MALCOLM GRAHAM
1923 - 2020
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MALCOLM GRAHAM Malcolm "Mac" Graham, 96, of Las Vegas passed away Friday, January 17, 2020, at the Wentworth of Las Vegas Memory Care. Malcolm was born November 26, 1923, in Bristol, PA, to Robert Neely and Eva (Gropp) Graham. He was the middle child of seven in a family that lived through the Great Depression and pre-World War II years in a manner somewhat similar to that depicted in the 1970s television series, The Waltons. His father was a teacher at the Trenton (NJ) High School who moved his large family to a farm in Bucks County, PA, in 1937 so that his six boys could learn farming skills, contribute to the family food supply, and generate cash by selling the excess produce at a roadside stand. Malcolm was an exceptionally resourceful man, and he learned much of that on the farm. Malcolm was barely 18 on December 7, 1941, at the start of World War II. He served in the U.S. Army and later completed his bachelor's degree at Trenton State College (now The College of New Jersey) in 1946. He earned a master's degree at the University of Massachusetts in 1948 and a doctoral degree in mathematics education at Teachers College, Columbia University, in 1954. He paid for his education with the GI Bill, several scholarships and teaching assistantships, and later by holding down full-time mathematics teaching positions at Marion Military Institute in Marion, AL, and at Longwood College (now University) in Farmville, VA. Malcolm accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Longwood College in the fall of 1951 where he met a sophomore math major, Carolyn Leffel, who was to become his wife in the not-too-distant future. They were married on August 23, 1952, and Carolyn graduated in May 1953. They moved to Greenville, NC, in the fall of 1955 where Malcolm became an Associate Professor of Mathematics at East Carolina College (now University). In the fall of 1956 Malcolm and Carolyn and their two young children, Joyce and John, moved to Las Vegas where Malcolm joined eleven other professors from across the U.S. to become the core, full-time teaching staff of the Southern Regional Division of the University of Nevada. (He was the youngest of the twelve at age 32.) This would grow to become the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, or UNLV, in 1969. Malcolm wrote a college textbook for elementary and junior high school education majors entitled Modern Elementary Mathematics, which was published by Harcourt Brace in 1970. Subsequent editions were published in 1975, 1979, and 1984. He retired from UNLV as Emeritus Professor of Mathematics in 1985 after teaching for 29 years. In 1993, Malcolm and Carolyn moved to Sun City, Summerlin, and Malcolm became the first president of their sub-association HOA. He was also very active in the Sun City Investment Club. He was the featured speaker at a number of their programs, giving his last speech on investments in 2007 at age 83. Malcolm and Carolyn took many interesting trips after Carolyn retired in 1990 from teaching mathematics in the Clark County School District for 28 years. Malcolm was very proud of his association with UNLV from its earliest beginning in 1956. He enjoyed teaching mathematics to undergraduate education majors, and he believed in the importance and power of public education. He also enjoyed teaching a course in the mathematics of finance for the business department. He was a good and loving husband, father, uncle, friend, professor, and advisor. He was greatly loved by his family, friends, and students, and he will be missed. Malcolm is survived by his wife of 67 years, Carolyn (Leffel) Graham; two grandsons, John Takacs of Miami, FL, and Alex Malcolm Graham of Albany, NY; nephews David and Kenneth Arnold and niece Anne Arnold of Wilmington, DE; sister-in-law Erna Graham of West Chester, PA; and many other nieces, nephews, and extended family members. He was predeceased by his parents, Robert Neely and Eva (Gropp) Graham; his three children, Joyce Graham Takacs, John Robert Graham, and Carl William Graham; and his sister, Louise Graham Arnold (Charles), and five brothers, Robert (Virginia), Warren (Ema), Leonard, William (Marie), and John Graham. A family memorial service will be held later in the spring. Donations may be made to the Malcolm and Carolyn L. Graham Scholarship Fund at the UNLV College of Sciences (702-895-3488).



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Published in Las Vegas Review-Journal on Jan. 24, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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9 entries
January 28, 2020
I remember going to lunch with my Uncle Mac when I had decided I needed a change in direction. He provided me advisement that changed the course of my life and career. It is because of Uncle Mac that I decided it was a good decision to go back to school and receive my Master's in Elementary Education with a focus on literacy instruction. I will never forget the time he spent with me. I also will never forget that I got two kisses on each cheek whenever we saw each other.

I love you Uncle Mac!

Kristen Maria, Reno, NV
January 26, 2020
I attended UNLV in the fall of 1977 as an 18-year-old fledgling and Dr. Graham was my teacher for mathematics for Elementary Education. He was such a brilliant educator, and his methods helped me very much. I still remember him being an elegant, very wise man, and when I found out he had written the textbook we were using, that was very cool to me! I still have that textbook! My condolences to his family and his wife, my personal beliefs are that we will see each other again in a life after this one and this is just a brief interruption. Rest and peace be to all of those who are mourning this good man. What a treasure he must have been.
Lory Behling Fabbi
January 25, 2020
My Uncle Mac was the last to join his brother's and "Favorite sister" He was always a kind and generous person. Uncle Mac could also be extremely funny and always had a song for everyone. Rest easy-you are all together now.Love Anne
Anne Arnold
January 25, 2020
I am going to miss this wonderful man. I called him Uncle Mac even though he wasn't my official Uncle he told me that I was his adopted niece and he treated me like one. I loved to sing all the old songs with him and if any one truly knew him they would know his favorite "Home home on the range " Rest in peace Uncle Mac.Love,Nancy
Nancy Spence
January 25, 2020
Malcolm "Mac" Graham was my brother-in-law. From our first meeting in 1960 I have always valued his sage advice and high intelligence. Mac's knowledge and expertise went far beyond his chosen field of mathematics; he was in the words of a former professor, "the smartest investor I ever knew."

Mac was one of the pioneers of the fledgling college which later became UNLV. It was his accomplishments as a professor, department chairman, and a textbook author which lent national prestige to our beloved university. His writings and professional competence enabled generations of math educators to refine their talents in teaching thousands of students nationwide.

There was no one like Mac and I, like hundreds of others, who benefitted from his council, will miss him. Our love goes to Carolyn, his wife, who was by his side to the very end.
Herbert Baker
January 25, 2020
My condolences upon the loss of your husband and my long term friend. I first met Mac in March 1965 when I came here for an interview, He met me at the airport when it was 72 degrees here and 0 degrees when I left the Youngstown airport. We enjoyed many lunches together at various places when we both taught at UNLV. I am sure he will be missed by his many friends. I sent you a card, but am not sure I have your current address. Things will look better as time passes. Ed J. Billingham, Jr.
January 25, 2020
My dear brother-in-law will be missed so much by all who knew him but especially our family in Las Vegas. He was so much a part of our lives at family gatherings, celebrations and for each of us individually. He was a wise man who gave us all good advice on the ways of the world. He will be remembered for his good nature, funny jokes and songs as well as his wisdom.

I first met Mac when I was sixteen years old when he became engaged to my sister, Carolyn. He changed my life as he helped me find scholarships, summer camp jobs and even wrote a maintenance check-list which I still have to this day for my first car.

Mac was a caring man who was devoted to my sister through good times and bad. He will be missed as an important part of our lives.
June Baker
January 25, 2020
Uncle Mac, thank you for all your wisdom and strength. I know you are at peace now. Love you.
Shana Baker
January 25, 2020
June Baker
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