L. Nadine Graham

Written by Muleskinner Staff

L. Nadine Graham, 84, of Warrensburg, Missouri, died on Monday, Dec. 15, at the Warrensburg Manor Care Center.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 18, at the First United Methodist Church of Warrensburg with Pastors Louie Lowe and Jackson Short officiating. A PEO memorial service will be included. The family will receive friends from 10 a.m. until service time Thursday at the church.
Private graveside services at Kirkley Chapel near Ridgeway, Missouri, will be held on Friday with Pastor Tom Hogan officiating.
When Nadine was born on Sept. 5, 1930, her father purchased a new automobile, saying she was too nice a baby to ride in an old car. Her husband, children and friends have been trying to keep up with that beginning ever since. Lola Nadine Royston was born in Jamesport, Missouri, the only child of Forest and Lula (Chaney) Royston. Nadine was raised in rural Jamesport and Jameson and was educated through fifth grade at a one-room school house on the family farm property.
Nadine said she was never lonely as a child, she played with the baby animals and they would follow her anywhere and vice versa. Living on the family farm also meant there were aunts, uncles and cousins nearby. When Nadine was in fifth grade, her family purchased a farm near Jameson, Missouri, which led to one of her first travels to a place far away, Kansas City, to accompany her parents while they purchased materials to construct a new home.
High school years were filled with classes, band, volleyball and other school activities. Nadine graduated from Jameson High School in a class of eight and met her husband, Justyn, at Northwest Missouri State College. Nadine and Justyn were married in 1951 at the bride’s home on Thanksgiving Day so the two teachers could have a few days for a honeymoon.
Nadine’s first teaching position was in Rockport, Missouri. After marrying Justyn, she taught in Atchison, Kansas, and Independence, Missouri. She and Justyn then moved to Savannah, Missouri, and Nadine taught in nearby St. Joseph (including one memorable year with 46 students in her third-grade class). After living in University City, Nadine and Justyn settled in Warrensburg.
She was an avid reader. While living in Savannah, the county school superintendent suggested she become a school librarian. Nadine embraced the opportunity first in Savannah, and later in University City and Knob Noster. The University of Central Missouri Children’s Literature Conference was always a highlight of her year. Nadine enjoyed giving book reviews for her many organizations and participating in her book club.
Travel was almost an addiction for Nadine. Early trips centered on Justyn’s summer school adventures in Colorado, Minnesota and Kansas. In those post-war years, housing was at a premium. The initial summer at the University of Colorado, they were slated to live in a surplus WWII metal Quonset hut without shade. Nadine found this housing oppressive and with only area bathroom facilities. Nadine helped Justyn decide that alternative accommodations should be investigated promptly. Once the children were living away from home, travel in the United States and abroad expanded. Bath, England, and other parts of Great Britain and Europe, became areas of special interest.
Collecting items at garage sales, flea markets and thrift stores offered a continuing fascination. She commented that if you couldn’t find it at a garage sale, you probably did not need it very badly. Friends urged Nadine to open an antique business. Attachment to her “treasures” was too great to open such a business.
Nadine was a long time member of the Warrensburg United Methodist Church where she was a member of the Aldersgate Sunday School Class. Book club, P.E.O., Retired Teachers, and United Methodist Women were a few of the many organizations in which Nadine participated.
Nadine’s greatest love was her family. She leaves her devoted husband, Justyn Lair Graham; children, Gayla Dawn (Graham) Strack (Gary), of Raymore; and Marc Lair Graham of Springfield, Missouri; grandchildren, Eric Graham Strack (Jennifer) of Kansas City; and Timothy David Strack of Hannibal; great-grandchildren, Sophie Elizabeth Strack and Stanley Louis Strack.
Preceding her in death were her parents, Forest and Lula Royston.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Warrensburg First United Methodist Church Building Fund or Trails Regional Library and may be left at the Sweeney-Phillips & Holdren Funeral Home in Warrensburg.