Cover photo for John A. Graham "Chico"'s Obituary
John A. Graham "Chico" Profile Photo
1941 John 2023

John A. Graham "Chico"

July 14, 1941 — August 1, 2023


John A. Graham, “Chico”, of Otsego, Michigan, passed away on August 1, 2023, at Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He was 82 years old.

John was born July 14, 1941, in Allegan, Michigan, to Vera (Hodge) Graham, and Robert Graham. He graduated from Allegan High School in 1960. John attended Western Michigan University, where he studied Physics.

He worked for Rock-Tenn in Otsego, until the mill closed in 2004. John was married to Katherine (Jones), and they recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary.

John was a lifelong resident of Michigan and resided in Otsego for most of his adult life. Like many Michiganders, he was an avid outdoorsman. John loved hunting, fishing, golf, bowling and pool. He played on many leagues over the years. He enjoyed NASCAR racing, and of course, the Detroit Tigers. John and his family spent many a weekend camping, mushroom hunting, canoeing and tubing down the Muskegon River.

He loved hanging out with his friends at his favorite watering hole, The Windjammer, enjoying an adult beverage or two. John would readily help a friend in a pinch with auto or home repairs, for a 6 pack of beer. He was an avid reader, and master Trivial Pursuit player.

John suffered a stroke in 2020 and was no longer able to participate in his golf or pool leagues. He kept himself occupied by tinkering around the house and in the garage, taking things apart and putting them back together, often to the dismay of his wife, Kathy.

John was preceded in death by his father, Robert, his mother, Vera, and his stepdaughter, Jackie Perkins.

John will be missed by his wife, Kathy Graham, and children: Rene Moore (Alan) of Greenwood, Indiana, John Graham Jr. of Indianapolis, Indiana, Heidi Smith (David) of Otsego, Mandy Palmer (Nathan) of Three Rivers, Sherry Ott of Charlotte, North Carolina, Tony Ott, of Otsego, and Paige Ott of Allegan. He is survived by many grandchildren: Tanner Smith, Chase Cremeans, Carson Palmer, Mason and Logan Boerman, and Isabella Klifman. John is survived by his brothers Don Graham (Peggy) of Whiteland, Indiana, and Fred Graham (Carrie) of Kalamazoo.

The family would like to express gratitude to the staff of Borgess Hospital Kalamazoo (7 North, and 4 North), and Compassus Hospice for their compassion and advocacy for John at the end of his life.

Following his wishes, John will be cremated. The family is being cared for by Avink, McCowen, Secord Funeral Home in Schoolcraft, Michigan. A celebration of John’s life will be held at a date to be determined. While visiting John’s webpage at please sign the guestbook and/or sharing a memory with the family.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John A. Graham "Chico", please visit our flower store.


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