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Vermont Sheriff's Memorial Wall

William Graham

vermont sheriff memorial wall

Officer Biography:

Age: 79

Tour of Duty: 1969-2002

Badge # 100

End of Watch: 2010-08-03

Department: Windham Windham

What Happened..

William, "Bill" Graham, Jr., 79, of Bellows Falls Road, former longtime Windham County Sheriff, died Tuesday, August 3, 2010 at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H. the result of a head injury he sustained following an accidental fall at his camp in Bradford.

Bill was born in Springfield Gardens, Long Island, N.Y. on February 20, 1931, the son of William and Adath (Shelley) Graham.

At the age of eight he moved to Putney with his family where he was raised and educated, graduating from Brattleboro High School, Class of 1948. He later attended Champlain College where he majored in Criminal Justice. Bill was a graduate of the Vermont State Police Basic Training Academy, graduated with the 89th session of the FBI National Academy and was also a graduate of the National Sheriff's Institute.

For 33 years he served as Windham County Sheriff initially appointed to his position by then Governor Deane Davis in 1969. He retired from his position in February 2002. Prior to his appointment as Sheriff he served as Juvenile Probation and Parole Officer for six years working in the agency's Brattleboro office.

From 1954 to 1963 he served with the Vermont State Police working out of the Fairlee Outpost, covering fourteen towns from White River Jct. north to St. Johnsbury.

In his earlier years following high school he worked for Basketville in Putney as manager of the company's production department. For many years, on a part-time basis he worked for the State of Vermont (Orange County) Fish & Game Department as a game warden.

Active civically, positions he held in Putney included, member of the Zoning Board of Adjustment, town agent, town grand juror, town lister, and town constable. He also served on and was chairman of the school board in Putney.

Bill was a Director of Bellows Falls Trust Co., was a member of the Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council, served on the Vermont Detective Licensing Board as well as on the Governor's Crime Commission. He was also a Trustee with the Family Child Guidance, Youth services.

Professional memberships he was active in included, International Chiefs of Police, National Sheriff's Association where he served as state director since 1971, and Vermont Sheriff's Association where he served as President for six years. He held membership in the Vermont Chiefs of Police Association, the American Society of Industrial Security and was a former member of the Aircraft Owner & Pilots Association.

He was the first chairman of the Windham County Greenup Committee 1979-1981, was a member of the Criminal Court Coordinating Committee and served as Coordinator of Police services for Disaster Situations in Windham County.

Active fraternally, he was a member of the Brattleboro Shrine Club, Cairo Shrine Temple of Rutland, F&AM, Golden Rule Lodge #32 in Putney, Putney Lion's Club and held membership in the Putney Historical Society.

Bill received a special commendation in 1994 from President Clinton at the White House for Courage and Commitment to the safety of others and dedication to the community exemplifying the finest tradition of law enforcement in America. He was also the recipient of the Citizen of the Year Award, from the Boy Scouts of America.

On October 9, 1958, in Chicago, IL he was married to Phyllis Austin who survives.

Besides his faithful and loving wife of 51 years, he leaves one daughter, Kimberlee Denning and her husband Jeffrey of Weare N.H., three grandchildren, Michael, Aleesha and Matthew Denning, and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.

He was predeceased by one sister, Ethel Sauer.

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