Louis Atkins Graham
March 27, 1925 – March 17, 2020
Born in Kenbridge, VA to Samuel Lyle Graham III and Natalie Hardy Graham, Louis lived in Farmville, VA until adulthood. He attended Hampden-Sydney College, then served with the United States Navy from 1942-1945. Louis graduated in 1949 from the University of Virginia with a BS in Chemical Engineering. He then received his MS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Louisville in Louisville, KY in 1950.
Louis joined the American Viscose Division of the FMC Corporation in 1950 in Parkersburg, W. Va. as Plant Color, then Technical Department Color, Engineer. While at AV, Lou met the love of his life, Jean (Gigi) Crawford Nelson. They were married on June 18, 1955. In 1956, Lou and Jean had their one and only child, Natalie Jean, and relocated with AV to the Philadelphia, PA area, where he held positions as a color specialist, a key synthetic fiber researcher, and the Senior Manager of color and science from 1956-1967.
Beginning in 1957, Louis joined the Inter-Society Color Council. Louis was co-founder of the Color Marketing Group in 1962. He was also a member of the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists, the Association of International Colorists, Sigma VI Research Society, Alpha Chi Sigma Fraternity, American Association of Textile Chemistry and Color, and the American Optical Society and Society of Dyers and Colorists.
From 1967 until 1987, Lou was Senior Manager of Corporate Research and Development at Burlington Industries in Greensboro, NC, with responsibility for the dyeing, computer and color laboratories. Following retirement from Burlington Industries, Louis formed “Lou Graham & Associates, Inc.” and developed the HVC Color Vision Skill Test. Throughout his entire career, Lou and Jean were blessed to be able to travel the world together and live in Zimbabwe and Mauritius through his work with the International Executive Service Corporation.
Lou and Jean moved to Temple in 1998, where Lou found his “niche” in the community, working side by side with his best friend, Neil Corbitt, at the Temple Railroad and Heritage Museum and the CAC, entering art work in the Barclay Art Contests, attending Grace Presbyterian Church and supporting Kiwanis’ goals and objectives.
Lou has now joined his beloved wife, Gigi, in a heaven full of color and peace. Lou and Jean’s final resting place together will be with the Graham family in Farmville, Virginia, where a private service will be held later.
Lou was also preceded in death by two brothers: Samuel Lyle Graham IV and wife Mavis Graham and Thomas Hardy Graham; and one sister, Sarah Graham Wells and her husband John Wells. Also, brother-in-law William Nelson and wife Lee Willingham Nelson, Arthur Van Nest; sisters-in-law Mary Nelson, Betty Nelson Van Nest and husband, Arthur Van Nest. Louis is survived by his daughter, Natalie Graham Hinkle and husband Charles Edward Hinkle, of Temple, Texas, granddaughter Frances Elizabeth Hinkle of Fort Collins, CO. and grandson Louis Edward Hinkle, of Houston, Tx. and numerous loving nieces and nephews.
The family would like to express their love to all of Lou and Jean’s absolutely wonderful friends, and their gratitude to the devoted caregivers from Tender Mercies, as well as members of the Temple Meridian, Amedisys Hospice, Scanio-Harper Funeral Home, and Grace Presbyterian Church.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to a charity of your choice or one of those that Lou supported: Kiwanis, Temple Railroad and Heritage Museum, the Cultural Activities Center, Texas Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital in Dallas, and Grace Presbyterian Church.