Lt. Col. Ernest Heap Graham, USMC, Ret., of Wrightsville Beach, NC, passed away in his sleep early Saturday, November 30, 2013 after a long battle with congestive heart failure. He was born in Goldsboro,N.C. October 16, 1927 and was predeceased by his parents, Ernest Heap Graham and Mary Borden Graham. Ernie attended The Citadel in Charleston, served in the army in the 101″ Airborne Division, and returned to earn his B.A. in history from UNC-CH where he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta. He joined the Marine Corps as a career Marine and served his country for twenty-three years. He received the Bronze Star with V for valor for his service in Vietnam and Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, Navy Commendation medal and other honors. After retirement from the Marine Corps, Ernie was Provost Marshal and assistant commandant of cadets at The Citadel in Charleston. The owner of two Meineke shops in Raleigh, he retired again in 1986 to Wilmington. Ernie is survived by his wife of 53 years, Nan Schaeffer Graham and his beloved children Howell Schaeffer Graham and wife Debbie, and his daughter Mary (Molly) Borden Graham Allred and husband Russell and granddaughter, Caroline as well as his devoted Westie,Lily. He was the last of the Borden- Graham clan and is survived by an extensive family of Borden kin. Ernest’s non-military achievements include serving with the Washington D.C. Cystic Fibrosis Board and in S.C., helping patients and families cope with cystic fibrosis. While serving in Vietnam, he and his wife started the RSVP (Reach the South Vietnam People) to purchase a Brown Dermatome, a skin-grafting device to aid South Vietnamese civilians suffering from napalm burns. As a result of Associated Press coverage, enough checks poured in to fund a village school and water system. Ernie loved to regale listeners with stories of his depression-era camp experiences in N.C., sailing races and fishing with Capt. Gibb Willis, snafus at the Citadel and tales of his brief assignment as protocol officer in DaNang herding celebrities to entertain Marines in Vietnam. Favorites were Bob Hope and Martha Raye. After moving to Wilmington, Ernest enjoyed the coast, reliving his boyhood summers spent in Morehead City with the cousins. He will be missed. Semper Fidelis, Ernest. A memorial service celebrating the life of Ernest will be held Thursday morning, December 12th at 10:30 at First Presbyterian Church at 125 S. Third St., Wilmington, N.C. followed by a reception. On the same afternoon at 2:00, there will be a graveside service with military honors in Willowdale Cemetery in Goldsboro at the Borden/Micks family plot. Our thanks go to Dr. Mary Rudyk, Dr. Michael Moeller and Orlando Maldonado for their kindness and concerned care. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the charity dearest to his heart: The Lung Transplant Research Fund {91153}, c/o The Medical Foundation of NC,INC.,880 MLK Jr. Blvd, Chapel Hill, NC 27514 or The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 6931Arlington Rd., Suite 200, Bethesda,Md. 20814. Online condolences may be sent to the family at Tags: 1949

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