He was the best father, the best husband and the best friend to everyone whose life he touched. Bob had no enemies; his loving, gentle soul wrapped its arms around you and let you know how special you were. He was the kindest man anyone who had the pleasure to know him ever knew.
Robert Graham passed away on Oct. 23, 2013, after courageously battling many illnesses. He was born on Feb. 17, 1923, to John and Florence Graham. He has a brother, Gerald Graham, Moses Lake, Wash.; a sister, Barbara Musgrove, White Sulphur Springs, Mont.; and a half-sister, Leona Wilbank, who preceded him in death.
Bob graduated from Billings Senior High in 1941, and married his high school sweetheart, Estella Vernes. They had two daughters; Judy Ricketts, Scottsdale, AZ., and Nancy Graham, Billings, MT.
Bob served his country proudly in WWII in the United States Navy aboard the U.S. Aginar as a ship repairman. Upon his honorable discharge, he became employed with the Northern Pacific Railroad as a locomotive engineer for the next 42 years.
After his retirement, Bob and Stella moved back to Billings, which had always been their true home. Bob went to work for a painting contractor who was a friend, and worked for the next 12 years painting commercial and residential properties. After Stella passed away in 2009, he moved into Aspen View Retirement Community, where he lived until his passing. He truly enjoyed his living experience there, especially meeting a wonderful lady, Ruth Standley. They became extraordinary friends, spending most of their time together traveling, exploring and enjoying all the activities at Aspen View.
Bob was also a devoted member of the Shrine, and sang with the Chanters, performing at several of the fall concerts, and traveling to many state competitions, where they placed first on many occasions.
Bob had the distinct honor of going on the first Big Sky Honor Flight, which he said was the opportunity of a lifetime and the most rewarding memory he would ever have.
He has two grandsons, Jack Burke, Phoenix, Ariz., Jeffrey Richards, Fort Collins, Colo.; one granddaughter, Michela Tempesta, San Francisco, Calif.; and one great-granddaughter, Taylor Smith, Flagstaff, Ariz.
Memorial services will be at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30, at Aspen View Retirement Community. Graveside services with military honors will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, at Sunset Memorial Gardens.