Mr. Ellis Washington Graham, a son of the late Elder Harris Millard Graham and the
late Mary Etta Graham, both of Lake City, was born on May 29, 1943, in Barrineau,
A loving husband, doting grandfather, devoted father and uncle, dutiful son and loyal
friend, Mr. Ellis went to his rest on Sunday, March 20, 2022, at McLeod Hospital in
Florence, surrounded by both local and out-of-town family members.
He was a 1964 graduate of Carver High School in Lake City, and a member of St. Mark
Believers Holiness Church. His affinity for music frequently landed him in three- and
four-part harmonies with his brothers and his classmates when they were young men. He
loved helping people, tinkering with automobile engines, and spending time with family
and friends, and he looked forward to retiring to surroundings that were quieter than the
bustle of city life. He enjoyed cooking, using instincts inherited from his mother to
prepare the occasional memorable pound cake or fruit cake. He loved a dapper hat, a
sharp suit, and an elegant pair of shoes.
Mr. Ellis spent his thirty-five-year career working as a specialized heavy-equipment
operator for utilities provider Public Service Electric & Gas (PSE&G) of New Jersey, the
bulk of which time saw him headquartered at their Orange Gas facility. A friend to many
in a workplace characterized by rapid and steady-handed responses to emergencies, he
was a member of union Local 855. Upon his return to Florence County, his easygoing
manner, friendly eyes, and handsome smile were a welcome re-addition to the Olanta
He is predeceased by his eldest daughter, Evelyn Graham, and his three brothers: Harris
Graham, Jr.; Edward Roosevelt Graham and Myers Graham.
Mr. Ellis is survived by his wife of fifty-seven years, Alberta Sowers Graham; his
daughters, Sandra Graham-Mason (Mark Mason) of Glen Rock, NJ, and Cynthia T.
Graham of Gainesville, FL; his sons, Ellis Fitzgerald Graham of Florence, Jason W.
Murphy of Richmond, VA, and Justin W. Murphy (Evelyn Johnson) of Gainesville, VA;
a granddaughter, Cyntell A. Graham, of Gainesville, FL; two grandsons, Ellis N.
Graham, of Turbeville, and Miles Murphy, of Gainesville, VA; two brothers, William
Graham (Delphine Singletary), of Lake City; Anthony Graham (Lorraine Bostic), of
Columbia; a sister, Dianne McKenzie Small (Alfred Small); Melvin Smith (Mary Lou
Graham), who so often added his household’s warmth and love to Mr. Ellis’ family; and
a host of fond nieces, nephews and cousins, by all of whom he will be sorely missed.
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