daughter-in-law, Katherine Kendrick Graham; and two granddaughters.

Funeral services were held Sept. 2 at St Mary's Catholic Church. Burial was in Oak Grove Cemetery, Knights Ferry.

In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to Oakdale Community Sharing, P.O. Box 1160, Oakdale, CA 95361; or to the Oakdale Senior Citizens Foundation, c/o Linda Royalty, Gladys Lemmons Senior Center, 450 East A St., Oakdale, CA 95361.

Oakdale Memorial Chapel in charge of arrangements.

The Riverbank (Calif.) News

Sept. 7, 2011