OBITUARY: Graham, Bill D.
Bill D. Graham, former mayor of Scotts Valley, Calif., and owner/operator of Graham & Son, a transit mix concrete plant and sand and gravel pit based in Scotts Valley, died on May 15 at his home on Donner Lake in Truckee where he and his wife Shirley have had a residence since 1962. He was 82.Bill, a Scotts Valley native, is remembered as an energetic, vital, and visionary man. He developed several properties along Mt. Hermon Road, including the award-winning Spring Lakes Mobile Home Park. During his years in Scotts Valley, Bill served two terms as mayor, was president of the Scotts Valley School Board and the Santa Cruz Ski Club, served on the Santa Cruz County Grand Jury, and was an active member of the Santa Cruz Investment Club and the Lions Club, and was a Boy Scout leader.During World War II, Bill served in the Merchant Marines, but it is his accomplishments on the ski slope that most characterize his bold spirit and love of life. Bill was a member of the first Ski Patrol at Sugar Bowl and an avid downhill racer. Among the races in which he competed were The Harriman Cup in Sun Valley, the Silver Belt Race in Sugar Bowl and the Far West Kandahar in Yosemite. His daring on the slopes was well known and as a member of the Screen Actors Guild, Bill was the skiing stunt double for Melvyn Douglas as he chased after Greta Garbo in the film, “The Two-Faced Woman.”At age 71, Bill won the Coca-Cola Cup at Heavenly and decided to retire from the competitive ski scene because, as he said, “I like going too fast for my own good.”A true raconteur, Bill was always the first with a story or joke. His quick wit, hearty laugh, and genuine love and tenderness for those around him will be sorely missed. He is survived by his wife Shirley, his sister-in-law Patty Dodd, his son Jay and daughter-in-law Eileen and their children Travis, Lili, and Mac, his daughter-in-law Linda Graham and her children Dean Graham and Nikki and her husband Brett Maas and great grandson Nolan Maas of Santa Cruz, his sisters and their spouses – Helen and Don Hall of Scotts Valley, and Beverly and Bob Forson of Scio, Ore., and his sister-in-law Carol Hixson and husband Ray of St. George, Utah.Preceeding Bill in death were his son, Jack William Graham; brothers Thomas and Donald, and his parents Lola and Jack.A private burial was held Wednesday, May 21.A celebration of Bill’s life will be held at 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 24 at his home on Donner Lake. Friends are welcome. Contributions to the American Cancer Society are preferred.
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