John Graham: Straightforward

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Not just straightforward, but “extremely” straightforward. Not just honest, but “extremely” honest. According to Craig Campbell, general manager of Vedco, John Graham was as dependable as they come. He was a mentor to many in the industry. “People believed in him.” Industry veteran John Graham passed away on January 18, 2018. He was 67.

Big accomplishments in the Lone Star State
Graham got his start in the industry as a salesman. His family owned a distributorship in San Antonio, South Texas Serum, that he eventually purchased and became the sole owner. Eventually, Graham sold South Texas Serum to MWI Veterinary Supply, which was looking to expand into the Texas market.

As part of the terms of his sales agreement, Graham worked for MWI for several years, where he played a valuable leadership role during their entry into the Texas market. After fulfilling his obligation to MWI, he retired for a few months, and due to his love of the business, he joined Vedco, Inc., a supplier to many animal health distributors. When Graham was the owner of South Texas Serum “he was a staunch Vedco supporter and held a position on our Board of Directors,” says Campbell.

“When he became a Vedco employee he was a highly valued member of our team,” says Campbell. “He headed up our diagnostics business. He was also in charge of our trade shows, and was very active in sales training with distributors.”

“The best way I can describe John is, he was completely selfless and a team player,” says Campbell. “It was never ‘I’ with John, it was always ‘we,’ meaning the customer and the company are the ones that really matter.”

Though he “retired” in 2016, he continued to do part-time work for Vedco on special projects until the very week of his death, a testament to his tremendous work ethic and love for the veterinary drug business, according to his obituary.

Personal passions
“Graham was an avid sportsman from an early age, hunting with his dad, brother and friends on various hunting leases and on the family ranch near Jourdanton, Texas,” his obituary noted. “His first job in high school was at Nagel’s Gun Shop in San Antonio where he became an expert in all things related to hunting and firearms. He also worked at San Antonio Gun Club and was a life-long member. These interests continued throughout his life, along with a love for boating and fishing on the Texas Coast. He enjoyed these activities with his sons, family and friends, and always had a hunting dog by his side.”

Graham was a life member of Coastal Conservation Association, serving on the State Board and Executive Committee, and was a founding member (1977) and past-president of CCA San Antonio.

Graham is predeceased by his infant son Thomas Weber Graham, and by his parents Del and Roberta Graham. He is survived by his two sons John Wallace Graham Jr and wife Joni Shriver, and Guy Parrish Graham and wife Traci; and eight grandchildren, Abigail Shriver, Truman Shriver, Avery Graham, John Parrish Graham (Trey), Logan Graham, Marlie Graham, Kennedy Graham and Dylan Graham. He also leaves behind his brother Thomas Graham and wife Teri, and sister Jeanne Graham Bryan and husband Joe along with niece and nephews Jamie, Bess and Sam and their spouses and children. Graham is also survived by his former wife and mother of his sons, Joani Parrish, who was his loving companion and caretaker at the end of his life.