Obituary for Dennis David Graham
Denis David Graham, 75, passed away on April 12, 2017. He was born in Santa Rosa, California on October 21 , 1941, to Elbert Eldon "Bill" Graham and Mildred Bethena (Dyson) Graham. Prior to Denis' birth his parents lived in Nevada, and they returned to Nevada when Denis was about 2 years old. They lived in Reno and Denis attended Mary S. Doten Elementary School. When Denis was nine years old he and his family moved to Hawthorne, Nevada where his parents owned and operated the Hawthorne Bakery and Gift Shop. He graduated from Mineral County High School, Hawthorne, Nevada in 1959.
Subsequent to his high school graduation, he and his family moved to Sparks, Nevada. Denis attended the University of Nevada, Reno, graduating with a B. S. in Education degree in 1964. He was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity.
From 1964 to 1967 he taught business education subjects at Wooster High School, and was department chair from 1966-1967. In 1967 he moved to Carson City, Nevada to accept employment with the Nevada Department of Education as the State's business education consultant.
In 1968 he married Margaret Coughlan at St. Thomas Aquinas Cathedral in Reno, Nevada. They had two children, a daughter, Kathleen and a son, Todd.
Denis held a variety of positions during his eighteen years with the Nevada Department of Education, most of which were associated with the administration of career and technical education. During this time he commuted to the University of Nevada, Reno to obtain his Masters in Education Administration and Masters of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy. In 1984 he obtained his license as a Marriage and Family Therapist.
In 1985 Denis was employed by Washoe County School District as a district-wide administrator in the area of curriculum and instruction. During this time he was a strong advocate of career and technical education and sex education. He retired from education administration in 1994. In 1995 he established Midpoint, Incorporated and opened his private practice in marriage and family therapy and also worked as an education consultant. In 1999 he closed his private practice but continued to work as an education consultant until 2011, the year he fully retired.
Over the years his memberships in professional education associations included the Association for Career and Technical Education (life member) and the Nevada Association for Career and Technical Education. As a marriage and family therapist he was a member of the American Counseling Association and a clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.
During portions of his career in education and marriage and family therapy he served on various committees and boards. These included the Friends of the College of Education Board of Directors, the Truckee Meadows Community College Advisory Council, and the Board of Directors for Junior Achievement. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Campus Christian Association and was a member of the Governor's Crime Prevention Advisory Committee, the Governor's Developmental Disabilities Planning Council and the Attorney General's Anti-Shoplifting Committee.
As a man of faith who loved Christ and His church, Denis was a member of the First United Methodist Church, Reno and over the years he served on a number of committees.
Denis' main source of satisfaction and joy was spending time with family and friends. He was an avid reader and he enjoyed travel. His life-long avocation was genealogy and he spent many hours over many years researching his family history.
He was predeceased in death by his parents, his beloved son, Todd Cameron Graham and sister in law Sue Graham.
He is survived by Margaret, his wife of 48 years, his daughter Kathleen Vanderziel (Chris) of Sparks, Nevada, his brother Terry Graham of Olympia, Washington, his nephew, Ryan Graham of Seattle, Washington, his niece, Keri Graham-Olsen and her sons, Liam Olsen and Patrick Olsen of Olympia, Washington, as well as numerous cherished members of his very large extended family.
A memorial service of worship will be held at the First United Methodist Church, 209 West First Street, Reno, on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at 11:00 am reception to follow. Parking in the garage on First and Sierra Streets may be validated at the church before and after the service.
Should you wish to make a contribution in Denis' memory, a donation may be made to the First United Methodist Church Foundation, 209 West First Street, Reno, NV 89501, to the Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows, 2680 E. Ninth Street, Reno, NV. 89512.
You are invited to share a memory or condolence message in Denis's Book of Memories at www.waltonsfuneralhomes.com.