Richard Graham, 79, formerly of Northborough


Richard GrahamMidlothian, VA – Richard Graham, age 79, of Midlothian, VA and former longtime resident of Northborough, MA, passed away on May 7, 2023.

Richard was born and raised in Somerville, MA, the middle of seven children to William and Rosalie (Murphy) Graham.

At the age of 11 the Graham family relocated to Northborough, MA where they celebrated in the excitement that they had “made it big” moving to this charming small town. Richard enjoyed his childhood on Main St in Northborough, often walking everywhere in town, but his favorite destination was always Memorial Field for his baseball games and pickup sandlot games. His friends will remember his fearless antics throughout their years growing up in Northborough and well into college and beyond.

Richard attended St. John’s and Algonquin Regional High Schools where he was an athletic giant, commanding the baseball diamond, the basketball court, and the football field. After graduating from Algonquin, Richard set off to Concord College in Athens, WV, where he continued his baseball career and relished in his humor and being the life of the party. Upon graduation he taught middle school mathematics in Woodbridge, VA, and became “that” amazing teacher everyone loved to have. He had a gift in connecting with his students and inspiring even the most school-avoidant kids in class.

When his dad passed, he wanted to be closer to family, so he relocated himself and then wife and young son to Lowell, Massachusetts where he taught high school mathematics within the Chelmsford Public School system. After the arrival of his daughter and a short residence in Hollis, N.H. he returned to Northborough in 1975, purchasing his childhood home on Main St., and returning once again to his beloved Memorial Field. He continued teaching in Chelmsford and commuting from Northborough until his retirement in the early nineties. He found that even in retirement his love of education prevailed, and therefore chose to continue his passion of teaching in a contractual part-time position in Westborough, MA.

Over his lifetime, in addition to teaching, Richard was a staple in the community serving as a coach for various sporting teams including baseball and volleyball. One of his coaching highlights was working alongside Neil Burke running the Northboro All Star Baseball Camp and twice making it to States to play at Fenway. He really couldn’t get enough of sports and additionally filled his time as a baseball umpire and field hockey referee.

He was a proud spectator and coach of all his children’s and grandchildren’s sports and activities. Highlights were coaching his grandson’s little league team alongside his son-in-law, creating a softball league with his sister for his daughter and niece when Northborough didn’t offer one, and coaching and witnessing his son and his son’s son forge a family tradition of three generations of college baseball players.

His children’s and grandchildren’s teammates and friends will also fondly remember him as their coach, too, as he attended all of their various games and activities and could not resist learning every player’s name in order to helpfully coach encouragements and tips from the sidelines. He was often known as Coach or Coach GrahamPa.

For many years, Richard split his home between the Northborough/Westborough area and Midlothian, VA. This allowed him equal time with his beloved siblings in New England and his children and grandchildren in Virginia. After triple bypass surgery in the Spring of 2009, Virginia became his full-time home. With a newfound lease on his health, he didn’t want to miss another Spring/Summer season of grandchildren playing sports and swimming and decided to be full-time Virginia GrahamPa.

He most enjoyed time spent with his children and grandchildren. He would make daily visits and after parking his car, he’d open the trunk and officially open up GrahamPa’s Snack Shack in the driveway! He’d hand out peanut butter crackers and flavored waters, and oftentimes additional treats of sporting equipment and toys and treats he’d picked up from his routine visits to The Dollar Tree or Costco and just spend casual time together visiting and playing catch in the yard. This was a highlight of the day for both the children and Richard.

He found pleasure in playing pickleball, visiting CVS, WalMart, and Costco, having breakfast at his same local spots where “they knew his name,” and frequenting the library. When you’d see him around town he was never without his loyal companions: a bottle of diet Dr Pepper and the daily newspaper puzzle page folded neatly and tucked under his arm.

Richard was close with his siblings and treasured many memories with them. One highlight was a fun memory of when he tagged along with his big brother William and hiked the highest peaks along the Eastern Coast of the US. He laughed when he told the story of conquering Rhode Island’s highest peak, a raised septic system in someone’s back yard.

Richard loved to laugh and family and friends will remember him for his humor and the ability to relieve the stress from any trying situation. He loved his family above all; his children, his grandsons, his siblings, and his numerous nieces and nephews and they will all remember how much he enjoyed anytime he could spend with family. Time spent together was always the focus and it was the togetherness and the laughs that were so much more important to him than any activity itself.

Richard’s family will miss him deeply and will find comfort in these coming days and years knowing in each of his children and grandchildren we see pieces of Richard’s spirit and legacy. His son’s professional baseball career and subsequent coaching career, his daughter’s lifelong passion for education and mentoring youth, especially those who don’t fit the typical mold, and in the grandchildren’s natural talents and gifts and individual pursuits of college baseball, mathematics and engineering, barefoot race running, high school wrestling, love of photography and racket sports, and story-telling at its finest. Richard loved the joy, laughter, and gift of the every day moments that created the mosaic of his beautiful life well lived, and his family finds comfort knowing he is with all of us in our hearts and our passions and in our reflections each time we look in the mirror.

Surviving Richard are his two children, Richard A. Graham and wife Karyn of Midlothian, VA and Julie Graham Bryant and husband Timothy of Orono, ME; his six grandsons Griffin Graham, Aedan Bryant, Merrick Bryant, Davis Graham, Calum Bryant, and Sage Bryant; his three step-grandsons Cole Foster, Brett Foster, and Tyson Foster and his multitude of nieces and nephews. In addition, Richard leaves his five beloved siblings, Rosalie Brady of Marlborough, Virginia Flagg and husband Bob of Northborough, Judith Lizotte and husband Al of Westborough, Barbara Sullivan and husband Bob of Mesa, AZ, Steven Graham and wife Victoria of N. Scituate, RI, and his sister-in-law Amelia Graham of Northborough. Richard was preceded in death in 2021 by his brother and trusted confidant William F. Graham.

Richard’s family has set a time of visitation between 5pm-7pm on Friday, May 19, at Hays Funeral Home, 56 Main Street, Northborough.

In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to the Graham Memorial Scholarship fund through “GiveAHand” at

To leave an online condolence please visit

No posts to display