Stephen Craig Graham, 48, thoughtful husband, devoted father, fun-loving brother and dedicated son left this earth unexpectedly March 4, 2019 in Albuquerque, New Mexico after a 7-month fight with complications of chronic renal disease. He was born October 10, 1970 to Oscar David Graham and Juanita Bricker at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio. The ninth of eleven children (and favorite child) Stephen was raised in Boerne, Texas, which he considered his home town, after his father retired from a career in the Air Force.
In December, 1973, at the age of 3, Stephen was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease which progressed to complete kidney failure by age 7. This illness lead to many surgeries and procedures, including two kidney transplants but never dampened his irrepressible spirit. He approached every setback, and each medical challenge with bravery and optimism that endured throughout his life.
Stephen’s unconquerable determination lead to earning his Eagle Scout award by age 14 and graduating Valedictorian from Boerne High School in 1989. He was awarded a scholarship to Texas A&M where he played Baritone in the fighting Texas Aggie Band. He served a two-year mission for his church to Salt Lake City, Utah before graduating with his BS in Electrical Engineering in 1997 followed by a Master’s of Science in August 2001. He accepted a job that same year with Sandia National Laboratories and has since been a resident of Albuquerque, New Mexico. While at Sandia, Stephen delivered on many complex designs that were creative and one of a kind. He was encouraged to submit a few of them for patents. His passion for engineering and attention to detail were second to none.
After a lengthy courtship (where he was chased and captured by the love of his life), Stephen married Leah W. Roark, August 24, 2013 for time and all eternity in the San Antonio, Texas Temple. Leah fell in love with this “uncommonly good man” whose integrity and devotion to God lifted and inspired all who knew him. He adopted Leah’s children and together they created a loving home. A life-long member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Stephen’s faith played a significant role in his life. His service as President of the Institute at Texas A&M University is legendary. He spent numerous hours serving in other callings in the Albuquerque area. His enthusiasm and contagious humor entertained all who knew him with Dutch oven dinners, classic movie quotes and every yard game and kitchen gadget imaginable. His other interests, collections and hobbies are too numerous to list.
Stephen was preceded in death by his parents, David and Juanita Graham. He is survived by his wife, Leah, his children Christian Nakamura, Annie, Javin, Ezekiel and Zayne and his siblings Charles (Jackie), Michael (Lynette), Donna (Delb) Wilson, Brenda (David) Allen, Karen Sievert, Lori (Bruce) Cobabe, Ron (Margaret), Gary (Emily) and Susan (Chuck) Smith.
Visitation will be held Saturday, March 9, 2019 at 9:00 am at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 4109 Eubank Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM, followed by funeral services at 11:00 am. Interment will be on Tuesday, March 12 at 10:00 am at Boerne Cemetery, Boerne, Texas.