1/9/19 — James Walter Graham

Reverend James Walter “J.W.” Graham, aka “Jay”,
88, passed peacefully from this world on the morning of January 5, 2019 at
Bailey Manor Assisted Living Facility in Manchester, Tennessee. Born May
18, 1930 in Tracy City, Tennessee, to Homer and Renice Graham, he was the
third of eight children. Jay grew up with a love for gospel music and
strong Christian values passed down through generations. He loved to sing
and play the piano. He had a strong work ethic and in his early adult
life worked as a grocer, a coal miner, upholsterer, a shirt factory
cutting-room foreman, and furniture builder.

Throughout his life Jay was active in church as a self-taught pianist and
choir director. He played piano for his family’s quartet known first as
Spiritualairs and later as the Singing Victors. He also played for the
Cumberland Boys Quartet. He attended Motlow Community College and Athens
State College in his mid-forties, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree with
a major in religion. After completing divinity course work at Emory
University and Vanderbilt University, he was ordained as a Methodist
minister in 1985. He pastored several churches in the Middle Tennessee
area during his career including Pleasant Hill, Smith’s Chapel, Harris
Chapel, Turkey Creek, Pleasant Grove, Eagleville and Concord United
Methodist. He entertained and touched many lives through his musical
talent and ministry.

Jay is survived by his son Tony Graham (Debi), grandsons Jared Graham and
Chase Graham (Suzie), two great grandchildren, Mary-Michael and Jack
Graham, a

step-son, Arvis Williams (Robyn) and step-grandchildren Amanda and Nicholas
Williams. He is also survived by two sisters, Doris Hughes and Carol Gray,
two brothers, Homer Graham, Jr. and Larry Graham. He was “Uncle Jay” to
numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Delores Beard Graham, his parents,
Renice and Homer Graham, Sr., brother, Robert Craig Graham, two sisters,
Anna Lee Harris and Oma Ruth Ledford, and step-grandson, Christopher

Funeral services will be held Wednesday, January 9, 2019 at Central Funeral
Home in Manchester, Tennessee at noon. The service will be officiated by
Brother Danny Coffelt. Visitation will be Tuesday, January 8 from 5:00 –
8:00 p.m. and Wednesday, 10:30 a.m – 12:00 noon. Entombment will be at
Sequatchie Memorial Gardens, Jasper, Tennessee.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Avalon Hospice, 305 1/2 South
Jackson Street, Tullahoma, TN 37388.


Central Funeral Home has been entrusted with the arrangements