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Arlene Graham passed away Monday, August 14th at Avalon Care Center, Sonora, CA.

Arlene Graham was a beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, educator and friend. Arlene was born to Lucy and John Najarian in September of 1933. She was raised in Pawtucket, Rhode Island where she attended the Lincoln School. She was an alumna of Simmons College where she studied Sociology and later received her Master’s Degree in Education from Saint Mary’s College of California. Arlene met the love of her life, David Graham during her studies at Simmons while he was attending Harvard Business School . They raised their three children: Leslie, Matthew and Andrew primarily in Orinda, California after having made several prior moves for David’s career with Kaiser Aluminum.

Arlene was a known leader in inner city education for decades. She dedicated her life to the protection, education and advancement of vulnerable children and did so with creativity, passion and love. She spent the majority of her career in Oakland, California but in her later years worked with urban youth in Stockton, San Francisco and other Bay Area cities.

Arlene retired in 2007 and moved from Lafayette, California to Hathaway Pines where she enjoyed long daily hikes through the forest. She loved spending time with her grandchildren: Amber, Melanie, Gunnar and Kate and great-grandson, Remy. She was always there for guidance, love and support. Her ability for love, empathy and selflessness was unmatched but will forever serve as an aspirational, guiding light for all that knew her.

“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”- Abraham Lincoln

Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home are handling the arrangements.

  • Date of Death: 08/14/2017
  • Age: 83
  • Residence: Hathaway Pines