Sanitary design expert Don Graham dies

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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JACKSON, Mich. – Donald J. Graham, a well-known food industry veteran and expert in sanitary design, died on Jan. 29, 2013, following a long struggle with pneumonia and COPD.

Graham’s career began in October 1962, at the Green Giant Company in LeSueur, Minn. Promotions while with Green Giant took him to Windsor, Ontario. He joined the William Underwood Company in 1977 in Massachusetts. He was transferred to the Pet Corporation in St. Louis, Mo. in 1983.

In 1989, he joined the Sverdrup Engineering Company as a senior food technologist and received the Fellow Award. He retired from Jacobs Engineering in 1999. Graham was well known during his years as a speaker at meat industry meetings and conventions.

Graham launched Graham Sanitary Design Consulting as president in 1999. He enjoyed “staying in the loop” of food-processing plants and equipment sanitary design by giving sanitary design lectures at corporate and university levels. In this capacity, he conducted numerous plant audits and had been in hundreds of food-processing plants.

Graham graduated from high school in LeRoy, NY in 1950; attended the New York State Agricultural/Technical School in Alfred, NY from 1950-1952 earning an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science. He served in the US Army two years (1952-1954) and was a Staff Sergeant in Korea. He earned a BS and MS in Food Science and Technology from Michigan State Univ. (1956-1959). He accepted a position as a Research Fellow at the Oregon State Experimental State while working on his PhD and acquiring work experience.

His accomplishments include being on the Editorial Advisory Board for Food Safety magazine and being a member of Institute for Food Technologists and International Association for Food Protection. He is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in Engineering and Who’s Who in the Midwest. He has authored more than 35 articles on sanitary design. He is a member of Masonic Union Lodge #45 in LeSueur, and was a Shriner in Zurah Temple in Minneapolis. He was a member of Jackson First Presbyterian, serving as an elder (2010-2013) and an usher. He attended a men’s Bible study and wrote book reviews for the church newsletter. He also enjoyed golf, was an avid reader, was a computer addict, enjoyed traveling and loved being with family and friends. He is known for his humor, being able to come up with an appropriate joke at the right time—even groaners! Don had a zest for life, always willing to learn and do new things.

Graham was born Sept. 24, 1932, to Howard and Naomi Graham in York, NY. He is survived by his wife of 48 years Dorothy Schroeder Graham; their two sons, Christopher (Harumi Yamamoto) and Jonathan (Melissa Dunlop); two grandchildren, Emiko and Tomoki Graham; two sisters, Cathy Hyde (Carl), Roberta Graney (Chip); a brother, William Sidney Horgan (Linda) and many nieces, nephews and friends.

He will be buried in a Graham family plot in the Maplewood Cemetery, Pavilion, NY. Memorials may be given to the Jackson First Presbyterian Kitchen Fund, Salvation Army or the USO. A celebration of Don’s life will be held on Feb. 2, 2013, at Jackson First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, Mich., at 11:00 am. Family will receive friends at the church from 10:00 am -11:00 am.

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