Charles ‘Chuck’ Graham

Charles ‘Chuck’ GrahamCharles (Chuck) Graham was born on May 16, 1956, to Richard Graham and June Gibbs Graham Claunch at North Island Naval Air Station, San Diego. He passed away peacefully on March 12, 2019, at home in Avondale, Ariz., after a 23-month battle with pancreatic cancer.

Chuck took his first plane ride at 6 weeks old, when his father was stationed to Barbers Point, Hawaii. In January 1959 his father was stationed at China Lake, and Ridgecrest is where Chuck would call home for most of his life. He attended schools at Las Flores, James Monroe, Burroughs, Cerro Coso and Long Beach State.

He lettered in cross country at Burroughs and played on the boys tennis team at Cerro Coso. After graduation from Long Beach State with a bachelor of science in psychology, he joined the U.S. Navy and was honorably discharged four years later.

He temporarily made his home in Bremerton, Wash., before moving back to Ridgecrest. He accepted a position at the Naval Weapons Center where he worked until his retirement in December 2015.

Chuck was an avid bowler, golfer and line dancer, and enjoyed his favorite pastime of gambling. In June 2015 he married the love of his life, Terri, and after his retirement he moved to Avondale, where they started their married life.

He is survived by his wife, Terri Kyker Graham of Avondale; mother, June Graham Claunch of Ridgecrest; sisters, June (George) Graf of Woodburn, Ore., and Janice (Dale) Metz of Ridgecrest; brother, Rick (Merry) Graham of Santa Clarita; his favorite nephew, Dennis (Lisa) Metz; and favorite nieces, Karen (Bart) Anderson Metz and Tina (Chris) Riley.

He leaves an extended family consisting of stepson, William (Mindi) Lanzoratta Jr.; grandchildren, Ava and William Lanzoratta; sisters-in-law, Marianne (Richard) Fales, Linda (Harry) Lucchesi and Sheryl (Steve) Varga; six additional nephews; three additional nieces; 10 great-nieces and nine great-nephews.

He was preceded in death by his father, Richard Graham, and his step-son, Christopher Lanzoratta.

At his request no services will be held, and his ashes will be scattered at a future date and location.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research at

— Submitted by the family of Chuck Graham

Story First Published: 2019-03-22