Joe Edd Graham, Jr.
May 24, 1945 -
May 20, 2022

Visitation

May 28, 2022
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Service 

May 28, 2022
3:00 PM

Interment

Obituary

It is with regret that we announce the passing of Mr. Joe Edd Graham, Jr., age 76, of Spring Hill, TN. Joe was born on May 24, 1945, in Lincoln County, TN, to the late Joe Edd Graham, Sr., and Charlotte Johnson Graham. He passed away on May 20, 2022, at Franklin Wellness and Rehab, surrounded by his loving family.

Coach Joe was a 1963 graduate of Central High School in Fayetteville and was a star football player, which took him to the University of Tennessee, where he continued his outstanding playing career. He graduated with his master’s degree from UT Knoxville in 1968. Mr. Graham enjoyed fox hunting and cheering on UT and the TN Titan Football teams. Coach Joe had a long coaching carrier with Columbia Academy, Columbia Central High School, and Cornersville High School. Through his 32-year career, Joe was much more than a coach, he was a mentor, leader, and friend to everyone. After retirement, Mr. Graham enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren, and cheering them on at their sporting events.

Survivors include his wife, Valerie Reed Graham; sons, Cody (Ashlea) Graham and Reed (Abby) Graham; grandchildren, Taitam, Jackson, Layton, and Maddie Graham all of Spring Hill, TN; sister, Ruth (Bob) Selden of Edge Water, FL; cousin, Tommy (Jane) Graham of Fayetteville; sister-in-law, Roxanne (Mike) Moyers of Fayetteville; brother-in-law, Jeff (Lisa) Reed of San Antonio, TX, and brother-in-law, Scott (Nasaria) Reed of Houston, TX; and numerous extended family, friends, and teammates. In addition to his parents, Coach Joe was preceded in death by his infant son, Joe Edd Graham, III; and a brother-in-law, David Reed.

A life celebration is planned for 3 PM on Saturday, May 28, 2022, at The Bridge Church (3005 Parkfield Loop S., Spring Hill, TN 37174). Bro. Tommy Graham and Mike McCown will officiate. Visitation with the family will be from 1 PM until 3 PM on Saturday at the church. The family request that attendees on Saturday wear orange, white or something bright.

Memorials may be made to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Office of Development, P.O. Box 290369, Nashville, TN 37229-0369.

Higgins Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Joe Edd Graham, Jr. Online condolences may be left for the family of Coach Joe at www.higginsfh.com.

Video Services

25 Comments

  1. Mac Orr

    One of my two favorite coaches coming through Junior High and High School in Columbia. He always told you when you did well as well as corrected you on what you needed to do better. I cannot imagine playing against him back in his day as I witnessed his competitive side in practice. I wish I could have been around him more in his latter years. I respect you Coach Graham and wish your family peace.

    Mac Orr

    Reply
  2. Bill Jeans

    I had the priviledge of playing football with Joe Edd at Lincoln County High School for 3 years during the early 1960s and will always remember him for all he did for the team and the players. He was a unique athlete that made our entire team better through his mentoring and positive approach to the game and his life. We will surely miss Joe Edd’s presence in our lives but his legacy will live on through all lives he touched during his time with us.

    Sending my heartfelt sympathies and prayers to your family during this time of grieving.

    Reply
  3. Billy lovell

    I had the privilege of working with Coach Graham or Junior as I called him for a number of years coaching football at Central he was the defensive coordinator and I was his secondary coach it was such a pleasure working with him, he not only was a great coach but a great individual and had a positive influence on many lives . He will be missed

    Reply
  4. Carolyn Moffett

    Valerie:
    We were sorry to hear of Joe Edd’s passing. Our prayers are with you and your family during this time of sorrow
    Ray & Carolyn

    Reply
  5. Walter E Partee

    Coach Graham was a good considerate person that I admired slot. I had him for Health, Driver’s Education and P.E. A year after I already have my driver’s license (since March 1978). I have decided to take Driver’s Education again for an extra grade credit. Coach Graham was my Driver’s Education instructor during the summer of 1979. He introduced me to this hwy road: Natchez Trace Parkway. And I still love the 🌲Natchez Trace Parkway🌲. When it comes to any sporting activity. Coach Graham means business, and wanted anyone to stay with it. _____Coach Graham is truly gonna be missed.

    Reply
  6. Harry Bradford

    My sincere condolences Valerie, to your Sons and Family Members.
    We’ll all miss Joe Edd’s Passion for the game of football, for the players and for his beloved family.

    Joe Edd is the main reason I became a Volunteer Fan for Life.

    My most cherished memories of Joe Jr. were those Christmas Eves we worked together at Cavaliers Mens Store,
    next to Norman and Reed Furniture, on the Square of Fayetteville in the early 1970’s. Joe Edd Sr. was a co-owner of Cavaliers along with Harry ‘Doc’ Clark. Even though Christmas Eve was our busiest day of the year, we always found
    time to catch up & renew old friendships. Special time, Special Place.

    Joe Edd #72 was a starting Defensive Tackle in 1964, his Sophomore year at UT, earning All SEC Honors.
    Unfortunately he injured his knee in the last game of the season against Vandy. After that year, both knees became
    issues and limited Joe’s playing time for the next 2 years/seasons. BUT, his Senior year Joe Edd #62 moved to starting Offensive Guard, and this 1967 team won a National Championship. These Volunteers would play Oklahoma on New Years Day in the 1968 Orange Bowl. This would be Joe’s last game as a Volunteer. Thanks to technology, the 1968 Orange Bowl is available on YouTube. There on National TV was our Joe Graham #62 from Fayetteville Tennessee during Pre-Game Introductions. What an Honor, what a treat!

    REST in PEACE Ole Friend. You’ll always be a Volunteer For Life.

    Reply
  7. Keith Seagraves

    I loved Coach Graham. I didn’t play football for him when I attended Columbia Central in the late 70’s, but he was a big reason that I looked hard at the University of Tennessee when I was in high school and decided to attend there. A big loss for all of us that knew him in those days.

    Roxanne, you might remember me from my CFW co-op days. So sorry for ya’lls loss.

    Reply
  8. Gary Swindle

    Coach Joe Graham was my linebacker coach at Central. He was truly a 100 per cent Lion. I learned a lot from Coach and I will always respect him.
    He was more than our Coach, he was our Friend. God bless you Coach Graham. Rest In Peace.

    Reply
  9. Eddie Ables

    Valerie, Our prayers are with you and your family in the loss of Joe Edd. He touched so many during his life and I am very Blessed to have known him.

    Reply
  10. Mark Manderfield

    Reed,
    So sorry to hear about your Dad. Thoughts & Prayers to your Mother and Family.
    Mark & Catherine

    Reply
  11. Deborah West

    I went to high school with Joe Edd at Central High in Fayetteville, Tn. He was a very dear friend of my ex husband Kurt Young. I have been told many funny stories of the young high school guys and the pranks that were played during their high school years. One my ex husband (Kurt Young) told was the night the guys were just alittle intoxicated and they put Joe Edd in one of those large dryers at the wishy washy, at which time he became sick……the rest I will leave to your imagination. He was a delight to know. I believe it was his first football game as the coach in Columbia when me Kurt and our boys attended the game. I remember how nice his parents were. When Kurt and I were first married in 1966, Mrs. Graham gave us a beautiful green cut glass cake stand, which I still have today in my china cabinet. I didn’t realize that he and his family lived so close to me and my husband or I would have wanted to reconnect. My condolences and prayers to you and your family. I will not beable to attend on Saturday, due to my work schedule.

    Reply
  12. Kelly Stevenson

    Our Deepest Sympathy,

    Kelly & Sandy

    Reply
  13. Michael Prowell

    What a great man. Coach Graham coached me at Central High School in the early 80s. I have thought of him often throughout my life with great admiration. He will be truly missed. RIH Coach Graham.

    Reply
  14. Jim Higdon

    God just got one great VFL. No better than Joe Graham. Jim Higdon

    Reply
  15. Alice jan Robison

    Mr Joe Graham he coached my son Timmy Robison Timmy like him so much and he was so good to Timmy he will be missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him I will keep his family in my prayers so if you attend a Vols game he will be there he was a true Vol rest Mr Joe another great man gone

    Reply
  16. Joanne & Zippy Ribeiro

    My heart truly hurts for you and your family. Joe was the sweetest, friendliest, kindest friend anyone could ask for. You both are like family to us. May you find Gods comfort and strength to get you through this. Love you my dear friend and am here for you.

    Reply
  17. Tara Dobbins Brown

    Many prayers for Coach Graham’s family. Lots of good memories while I attended Central High School and was a cheerleader.

    Reply
  18. 3 Coy Boys & A Lady

    Love you all SO much, Love you the MOST!

    Reply
  19. David Ingram

    My condolences to Valerie and family. Growing up in Fayetteville and playing sports in the 60’s and 70’s, the name Joe Ed Graham was a legend in the day…🙏

    Reply
  20. Monty Thompson

    Had the pleasure of our kids playing ball with his, he was a wonderful, kind man and I know he was very respected by my kid Benton and Jessica. He will be greatly missed by many. Heaven certainly did receive a special angel. Prayers for you all.

    Reply
  21. Lora Marshall

    Sorry about the loss. Me and my friend are big fans of the tenn Vols.

    Reply
  22. Jimmy Towry

    So sorry for your loss.
    You have my deepest sympathy!!

    Reply
  23. Frank Swinford

    God Speed to one of the really good guys and maybe the 2d best looking guy at Central.😂😂 He was a good’un according to my Dad and he didn’t say that about many even though he drove to the house with the cast on his leg, leg hanging out the door, in the middle of the night. LOL

    Reply
  24. DeLois O'Neal Thompson

    Valerie and family
    I am so sorry for your loss. May God bless you and comfort you during this time.

    Reply
  25. Benny King

    Joe Ed was a remarkable person even from youth. I’ll never forget how much he helped skinny Benny work on weights over in Wayne Wilson’s basement; his encouragement meant more than he ever could know. He was just purely a good guy.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Memories

25 Comments

  1. Mac Orr

    One of my two favorite coaches coming through Junior High and High School in Columbia. He always told you when you did well as well as corrected you on what you needed to do better. I cannot imagine playing against him back in his day as I witnessed his competitive side in practice. I wish I could have been around him more in his latter years. I respect you Coach Graham and wish your family peace.

    Mac Orr

    Reply
  2. Bill Jeans

    I had the priviledge of playing football with Joe Edd at Lincoln County High School for 3 years during the early 1960s and will always remember him for all he did for the team and the players. He was a unique athlete that made our entire team better through his mentoring and positive approach to the game and his life. We will surely miss Joe Edd’s presence in our lives but his legacy will live on through all lives he touched during his time with us.

    Sending my heartfelt sympathies and prayers to your family during this time of grieving.

    Reply
  3. Billy lovell

    I had the privilege of working with Coach Graham or Junior as I called him for a number of years coaching football at Central he was the defensive coordinator and I was his secondary coach it was such a pleasure working with him, he not only was a great coach but a great individual and had a positive influence on many lives . He will be missed

    Reply
  4. Carolyn Moffett

    Valerie:
    We were sorry to hear of Joe Edd’s passing. Our prayers are with you and your family during this time of sorrow
    Ray & Carolyn

    Reply
  5. Walter E Partee

    Coach Graham was a good considerate person that I admired slot. I had him for Health, Driver’s Education and P.E. A year after I already have my driver’s license (since March 1978). I have decided to take Driver’s Education again for an extra grade credit. Coach Graham was my Driver’s Education instructor during the summer of 1979. He introduced me to this hwy road: Natchez Trace Parkway. And I still love the 🌲Natchez Trace Parkway🌲. When it comes to any sporting activity. Coach Graham means business, and wanted anyone to stay with it. _____Coach Graham is truly gonna be missed.

    Reply
  6. Harry Bradford

    My sincere condolences Valerie, to your Sons and Family Members.
    We’ll all miss Joe Edd’s Passion for the game of football, for the players and for his beloved family.

    Joe Edd is the main reason I became a Volunteer Fan for Life.

    My most cherished memories of Joe Jr. were those Christmas Eves we worked together at Cavaliers Mens Store,
    next to Norman and Reed Furniture, on the Square of Fayetteville in the early 1970’s. Joe Edd Sr. was a co-owner of Cavaliers along with Harry ‘Doc’ Clark. Even though Christmas Eve was our busiest day of the year, we always found
    time to catch up & renew old friendships. Special time, Special Place.

    Joe Edd #72 was a starting Defensive Tackle in 1964, his Sophomore year at UT, earning All SEC Honors.
    Unfortunately he injured his knee in the last game of the season against Vandy. After that year, both knees became
    issues and limited Joe’s playing time for the next 2 years/seasons. BUT, his Senior year Joe Edd #62 moved to starting Offensive Guard, and this 1967 team won a National Championship. These Volunteers would play Oklahoma on New Years Day in the 1968 Orange Bowl. This would be Joe’s last game as a Volunteer. Thanks to technology, the 1968 Orange Bowl is available on YouTube. There on National TV was our Joe Graham #62 from Fayetteville Tennessee during Pre-Game Introductions. What an Honor, what a treat!

    REST in PEACE Ole Friend. You’ll always be a Volunteer For Life.

    Reply
  7. Keith Seagraves

    I loved Coach Graham. I didn’t play football for him when I attended Columbia Central in the late 70’s, but he was a big reason that I looked hard at the University of Tennessee when I was in high school and decided to attend there. A big loss for all of us that knew him in those days.

    Roxanne, you might remember me from my CFW co-op days. So sorry for ya’lls loss.

    Reply
  8. Gary Swindle

    Coach Joe Graham was my linebacker coach at Central. He was truly a 100 per cent Lion. I learned a lot from Coach and I will always respect him.
    He was more than our Coach, he was our Friend. God bless you Coach Graham. Rest In Peace.

    Reply
  9. Eddie Ables

    Valerie, Our prayers are with you and your family in the loss of Joe Edd. He touched so many during his life and I am very Blessed to have known him.

    Reply
  10. Mark Manderfield

    Reed,
    So sorry to hear about your Dad. Thoughts & Prayers to your Mother and Family.
    Mark & Catherine

    Reply
  11. Deborah West

    I went to high school with Joe Edd at Central High in Fayetteville, Tn. He was a very dear friend of my ex husband Kurt Young. I have been told many funny stories of the young high school guys and the pranks that were played during their high school years. One my ex husband (Kurt Young) told was the night the guys were just alittle intoxicated and they put Joe Edd in one of those large dryers at the wishy washy, at which time he became sick……the rest I will leave to your imagination. He was a delight to know. I believe it was his first football game as the coach in Columbia when me Kurt and our boys attended the game. I remember how nice his parents were. When Kurt and I were first married in 1966, Mrs. Graham gave us a beautiful green cut glass cake stand, which I still have today in my china cabinet. I didn’t realize that he and his family lived so close to me and my husband or I would have wanted to reconnect. My condolences and prayers to you and your family. I will not beable to attend on Saturday, due to my work schedule.

    Reply
  12. Kelly Stevenson

    Our Deepest Sympathy,

    Kelly & Sandy

    Reply
  13. Michael Prowell

    What a great man. Coach Graham coached me at Central High School in the early 80s. I have thought of him often throughout my life with great admiration. He will be truly missed. RIH Coach Graham.

    Reply
  14. Jim Higdon

    God just got one great VFL. No better than Joe Graham. Jim Higdon

    Reply
  15. Alice jan Robison

    Mr Joe Graham he coached my son Timmy Robison Timmy like him so much and he was so good to Timmy he will be missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him I will keep his family in my prayers so if you attend a Vols game he will be there he was a true Vol rest Mr Joe another great man gone

    Reply
  16. Joanne & Zippy Ribeiro

    My heart truly hurts for you and your family. Joe was the sweetest, friendliest, kindest friend anyone could ask for. You both are like family to us. May you find Gods comfort and strength to get you through this. Love you my dear friend and am here for you.

    Reply
  17. Tara Dobbins Brown

    Many prayers for Coach Graham’s family. Lots of good memories while I attended Central High School and was a cheerleader.

    Reply
  18. 3 Coy Boys & A Lady

    Love you all SO much, Love you the MOST!

    Reply
  19. David Ingram

    My condolences to Valerie and family. Growing up in Fayetteville and playing sports in the 60’s and 70’s, the name Joe Ed Graham was a legend in the day…🙏

    Reply
  20. Monty Thompson

    Had the pleasure of our kids playing ball with his, he was a wonderful, kind man and I know he was very respected by my kid Benton and Jessica. He will be greatly missed by many. Heaven certainly did receive a special angel. Prayers for you all.

    Reply
  21. Lora Marshall

    Sorry about the loss. Me and my friend are big fans of the tenn Vols.

    Reply
  22. Jimmy Towry

    So sorry for your loss.
    You have my deepest sympathy!!

    Reply
  23. Frank Swinford

    God Speed to one of the really good guys and maybe the 2d best looking guy at Central.😂😂 He was a good’un according to my Dad and he didn’t say that about many even though he drove to the house with the cast on his leg, leg hanging out the door, in the middle of the night. LOL

    Reply
  24. DeLois O'Neal Thompson

    Valerie and family
    I am so sorry for your loss. May God bless you and comfort you during this time.

    Reply
  25. Benny King

    Joe Ed was a remarkable person even from youth. I’ll never forget how much he helped skinny Benny work on weights over in Wayne Wilson’s basement; his encouragement meant more than he ever could know. He was just purely a good guy.

    Reply

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