Susanne Graham Profile Photo
1926 Susanne 2020

Susanne Graham

March 30, 1926 — April 24, 2020

On Friday, April 24, 2020 Susanne Kotalik Graham passed away at age 94 surrounded by family in her home in Kerrville, Texas.\r\n\r\nSue was born on March 30, 1926 in Elkins Park, PA to John Jacob and Susanna Kotalik, the fifth of six children. During the depression, Sue's parents moved the family to Panama, where John had worked as a blacksmith in the early 1900s forging the chains that are used to this day to open the lock gates of the Panama Canal. At some point, Sue's parents moved back to Pennsylvania with Sue and her younger brother, while the older siblings stayed in Panama. Sue graduated high school in Hazelton, PA in 1944 and then attended business school. Sue worked in the shipyard in Philadelphia during the war. With the end of the war and the end of that job, she rejoined her sisters in Panama. It was in Panama that Sue met and married the love of her life, William R. Graham in Balboa, Canal Zone in 1949. Throughout their life in Panama, Sue worked for Canal Zone Administration billing ships transiting the canal. She was also given the assignment of procuring all the bamboo poles for one of Admiral Byrd's expeditions to Antarctica. Sue and Bill raised son Will and daughter Donna in Margarita, creating for them many wonderful childhood memories of sun, jungle, ocean beaches, extended family and an active social life. \r\n\r\nSue and Bill retired in 1972 and moved to Kerrville, TX, where they joined many other retired friends from the Panama Canal. In Kerrville, Sue was active in the Newcomers Club, the Red Cross, Notre Dame Catholic Church, and the Hill Country Arts Foundation. She was past president of the Hill Country Arts Foundation Auxiliary as well as the Kerrville Art Club. Sue found a passion for painting especially in oil and created many delightful pieces often featuring the Hill Country. She loved cooking, entertaining, playing Bridge and other card games, and socializing with their many Canal Zone friends and new Kerrville friends. She enjoyed visits from her son and daughter, grandchildren and the many relatives who would come to enjoy her company. She stayed in close touch with her many nieces and nephews through frequent (often daily) phone calls, text messages and Facebook. She closely followed sports including football, tennis, golf and especially the San Antonio Spurs; it seemed like she knew all the Spurs personally.\r\n\r\nSue was preceded in death by her husband Bill in 2010, her son-in-law Rodney Elliott, and by her parents and her two brothers and three sisters. She is survived by daughter Donna Elliott and son Will (Denise), grandchildren David Day (Velvet), Jeffery Elliott, Lauren Roberts (Jason) and Dan Graham (Meredith); great grandchildren Abigail, Emma, Kate, Claire, Autumn, River, Shaw, and Carver; and many nieces and nephews who all loved Auntie Sue. Sue is also survived by dear friends Joe and Louise Reeh and their extended family.\r\n\r\nSue's family will be forever grateful for the loving help and assistance she received from friends and neighbors that allowed her to stay in the home she and Bill bought when they moved to Kerrville in 1972. \r\n\r\nA funeral mass and celebration of life will be held at 9:30 AM, Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at Notre Dame Catholic Church. The Rosary will precede the mass at 9:00 AM. Also at a later date, interment will be held at Cherry Grove Cemetery, Cherry Grove, PA.

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