Margaret "Peg" M. Graham

  • Died: March 13, 2022
  • Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

John F. Givnish Funeral Home

10975 Academy Road
Philadelphia, PA 19154

Tel. (215) 281-0100

Tribute & Message From The Family


On Sunday morning, March 13, 2022, Margaret (Peg) M. Graham (nee Murphy) passed away peacefully. She was surrounded by her loving husband, Edward, and her children. Peg is survived by her husband of 68.5 years, Edward Graham, her children Edward (Marie), Michael (Grace), Denise Cummings (Frank), Tim (Susan), Chris (Donna), Joyce Colavita (Michael), Maria Graham Colavita (Charles Blumer), Jeffrey (Frances) and Maureen Graham (Eric Mutt). Also, twenty-one grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

Peg, born Margaret Mary Murphy on June 16, 1931, was the oldest child and loving daughter of young Irish immigrants, Michael, and Anna Murphy. She was sister to Celie Kennedy (deceased) and Joyce Murphy (deceased) and is survived by sister Patricia Donahoe and brother Joseph Murphy. Peg's immediate family also included cousin Margaret Joyce and Pop Pop, also from County Mayo, Ireland. It's no wonder County Mayo was always so special to Peg throughout her life—she always delighting in hearing travelers' tales of her parents' first home.

Peg grew up in the Overbrook section of Philadelphia and proudly attended St Calistus Elementary school and West Catholic High School for Girls. With the assurance and trust of her parents, Peg committed her young mind to her schoolwork and learned early how to travel by bus running errands for her mother. She was a keen observer of City life (she even won a spelling bee with the word "Milwaukee" which she had seen daily on a billboard sign). Shortly after graduating high school with a sharp mathematical mind, Peg was offered a job at the Federal Reserve Bank on Chestnut Street. It was not long before she met a group of North Catholic boys including Ed Graham, who had just graduated from LaSalle College. She fell in love and married him on October 31, 1953. What an amazing lifetime ensued!

Peg steadfastly loved Ed and their growing family while managing all their homes from the 5400 block of Lawrence Street to the 6100 block of North 6th Street, and onto the home built for her by Ed on Medary Avenue in East Oak Lane (soon after her 9th child, Maureen, was born). In the evenings after another day of numerous meals, laundry, helping with homework, Peg enjoyed catching up with her mother, sisters, and sister-in-law Mary Coyle over long telephone chats.

On Medary Avenue, Peg and her family were again blessed with wonderful neighbors, flanked on one side by St. Michael's Passionist Fathers Residence and the Sisters of the Holy Redeemer Novitiate House on the other. Over the years Peg enjoyed a long and special friendship with the sisters of the Holy Redeemer especially Sisters Maria, Sophia, Anne Marie, and Jacqueline. The good Sisters were regulars at all Graham family events including multiple weddings in Peg's backyard. Later as the children grew into teenagers and young adults, Peg learned to drive (at the tender age of 48) and started working for the new and emerging Holy Redeemer Visiting Nurse Agency as the Sisters' Payroll manager – again using her sharp mathematical mind! Through the very end of her life, Peg was extremely proud and honored to be part of this association and admired the Sisters' determination and their excellent caregivers' skill and dedication. They have always been there for Peg and Ed and their family. We cannot thank the Sisters enough for this!

Continuing her adventurous spirit, Peg also enjoyed riding the train to center city with children in tow (often from Fern Rock station) to shop at Wanamaker's, see the Eagle, and enjoy the Holiday light show. Later, Peg would ride the subway to work at Strawbridge & Clothiers where the Strawbridge brass recognized her outstanding customer service skills and put her in the high-end Men's Underwear department---talk about a liberated woman! As the children grew and families expanded beyond Philadelphia, Peg and Ed would then catch the Airport line from Melrose Park to travel and visit out of state family. Even later in her years, Peg would travel again by train via Fox Chase station to meet other members of the Red Hat ladies club for lunch downtown.

The last 15 years of Peg's life were with Ed living comfortably on Easy Street in the Villages of Pine Valley (a Holy Redeemer Sisters' elder community) from which they both drove to St. Helena Church every Sunday for the 11:15 mass. She so enjoyed being part of St. Helena's vibrant diverse community and was supportive and proud of all its initiatives, especially its transformative Independence Mission Schools.

Peg enjoyed her simple and unassuming lifestyle. One of our fondest memories was to see Mom hold court as the family matriarch at family events getting updates on the lives of family and friends. She always made herself available to provide quiet guidance and counsel to all of us no matter our ages now. We, in turn, made sure our children & grandchildren were also benefitted from her love! Go in Peace, we love you always.

Relatives and friends are invited to share in Peg's Life Celebration Saturday, March 19, 2022 Starting 9:00 AM followed by her funeral mass 11:00 AM at the Church of St. Helena, (Lower Church), 6161 N. 5th St. Phila, PA 19120. Interment Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions in Peg's memory to Redeemer Valley Farm. Donations should be mailed to Sisters of the Redeemer, 1600 Huntingdon Pike, Meadowbrook, PA 19046 or visit www.redeemerhealth.org, would be appreciated by her family. To share your fondest memories of Peg visit www.lifecelebration.com. Family service by John F. Givnish of Academy Rd.