Today I am transcribing my Grandfather, Mershell C. Graham’s funeral program. I’ve been looking for my grandfather’s funeral program for several months. It wasn’t in the binder, where it should have been, or in the box with the not yet filed funeral programs. Today, while looking for something else, I found it. It was in my file cabinet in a folder having nothing to do with anything relevant. The poem was written by my sister, Pearl Cleage.
Poem For My Grandfather
(for M.C. Graham)
The handing down of things
worn smooth between your fingers.
The handing down of parts of you
in hurried kitchen ceremonies.
The smell of biscuits
and the smell of heirlooms.
A story about trains.
A whisper of hard times
and magic in the face you hold so close to mine
The handing down of things.
The handing on of you…
By Pearl Cleage
Mershell C. Graham
Thursday, September 6, 1973, 12 Noon
Plymouth United Church of Christ
Rev. Nicholas Hood, Pastor
Order of Service
Detroit Memorial Park
Charles T. Cole Funeral Home
Friends of Mr. Graham
Members of the Men’s Club
Mershell C. Graham was born December 25, 1887, in Coosada Station, Alabama. He received his early Christian training in the First Congregational Church of Montgomery, Alabama. He met his beloved wife, Fannie Mae, in the church. They celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary in June of this year. They had four children and shared a long and beautiful life.
He was one of the founders of Plymouth United Church of Christ and was a devoted member of the church all of his life. He served as treasurer for many years and was Trustee Emeritus. He was retired from the Ford Motor Company after over thirty years of service and was a member of the U.A.W. and the N.A.A.C.P.
Mr. Graham passed on September 3, 1973, at his home at 16260 Fairfield. He leaves to mourn his loss his wife, Fannie, his two daughters, Mary Virginia Graham Elkins and Doris Graham Cleage; five grandchildren Doris Diane Elkins; Kristin Cleage Williams; Barbara Elkins; Pearl Cleage Lomax and Marilyn elkins; and six great-grandchildren; Maricea McNeil; Harry McNeil; Frank Elkins; Lonnie Elkins; Jilo Williams and Ife Williams.
He was preceded in death by his two sons, Mershell C. Graham Jr and Howard A. Graham.