Susan Jane (Draper) Graham, age 59, of Garner, Iowa, died Sunday, May 12, 2013 at her home in Garner, surrounded by her loving family following a courageous battle with cancer. Funeral services were held on Thursday, May 16, 2013 at the Belmond United Methodist Church, Belmond, Iowa. The Reverend Cindy Morrison was officiating. Burial was in the Belmond Cemetery. Those wishing to
express their sympathies through a memorial in Susan’s memory may send to Ron Graham, 620 Goll’s Drive, Garner, IA 50438.
Susan Jane Draper, the daughter of Virgil and Opal (Nolte) Draper, was born Dec. 19, 1953 in Clarion, Iowa. She was the youngest of five children which included her siblings, Gary, Diane, Janice, and Marilyn.
Susan attended Belmond Community Schools and received her G.E.D.,
graduating with the Class of 1971. Susan was united in marriage to Craig Boyington. The couple’s union was blessed with two children, Stephanie and Chad. They were later divorced.
Susan was united in marriage to Ron Graham, her life partner and best friend for the next 21 years on Oct. 19, 1991 at Garner. Their family grew to five total children, as Ron’s three sons, Denny, Matt, and Cory became siblings to Stephanie and Chad.
Throughout her entire life, Susan enjoyed her role as a mother and later a grandma relishing any opportunity or occasion that meant spending time with family. She looked forward to holiday gatherings and times spent with her siblings and their families. Keeping in touch with her family and their activities was a priority. Her family remembers the great times they had with Susan and Ron on getaways to Adventureland and float trips to Apple River. She also looked forward to quiet times with her husband, Ron, and their outings to an area casino or a “spur of the moment” adventure to an unknown destination. Favorite past times included working word searches, crossword, gardening, canning, cooking and the comforts of a good book. Susan had been active in bowling in earlier years in various leagues, including couple’s events with Ron. Susan’s smile and laugh would be at their best when she was able to lay on the floor with her grand kids for a precious time of playing UNO, puzzles, and board games. Susan and Ron enjoyed Sunday morning breadkfast at Mat’s Place, and she also looked forward to her daily times spent with her sister, Marilyn, watching the Bold & Beautiful.
In addition to being a full time home maker, Susan worked outside the home. She had managed the Garner V.F.W. from 1989-1999. After some health issues she then returned to the work force again in 2001, as she was employed with White Transfer & Storage in Forest City, Iowa, where she worked until Nov. of 2012, when her cancer diagnoses forced her early retirement. Her years at White’s were much more than a career, as she truly looked forward to the daily camaraderie and friendships that were a part of the office full of ladies titled in fun as the “Hen House!”
Susan’s family and friends will remember her as a hardworking lady, who loved others and looked forward to the simple pleasures of life’s journey. In recent months, they saw her true strength and ferocious spirit at its best as she battled valiantly against the enemy and effects of cancer with dignity and perseverance.
Her legacy will be cherished in the hearts and minds of her surviving family and friends including her husband and partner, Ron Graham, Garner; daughter, Stephanie (Nick) Reighard, Dows, Iowa, and children, Whitney and Jose Reighard, Ashlynn, and Jenna McCallum; son, Chad (Darci) Boyington, Klemme, Iowa; and Ron’s sons, Denny (Beverly) Graham, Keller, Texas, and their children, Kayle and Riley; Matt (Mary) Graham, Garner, and their children, Maddie and Mason; and Cory (Danielle) Graham, Garner, and their children, Morgan, Jared, Trevor, and Kyle; two great-grandchildren, Olivia and Aiden; Susan’s siblings, Gary Draper, Randall, Iowa, Diane (David) Lieberknecht, Belmond, Iowa, Janice Draper, Clear Lake, and Marilyn Hanson, Klemme; also many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews, and countless friends.
She was preceded in death by her grandparents, William and Irene Draper, and Edwin and Daisy Nolte; uncles, Keith and Ken Nolte, Ernest Story, Gerald Draper, and Keith Voight; aunt, Valva Draper; also cousins, Linda Whipple, Kathy Draper, Nancy Draper, Timothy Draper, Keith Nolte, Jr. and Johnny Voight.
Andrews Funeral Home, Belmond, was in charge of arrangements.