Lee Charles Graham entered eternal life on December 28, 2018, surrounded by his family. He was born in Oakland, California on September 1, 1937 to Captain Frank Maitland Graham and Mrs. Gwendolyn A. (Melby) Graham.
He joined the Coast Guard in 1955 and advanced to Radar Man Third Class for the USSCG weather ship, search and rescue vessel the Chautaqua at Ocean State Victor between Japan and Hawaii. He remained in the Auxiliary until 1965, when he was honorably discharged. Lee attended Orange Coast College and graduated from Orange State College at Fullerton with a degree in Accounting.
Lee married Leslie Alene Duclos on March 7,1964. He began working at Phillips Petroleum Company in 1968 and worked in both the international and domestic departments. He was involved with the American Petroleum Institute and the International Petroleum Institute and wrote policy manuals for both organizations. He traveled extensively, negotiating contracts with other oil companies and foreign governments. Phillips transferred the family to Lagos, Nigeria in 1972, back to Bartlesville in 1974, then to Bogota, Colombia in 1976, and back to Bartlesville in 1978, where the family remained. He retired from Phillips in May 1999 as a Loss Control Specialist after more than 30 years of service and resumed traveling with his wife, Leslie.
Lee enjoyed an adventurous life; he had a private pilot's license and was an avid sailor, world traveler, and storyteller. His family and friends enjoyed hearing humorous stories of his many adventures (all of them were true!). He also enjoyed flying model airplanes and drones, going to the theater, music, and camping. He was a former member of Toastmasters, and a current member of the All American Coffee Club, Wheels 'N Reels, Wheeler Dealer Camping Club, the Lion's Club, and the Knights of Columbus.
He is survived by his wife, Leslie, and three daughters: Lisa Marie (Ian DeSpain), Laura Michele (Daren Cooley), and Erica Melby (Aaron Smith). His five grandchildren include Nicole Marie (DeSpain) Ampersand, Nathan Lee DeSpain, Chance Meric Indigo Montoya Swartz, Bradley Maximillion Hamilton, and Max Maitland Smith.
Please join us in celebrating his life at St. John's Before the Latin Gate in Bartlesville on Thursday, January 3rd at 11am.