On Sunday, March 19, 2023, John Benton Graham, 83, peacefully slipped from this world into the heavenly arms of Jesus Christ, his Lord and Savior. He spent his last days here on earth under hospice care at his home and farm in Bladen County near Ammon surrounded by his loving family.
John was born on September 14, 1939 at the home of his parents, Marvin Royal Graham (1908-1999) and Mary Honeycutt Graham (1910-1969) on his family farm on Graham Road in Seventy-First Township in Cumberland County. He attended Seventy-First Elementary and High School and graduated in 1958. During high school he played first string center on the varsity basketball team for three years where he was known for his rebounds, hook shots and free throws. John attended Presbyterian Junior College for two years and continued to work on the family farm during the summers. During his senior year in High School he met the love of his life, Jane Benson, and they were married on September 21, 1960, 62 years ago.
John never met a stranger. He loved people and would talk to anyone. He was a hard worker and was always eager to start everyday early. He worked several years selling office supplies at Cavin Business Products in Fayetteville. He and Jane built a house on Graham Road near his parents and this is where he raised his two children, James and Mary. He then started his own business, Copying Equipment and Systems, where he and Jane worked until they retired. He travelled all over Southeastern NC selling Toshiba Copying Machines and supplies to every school, church or business he could find. This life suited John. Traveling about making new friends and staying in contact with old ones.
When his daddy died in 1999, John and his brothers sold the family farm which was surrounded by the city of Fayetteville. He and his brother Neil bought a 200 acre farm in Bladen County which they split evenly. John retired and build a new house there where he and Neil could hunt and farm in the country again.
John was a lifetime Methodist. He and his family attended Camp Ground UMC like his parents and grandparents had for four generations since 1858. They all lived in Seventy-First Township and were buried at Camp Ground UMC. When John moved to Bladen County he also became an active Associate Member of Winslow UMC. He was always an usher. He attended a Walk-to-Emmaus Weekend which was a spiritual renewal for him.
John served as a member and President of the Seventy-First Ruritan Club located next to Campground UMC. He later also served as a member and President of White Oak Ruritan Club in Bladen County.
John became a Master Gardener and loved growing a garden of produce and flowers wherever he lived. He had a green thumb.
John enjoyed collecting farm and homestead antiques like his two brothers and his father did. After he retired he and his two brothers became the “Three Pickers” and traveled together for years visiting most states from Florida to Pennsylvania to Iowa. John particularly liked to show and talk about his collection of turpentine tools
John loved his family. He is survived by his wife, Jane, and their two children (and their spouses): James (Candy) and Mary Dotson (Tom). He is also survived by his grandchildren (and their spouses): Cody Dotson (Shayna), Shania Dotson DeLaCueva (Roger), Carrie Fehlhaber Boswell (Chuck) and Jennifer Dotson and his four great grandchildren. He is also survived by his brothers, Neil and William (Freda); three nephews, Paul (Rhonda), Jeff and Ross Graham and a host of cousins and their spouses.
The funeral will be this Thursday, March 23, 2023 at Camp Ground UMC, 4625 Campground Rd, Fayetteville, NC. Visitation will be at 10AM and the funeral service at 11AM followed by burial in the church cemetery. Arrangements are being made by Rogers and Breece Funeral Home in Fayetteville,NC.
The family would like to express their gratitude to the Aids, Nurses, Doctors, Social Workers, and Pastors of Gentiva formerly, Community Home Care and Hospice, for their upmost care for our daddy.