Larry Garth Graham, 86, passed away at home in Anchorage, Alaska on August 28 with complications from cancer. He was born in Ellensburg, WA and raised in Montana, one of seven siblings. The family moved from farm to farm, working with livestock and crops.
Larry completed high school in Missoula, Montana, a skilled and dependable worker – harvesting hay, milking cows, driving big rigs, and repairing heavy equipment, he was ready to achieve all he set his mind to accomplish. Larry joined the Montana Operating Engineers in 1953, his first job was on the Tiber Dam on the Marias River. From there, he continued with more civil engineering projects in Montana and traveled the country as an accomplished crane operator through Kansas, California, Oregon, and Washington with a few stops in between. In 1976 he headed to Fairbanks, AK to work on the big Pipeline and many local jobs he was so proud of. When he was called to set the J.C. Penney’s Skybridge In 1986 he settled in Anchorage, AK. His recollection of every boss, job location, names of friends and co-workers along the years, was phenomenal! His many jokes and storytelling attracted an audience for sure. He was supremely proud of his 65-year pin awarded by Operating Engineers Local 302. Upon retirement he worked 18 more years certifying crane operators at the Operating Engineers training center in Palmer, AK. There are many buildings, important road and marina projects, and bridges in place today that were proudly set by Larry Graham.
His first big salmon catch developed his love for fishing in the many Alaska rivers & ocean ports in his trusty boat the “MyHigh”.
Larry and Debbie began their journey in 1987. They loved working on their home together, going on cruises, and entertaining every visitor that arrived in Anchorage – always including a fishing trip. He loved his Alaska Family of friends, a good beer and dancing, reading Wild West novels and growing a neat and productive garden. He never visited family or friends without discovering some way to help them.
He is survived by his loving wife Debra Graham; his sons, Will Graham, Walla Walla, WA; Clint Martin (Jennifer) of Port Orchard, WA; grandchildren, Garret Graham, Anchorage, AK; Alisha Newton (Ryan), Walla Walla, WA; Kaira Martin, San Diego, CA; Tate and Gage Martin, Port Orchard, WA, three great grandchildren, nieces and nephews and his sister Joanne Klopotek of Placerville, CA.