September 07 1916 February 29 2020
Graham’s Obituary Kittery Point-Graham Alvord died peacefully at home on February 29, 2020 at the age of 103, joining his wife Jean in heaven, who died 9 days before. Graham was born on September 7, 1916 in Melrose, MA to Henry and Margaret Alvord. He attended Harvard College and graduated with a BA in Economics. After several years in theater, he joined the Navy in WW2, serving as executive officer of an LST on D-Day. His was the firsttransport ship to land on Omaha Beach during the Normandy invasion. Returning home after his ship was disabled by a mine, he courted and wedded his pen pal Jean Drake with a marriage thatlasted 75 years. Shortly afterwards they moved to Kittery Point, Maine. He worked at Portsmouth High School as a teacher and guidance counselor until retirement at 62, where he also ran the theater department for many years. He then served as assistant minister at the North Church in Portsmouth, NH for several years, followed by a lifetime of volunteer service, including pastoral counseling, funerals, marriages, nursing home visitation and hospice. In his 90’s he’d take the bus to Portsmouth Hospital twice a week for bedside and bereavement counseling. One year he won the national Frist Humanitarian Award and enjoyed a celebration trip to Nashville. Graham received two high government honors late in his life. In 2014 the United States State Department named him as sole representative at the Sword Beach ceremony during the D-Day anniversary celebration and in 2013 the French government awarded him their Legion of Honormedal at the French Embassy in Boston. He had a lifetime passion for the outdoors in many forms. He routinely biked to Portsmouth High for his job, later doing long distance bicycling across the United States and Europe and daily bicycle excursions around the seacoast until late in his life. His fascination with the Grand Canyon into his 80’s included 13 hikes to the bottom and 7 river excursions. The Appalachian Mountain Club recognized him as climbing all 48 peaks over 4000’ in both the summer and winter, the 13th person to do so. Graham also enjoyed reading, writing and classical music, with opera and symphony music frequently playing at home. He wrote 172 sonnets that have been donated to UNH and read Tolstoy’s War and Peace for the FIFTH time at age 102. He is survived by five children: John and wife Anne Ashley of Carmel Highlands, CA; Betsy Labutti of Corinth, VT; Christopher and wife Vicki of Wimberley, TX; Joseph and wife Sheila Burke of Central Point, OR; and Graham (Chip) and wife Olga of Anchorage, AK. He was pre-deceased by his wife Jean nine days before him and son Andy in 1973. Graham loved and cherished his wife Jean and his entire family, including his numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. A joint memorial service for Graham and wife Jean is scheduled for March 14, 2020 at 1:00 PM at the First Congregational Church, 23 Pepperrell Road, Kittery Point, Maine 03905, with a reception to follow in the parsonage. Pastor Brian Gruhn will officiate at the ceremony. All are welcome to attend to celebrate Jean and Graham’s lives. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in their name to the church. The family especially thanks his caregivers, who allowed him to be home in the last years of his life. Read More
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Graham Alvord September 07 1916 February 29 2020.
Death notice for the town of: Kittery, state: Maine