Willie Joe Graham Sr. of Elkhart, 72, of 903 W Lusher Ave., died at 7:45 a.m. Monday (October 5, 2020) in Elkhart General Hospital.
He was born March 11, 1948, Sikeston, Missouri to Woodrow and Thelma (Griffin) Graham.
He was united in holy matrimony to Dianna Stevens on Dec 21, 1968.
He is survived by his wife Dianna (Stevens) Graham and three children Willie Joe Graham Jr. (Denise) of Mishawaka, DeAnn Graham of Elkhart, & Dionne Graham of Indianapolis.
12 grandchildren; Shantae (Raphel) DeJesus, Brianna Culbreath, Ashley Culbreath, Markell Butler, Indigo Graham, Jazlyn Graham, Jada Graham, Janai Graham, Fernando Graham, Imani Graham, Brylyn Culbreath, Illiyah Graham and 10 Great-Grandchildren; his 2 brothers Woodrow Graham and Cleo Graham of Elkhart and 2 sisters Sandra (Edward) Logan of Goshen and Miranda (David) Porter of California and a host of other relatives and friends.
He was proceeded in death by his parents Woodrow Sr. & Thelma Graham, his 2 brothers Charlie C. and Connie Van Graham and his sister Sallie B. Williams and 1 grandson Dion Benjamin Culbreath.
He is a faithful member of the Church of God in Christ, Pastor of New Light of Hope Christian Center COGIC and a member of Solid Rock district. He was a National Adjutant, and he was the chief adjutant of historical Indiana. He also held multiple positions in the jurisdiction, the district and local church. He graduated in 1967 from Elkhart High School. He worked at Rocket Car Wash, Elkhart Hotel, Industrial Lamp, Elkhart Foundry, Accra Pac & The City of Elkhart. Also worked with his son the owner of Jubliee builders.
Pastor Graham was a preacher’s preacher, He was a man of excellence, a man of honor, a perfect example of what a husband, father, grandfather, and a friend should be. Pastor Graham loved sports and outside of God and his family his next love was his lawn. Pastor Graham was known for keeping a perfectly manicured lawn. If anyone were looking for Pastor Graham, they could ride past and find him working diligently in his yard. If he had completed that task then you could find him washing his cars in any weather. Pastor Graham loved music and more so he loved singing to the glory lord making a joyful noise.
A Memorial Visitation for Pastor Willie will take place from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Friday, October 9, 2020 at Canaan Baptist Church, 933 Fieldhouse Avenue, Elkhart, IN. A COGIC Funeral Service be at 11:00 am on Saturday, October 10, 2020 at the church with 1 hour viewing before the start of service. Burial will follow at Rice Cemetery. Billings Funeral Home is assisting the family.
For those who wish to share a memory, leave a condolence or send flowers may do so at www.billingsfuneralhome.com.
Memorial Contributions may be directed to Shalom Peace Center, 903 W. Lusher Avenue, Elkhart, IN 46517.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Pastor Willie J. Graham, Sr., please visit our floral store.