RICHARD CARTER GRAHAM, 59, of Raleigh, died Saturday, September 27,
in an accident while participating in the surveying of a cave in Wise
He was born in Orange, New Jersey, to Clarence Winfield Graham
(deceased) and Julia Marguerite Emery Graham, now of Catonsville, MD. He
grew up in Maplewood, NJ, where he attended Columbia High School and
pursued his interests in music, cross-country running, and electronics.
He attended Case Institute of Technology in Cleveland before joining the
US Army, which stationed him at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama.
On completion of his military service, he remained in Huntsville to
receive his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in mathematics from the
University of Alabama in Huntsville.
It was in Huntsville that Dick developed his lifelong passion for
the exploration, mapping, study, and conservation of caves. He joined
the National Speleolgical Society and later became a Life Member and
Fellow of the society. He explored, mapped, and assisted with
conservation efforts in hundreds of caves, nationally and abroad. He was
one of the main contributors to the Biological Survey of Alabama Caves
and took part in bat migration studies, stream tracing, and other
scientific endeavors. While surveying a cave in Puerto Rico, he
collected the first sample of a new species of cave-dwelling crustacean,
which was named for him. Dick trained many cave explores in the
specialized techniques of vertical cave exploration. He holds several
world records in rope-ascending contests.
Dick married Sherry Perry Myrick of Huntsville in 1973 and moved to
the Raleigh area to continue his graduate studies at NC State
University. He later held several positions as a programmer, teacher,
mathematician, and statistician, most recently as a biostatistician in
the pharmaceuticals field. Dick's continued interest in music led to
numerous appearances as a percussionist and in cameo roles with The
Raleigh Ringers, Inc., of which he was a fan and patron. He was a
founding member of the Triangle Troglodytes Grotto of the National
Dick's survivors include his mother, Julia Marguerite Graham; wife,
Sherry Graham; brother, David Graham of Glenwood, MD; daughters, Rachel
Hearn and Emily Graham; grandchildren, Alden Hearn, Evan Mankoff, and
Ava Mankoff; nieces, Tammy Noboa of Silver Spring, MD and Taiya Graham
of Catonsville, MD; and grandniece Maya Jolie Noboa.
A celebration of Dick's life will be held on Saturday, October 11,
at the Long Reach Stonehouse in Columbia, MD, at 5 p.m. Family
visitation will be held on Saturday, October 18, at the Cremation
Society of the Carolinas in Raleigh, 3-5 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Cave Conservancy
of the Virginias, 13131 Overhill Lake Lane, Glen Allen, VA., 23059.
Developed by Linda Waters and Matt Jenkins
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Last updated September 30, 2003