Jerry L. Graham

Jerry L. Graham, age 72, of Hamilton, MO, passed away on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, shortly following a highway traffic accident.

Jerry was born the son of Gerald and Ruth (Kilburn) Graham on Oct. 15, 1947, in Chillicothe. As a child he and his best friend Harry Hargrave would walk home from grade school and stop to finish theirs snacks on the way, calling it their “tea time.” As he got older he would haul hay in the summers with his friend Bob Smith and cousin Tom Kilburn. He was a 1965 graduate of Chillicothe High School, where as a guard he helped the Hornets football team win their district conference. In 1970 he received his Bachelor of Science in Engineering Management from the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla.

Jerry served in the National Guard, which he described as bravely protecting the beaches of Cape Cod, MA. He married Matilda “Teddy” Draper on Sept. 5, 1971, in Dover, MA.

Jerry worked as a traffic engineer at Midwest Research Institute in Kansas City from 1973 to 1984. He then started his own traffic research company, Graham-Migletz Enterprises, in Independence from 1984 to 2002. After two years of safety research of county roads in Arizona, he returned to MRI Global, until he retired in 2010. For the last ten years, Jerry ran Graham Consulting in Hamilton, and reflected that over the course of his career, he worked in all 50 states. Jerry played banjo, guitar, and fiddle, and was the leader of the Graham Family Band. After his illustrious football career, he ran two marathons, enjoyed tennis, and finished up his sporting life as an avid golfer. Jerry and Teddy volunteered as instructors for driver safety classes for AARP.

Survivors include his wife Teddy; two sons, Jesse Graham (Sarah) of Salt Lake City, UT, and Ben Graham of Kansas City; two grandchildren, Owen and Louis Graham; one sister, JoAnn Constant of Chillicothe; one brother-in-law, George Draper (Charlotte) of Sorrento, ME; two sisters-in-law, Becca King of Greenfield, ME, and Helen Graham of Chillicothe; any many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; one brother, Dick Graham; one brother-in-law, Jack Constant; and one sister-in-law, Sophie Draper.

There will be a private memorial service for Jerry L. Graham at noon on Thursday, Oct. 15, at the May Cemetery in Chula. Due to the coronavirus, family members attending will be asked to wear a mask. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association, and may be left at or mailed to Lindley Funeral Home, P. O. Box 47, Chillicothe, MO 64601. Online condolences may be left at

Arrangements are under the direction of Lindley Funeral home in Chillicothe.

The Caldwell County News

101 South Davis
P.O. Box 218
Hamilton, MO 64644
Phone: 816-583-2116

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