Robert Charles Graham

Robert Charles Graham died Monday, July 15, 2019 at the Lackawanna Health and Rehab Center in Olyphant, following a long and courageous battle with his illness.

He leaves his five children, sons Robert Graham and his wife Nancy, Patrick Graham, and Edward Graham and his companion Dana and daughters Debbie Letts and her husband Tom and Kathleen Chapin and her husband Daniel, his sister, Eleanor Burger, 9 grandchildren: Melissa, Catherine, Kristina, Stephen, Stanton, Kimberly, Kyle, Ryan and Sabrina, 12 great- grandchildren: DaeShaun, Dominic, DeAndre, Damiya, Anthony, and Kaylynn, Brynae, Aaron, Haley, Sutton, Ryan and  Cohen.  The mother of his children, Barbara Graham Gilroy, also survives him. His brothers Patrick, Jerry, and sister Maureen preceded him in death.

Born March 26, 1935 in Scranton, the son of the late Patrick and the beloved Matilda (Tillie) Graham, Bob was the youngest of their five children.   After attending West Scranton High School, he left to work in the family business driving and delivering coal.  He served in the US Army for six years. 

He spent his career driving tractor-trailers as an owner-operator and was later employed by Wooster Motor Lines, Johnson Motor Lines and St Johnsbury. He was a member of the Local Teamsters 229.

He was of the catholic faith and worshipped at St Patrick’s Church in Scranton.

 His children remember him as a trusted confidant, and a willing listener, void of judgement of others. Bob practiced paying it forward long before it was vogue, by always being a Good Samaritan to others in need, his actions a reflection of his caring heart.  Despite vigorous attempts by his children to sway him, he remained true to his belief that all were equal, and thus no favoritism existed. He accepted people for who they were, regardless of socioeconomic status.

He took pride in his mechanical skills and over the years collected 24 Cadillac’s, restoring them with the help of his sons, Bobby, Patrick, and Edward.

Bob loved to fraternize with friends at the many social clubs he belonged to, and truly cherished those relationships, forged over decades.

He had a passion to entertain and did so singing karaoke at various local establishments throughout the years. Yodeling was another favorite pastime. He traveled regularly to his cherished “happy place,” Alexandria Bay, NY and had a host of good friends he returned to see year after year. He took many road trips solo into his eighties in one of two beloved RV’s, fiercely independent, yet always meeting new friends along the way.

Bobs song has ended for us here on earth, but the heavens will be full of his “Unchained Melody,” “That’s Amore,” and perhaps even an occasional yodel.

Friends may call Saturday from 2-5pm in the Vanston and James Funeral Home 1401 Ash St. Scranton.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be announced at a future date.

Interment, private at the convenience of the family. 

In lieu of flowers the family encourages memorial contributions be made in Robert’s honor to the donor’s favorite charity.




  1. Norm Burger

    I have memories of Uncle Bob. I was a young child when he came in and patted me on the head and that was shortly after his Army days were over. He gave my brother Bill and myself our first ride in the cab of his tractor-trailer and I witnessed a car hit us broadside in that large traffic circle which used to be outside Scranton. When I told him he said that’s not funny but he stopped and saw the car with it’s occupants ejected alongside the highway. He and his young family even lived with us for a short time in our Clarks Summit home. The years have flown and I sincerely wish I had got to know him better.

  2. Barry BUCK

    to the graham clan;
    I m sorry of your dads passing,he was a great person..

  3. Maureen Hirschler

    I have fond and loving memories of an Uncle always cheerful. He would greet me with his wonderful and warm hugs. I enjoyed sitting and talking with him. I enjoyed his stories. My regret is there was never enough time in life to share those moments with him. I will miss him dearly. It gives me solace to know that there was a great Graham family reunion for him as he joined his parents and his brothers, sister and niece in the great social club beyond. To all of my dear cousins, my thoughts and prayers are with all of you and your family members. I wish I could be there with you as many of you have been there for me over the years. Sending love and hugs.

  4. Vicki Martin

    My thoughts and prayers are with the Graham and Burger families for the loss of a man who I remember as always happy, smiling and saying a kind word. I only have a few memories of meeting him with Bill and/or Maureen, but he was always so sweet and funny, and a very caring human being. May he Rest In Peace with his family who have made it to Heaven before him, and I’m sure the Heavens welcome him with open arms. God Bless all of you and know that he was a man who won’t be forgotten. I’m terribly sorry for your loss… 🙏🙏🙏 Vicki Martin (previously Burger)

  5. Lori and John Sokolowsky

    Dear Graham Family: We send our condolences to you all for a life well lived. Your dad was a pleasant, happy person. He raised five wonderful children to the adults you are today. We are happy that we saw him at his 80 th b-day party–not so long ago. God Bless,
    Lori and John Sokolowsky

  6. Patrick Graham

    He is my best friend, and I cannot fathom life without him. Although we had some time to process the grave life expectancy associated with his illness, I did not get very far in the path of acceptance. My Dad was a character, who lived life to its fullest, who took risks, and always dreamed big. Some of those dreams made it, a lot did not. That never dissuaded him, he would always forge ahead, full of new ideas/a bigger dream and new ways to make something from nothing. He had brass balls and used them and you best get out of his way should he be in that mode. He was fearless, made friends easily, and worked incredibly hard. He loved to laugh and music fed his soul.
    So how do I go on? Well much to Dad’s probable dismay, there have been a wealth of tears shed for him. I also know though, that this is not what he would want. He taught me to follow my dreams, believe in myself, and that every bump was a boost. This is a hell of a speed bump, but I am going to hit it hard, live as he believed, with balls to the wall and throwing all caution to the wind. Caring for others as I would myself, and never forgetting that he used humor and human connections to make a difference, as that is now a long forgotten gesture in this world.
    Spending time with my Dad working on cars or on his latest project was treasured time, and a reward to have gotten time to spend with my Dad. It was during those times I saw his creativity and ingenuity come alive. It must have rubbed off, I am a bit of a MacGyver, fixing things with atypical items, I am my fathers son!
    I know that he loved me and that he was proud of me, and I will continue to bust my tail to honor him by being all I can be, and never giving up. Thank you Dad for your confidence in me, for all that you gave and taught.
    You lit up my life, my hopes and my dreams, and although gone, you will never be forgotten.
    As I move forward in this life without you, there is calm and comfort knowing you are outside of a facility, free from pain, absent the boredom that led you to count ceiling tiles just to pass time~ hopefully there is Southern Comfort on tap somewhere as well.
    Although last call came for your days on earth, may never-ending peace, love, and comfort now surround you in God’s loving arms.
    I love you Dad!

  7. Lisa Mickley

    Patrick…. and the entire Graham family…. I am so sorry for your loss! It was my honor to meet and care for Robert! Although he lived with pain, I loved to see his smile every time I walked into his room 😇 Robert, thank you for your service and I look forward to the day we can celebrate together! 😊 Lisa

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