James Shawn Graham lived 43 years, 6 months and 4 days on this Earth (December 13, 1969-June 17, 2013). A lifelong epileptic, he spent his time expanding his personal horizons, testing the limits of his chronic illness, society’s perceptions of that illness and growing in stature.
Born in Baytown, Texas he and his mother returned to Kansas after the death of his sister Jennifer and his father, James Wilkie “Roger” Graham. He graduated from Topeka High School in Topeka, Kansas. His subsequent education included Job Corps and technical school.
After moving to Omaha, Nebraska, James married Kelly Ann Perry and became a second father to Ariana and Nicole Perry. In 2010, the family separated and James returned to St. Joseph, Missouri where he was active in Traumatic Brain Injury (T.B.I.) and other volunteer activities.
James was an active Catholic, member of St. James Catholic Church of St. Joseph and St. John’s Cathedral on the campus of Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska. He was a member and officer of the St. Joseph Council of the Knights of Columbus of St. James church.
James was an out-going, optimistic person with a wide variety of interests including sports. He played baseball and basketball, pool, enjoyed swimming, fishing and reading. He had returned to Omaha in May of 2013 to interview with Catholic Charities there for an outreach position in the community. He would have been working with TBI, MS, MD and other disabled individuals to develop their potential to the maximum and live as fulfilling and useful lives as their abilities would allow. Like he always said, “The d-i-s is only 3, it’s the ability we need to focus on.”
Mass of Christian Burial: 10:00 A.M. Wednesday, St. James Catholic Church. The family will receive friends 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. Tuesday, Meierhoffer Funeral Home & Crematory. Inurnment Whispering Pines Cremation Garden at Memorial Park. Flowers are welcome and memorial contributions and masses made be made to the Catholic Charities, St. James Church of St. Joseph or St. John’s Church of Omaha, Nebraska.