Jesse Eugene Graham Sr. (May 09, 1938 - September 17, 2023)

In loving memory of
Jesse Eugene Graham Sr.
  • May 09, 1938
  • -
  • September 17, 2023

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Jesse Eugene Graham Sr., passed away peacefully in his home on September 17, 2023 surrounded by his family. He was a devoted and loving husband, father, grandfather and friend to many.  Jesse was born in Birmingham, Alabama on May 9, 1938 to James Russell Graham and Pauline Espy Graham.  Jesse was the youngest of three with his two older siblings being Walter and Mary Virginia (Tot).  Jesse went to Mountain Brook Elementary; attended Indian Springs Prep which at that time was an all boys boarding school and he was in the first four year class. For college, he attended and graduated from the University of Virginia in 1960 with a BA in Philosophy and was a member of St. Anthony Hall. He was a member of ROTC while at Virginia.  He also enjoyed leadership in undergrad by serving as President to two clubs. Jesse later graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1964.  He served in the US Army with 6 months in Active Duty followed by seven and a half years in the Reserves. As he served his time, he began as a 2nd Lieutenant with a final promotion to Captain and he also served as a Judge Advocate in the General Corps. 

Following his active duty and just prior to his first year of law school, Jesse returned home one weekend for a family visit and was coaxed into joining a friend who was on a blind date to a party. Jesse did not have a date that evening, but for Jesse it was love at first sight. Kathleen Towles was the other fellow’s blind date, but before long, Jesse was the one dancing with Kathleen instead of the friend.  Jesse even used the line “Where have you been all my life?”  The two enjoyed a six month courtship and wed in December 1961. For them, this was the beginning of a 61 year marriage which included all the ups, downs and inbetweens of a loving, loyal and fulfilling relationship. Jesse quickly found himself juggling three balls in his new life – law school, newlywed life and the welcoming of their baby girl, Georgia Lizabeth, in December 1963. 

Jesse and Kathleen preferred warmer weather year round and found their way to Winter Park, Florida, where they began a new chapter and eventually welcomed their son, Jesse Eugene, Jr., in November 1967. Jesse started practicing law with Akerman in Orlando, and in 1968 opened and ran his own law practice and grew the firm throughout the following years, finally retiring after 50 years of practice. He was a member of the Charter Review Commission for Orange County, supported the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation as a corporate fundraiser and was a board member to the Orlando  March of Dimes and named Volunteer of the Year.  Jesse was an avid golfer, making many great memories with friends and family on the golf course. His favorite golfing partner was undoubtedly his wife. He enjoyed his own odyssey trip with two great golfing pals, Haner and Galbraith, playing courses from Pine Valley to Maidstone. He enjoyed the thrill of a Hole in One and acquired an eight handicap during his golfing days. He was a past president of the Country Club of Orlando, founder and past president of Interlachen Country Club and an active member of Champion Hills in Hendersonville, North Carolina.  He enjoyed many beautiful rounds with his wife and friends in England, Ireland and Scotland over the years. 

Jesse was preceded in death by his parents and two siblings. He is survived by his loving wife, Kathleen, his two children, Georgia and Jesse, Jr., and five grandchildren, Parker, Emily, Alexandria, Jesse III and Wakefield. 

Jesse enjoyed supporting many good causes through the years with his most recent one being Camp Nakanawa, a girls summer camp in Tennessee, for the next generation of campers.   In lieu of flowers,  a difference can be made with a donation to Camp Nakanawa at 

A private service will be held in Birmingham, Alabama at a later date. 

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  1. Kathleen says:
    26 Sep 2023
    Jesse had a good heart. He honored both my mother & grandmother by his generosity and compassion. My condolences to Aunt Kathleen, Georgia & Little Jess. Love Kathleen & Steve..

  2. Fr. Josh Stephens says:
    24 Sep 2023
    Sorry to hear about his passing. What a long and full life he lived! Prayers with Georgia and her mom and their entire family at this time. May he rest in peace and rise in glory. And may God be with you who grieve.

  3. Faith Gorman says:
    21 Sep 2023
    We had the privilege of meeting Jessie and Kathleen a number of years ago in NC. we so enjoyed our time Jessie. A truly remarkable person.

  4. Faith Gorman lit a candle:
    21 Sep 2023
    Lit since September 21, 2023 at 9:17:18 PM

  5. Rob Camporese says:
    20 Sep 2023
    I had the privilege of meeting Jesse several years ago as he was our acting attorney. He was a wonderful man and I will cherish our friendship forever.
    God bless you and rest in peace!!

  6. George F Graham says:
    19 Sep 2023
    The loss of a wonderful man. I have great memories of times spent together with my Florida cousins! And I am so glad my dad and Uncle Jesse made amends a few years ago at my mom's memorial. So good to see them laugh together!

    Blessings on your family during this difficult time, and may the Peace that passeth all understanding guard your hearts.


  7. Nancy Burgess says:
    19 Sep 2023
    A man of few words, always welcoming with a smile. Mr Graham was a supportive father for his children with well thought out advice. I am so greatful for his guidance to Georgia. He has left a wonderful legacy through her. God bless you Mr. Graham.

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