Talmadge Graham. Son. Brother. Uncle. Husband. Dad. Papa. Friend. Lover of God. Servant to others. Child of the King.
Born to Paul Miller Graham and Mary Smith Graham, Talmadge entered this world in a small house in Sedgwick, Arkansas, on August 1, 1939. After graduating from Walnut Ridge High School, he joined Arkansas-Missouri Power company at Mammoth Spring and began a lifelong career working for Ark-Mo, AP&L, and Entergy.
His life was forever changed when he met Bonita Kay Stanley working at the Kristy Kone in Thayer, Missouri. After a ride in Talmadge’s cool VW bug, their relationship took off, and on June 6, 1969, he married the love of his life. The two would forge a life devoted to serving God and serving others while raising four children.
During his years at Mammoth Spring, Walnut Ridge, Blytheville and Heber Springs, one constant remained: Talmadge’s undying love for God, Bonita and his family.
Even though he was an electrician by trade, ultimately, he was a teacher. He taught by words—and by example. Never too busy to lend a hand, to pick up someone, to comfort, to take food, to do taxes. He taught us daily that putting others before yourself is the most noble thing you can do. It is kingdom work. And he was all about kingdom work. Bonita once said about dad: “I’ve never known anyone as much in love with Jesus Christ.” And she was right. His joy came from knowing His Lord, and his gratefulness came from understanding his need for the saving power of Jesus.
Dedicated to spreading joy wherever he went, he could tell “dad” jokes with the best of them. And, oh yes, he could make a “joyful noise.” How he loved to sing praises to the Father. You might not want to sit right next to him, but you appreciated his enthusiasm. For over 10 years, his singing put the JOY in Joy Bus.
A member of the church of Christ, Talmadge was preceded in death by his father and mother; his brothers Theron Thomas Graham and John David Graham; his sister, Carolyn Sue Dillingham, and his infant son, Jason Graham.
He is celebrated today by his devoted wife of almost 54 years, Bonita Kay; his daughter, Tammy Lynn Hughes (Greg) of Alpharetta, Georgia; Kay Ann Housdan (Wink) of Greers Ferry, Arkansas, Annie Smith (Travis) of Hampton, Georgia, and his son, Paul Talmadge Graham (Barbie) of Heber Springs, Arkansas; his grandchildren: Carter Graham Hughes (Erin), Emily Kay Housdan, Molly Ann Housdan, Kaylee Ann Housdan, Mason Smith, Emma Claire Smith, Anna Leigh Smith, as well as other family members, nephews, nieces and a host of friends.
It is only fitting that on the last Sunday of Talmadge’s life, his family joined around him in worship and song in what would be a glorious send-off. We can only imagine that as the music faded from this side of eternity, the tune was picked up on the other side to usher him home, finally, to His Father. If heaven sounds a little more “noisy” today, we also know it rings with more joy—the joy of the saints praising the Father who conquered death.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Talmadge Graham, please visit our floral store.