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“We All Felt Like We Knew Him” – Dewayne Graham Dies at the age of 63

December 8th, 2012 by

Dewayne Graham, best known for his “7 on your Side” series from 1989-1999, passed away last week.

When someone is a part of our everyday activities, like the folks on the 6:00 news, we often just refer to by their first names, like we know them personally.  Dewayne Graham did that well.  He always took up for the little guy, and usually helped the “good guys” get their money back, and then saw the “bad guys” get run out of town.

I called Dewayne in 1998, when I was organizing a yearly program to send Christmas Cards to our U. S. Servicemen stationed around the world.  The shipping plans had fallen apart and I told him that there were 20,000 Christmas Cards on my carport that were addressed “To Any U.S. Soldier” from 10 area school districts.  Due to security the military wasn’t going to accept them being delivered to LRAFB, that year. 

Dewayne asked me a couple of questions, and told me his famous line, “Let me see what I can do.”  Two days later, he called me back, “Be in Little Rock tomorrow morning, and wear something that looks good on TV.  USPS is shipping them all priority mail, free of charge.  Merry Christmas.”      While the postal employees were re-packing the truckload of card boxes, my wife and I visited with Dewayne, who was a much larger man than his small stature would indicate.  He was real, friendly, joking, and wanted to know the reason for the project and about me.  He even telephoned my supervisor at Burlington to get her to reverse her decision to give me an unexcused absence for missing work that day.   “This is Dewayne Graham with ‘7 on your Side”‘ quickly took care of that.

That was mid-December, 1998.  I remember that cold, rainy day well, because of Dewayne Graham.  He called the project a “warm fuzzy,” since his series always focused on people’s problems, and this was helping a good deed take place.

I’ve talked to Dewayne occaisionally since then, bumping into him at McCain Mall, and a couple of times when he ran for Congress.  He always remembered me, and called me by name.

His funeral is today at 3pm in North Little Rock.  A memorial fund has been set up to help his family with medical expenses.

Thanks, Dewayne.  You’ve set a high standard for the news reporters that follow you.  Rest in Peace, my friend. 
Joe Burgess

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4 Responses to ““We All Felt Like We Knew Him” – Dewayne Graham Dies at the age of 63”

  1. Todd Skaggs says:

    The funeral is Saturday December 8th, 2pm visitatoin and 3pm service, enjoyed your story.

  2. Sue Burgess says:

    He stood out in the rain helping the post men and joking with me,he made a long day seem short. I told him about the wiper flying off my old truck we were laughing .He was a Great Man !! Jesus will have even a better birthday with him in Heaven.

  3. Mary Lasiter says:

    Joe, you expressed what so many of us felt when we heard that he had passed. While I never met him in person I almost felt like he was family. He was in our homes every day. You knew what he said he ment. If he said he would see what he could do you knew it would be straightened out. You could trust him. Some times now days it seems it is getting harder and harder to find people like that. RIP

  4. Todd Skaggs says:

    We have great news Dewayne’s funeral is paid if full.. God Bless you all..

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