Gregory â€˜Gregâ€™ Phillip Graham
Gregory â€œGregâ€ Phillip Graham, 51, of Elburn, formerly of Lombard, Ill., passed away May 23, 2010, at Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, surrounded by the love and prayers of his family following a long and fierce battle with cancer.
He was born Nov. 30, 1958, in Effingham, Ill., the son of Lynn and Vera Graham.
He grew up spending many years on his grandparentsâ€™ farm, and although he built his knowledge in local schools, his character was built on each acre of that farm.
Greg attended St. Johnâ€™s Lutheran School and graduated from Glenbard East High School with the class of 1977. Greg found excavating and demolition work in the construction trade, working long hours but always finding time to work on various motorcycles and cars.
Greg found the love of his life just down the road from his home, but never met her until after graduation while camping with mutual friends. Tracy Gilman stole his heart while she gave him her own when they were united in marriage in 1982.
They began their new life together in Lombard for a time, where they began raising a family that would include two sons, Austin and Mason. In 1988, the family moved to Elburn, where he built the house where they would make their home.
Greg never found a motorcycle or car that he couldnâ€™t fix up and sell for more than he paid. In recent years, a 1950 Ford brought him many hours of happiness as well as accolades when he won the First Place Friday Night Award in Lombard. His vehicle was also chosen to continue with an entry into the World of Wheels.
Greg hosted great parties and huge bonfires that originally just â€œhappenedâ€ but quickly became an annual event that brought friends and family from around the country.
Greg was one of a kind. His strength of character that was forged on the farm combined with his infectious unique laugh and warmth of spirit made him unforgettable in every sense of the word. Gone but not forgotten, his presence can still be found in the legacy of memories he left behind for all those who loved him.
He is survived by his wife, Tracy; two sons, Mason Graham of DeKalb and Austin Graham of Elburn; five siblings, Marcia Catalano of Lombard, Kevin Graham of Lombard, Carole (Mark) Roberts of Wheaton, Ill., Jeff (Ann) Graham of Downers Grove, Ill., and Tim Graham of Lombard; his parents, Lynn and Vera Graham of Lombard; and many nieces, nephews and a family of friends who will miss him dearly.
He is preceded in death by both his paternal and maternal grandparents.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 27, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL, 60119. A funeral to celebrate his life will begin at 11 a .m., Friday, May 28, also at the funeral home. The Rev. James Ilten, pastor of St. Johnâ€™s Lutheran Church, Lombard, will officiate. Private family interment will follow cremation at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in his name to benefit the American Cancer Society. Checks may be made to the â€œGreg Graham Memorialâ€ and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at www.conleycare.com.