Louis Atkins Graham

Published 5:30 pm Wednesday, July 21, 2021

March 27, 1925 – March 17, 2020

Louis Atkins Graham was born March 27, 1925 in Kenbridge, to Samuel Lyle Graham III and Natalie Hardy Graham. He lived in Farmville until adulthood.

Louis Atkins Graham attended Hampden-Sydney College for one year, and then served with the United States Navy in World War II from 1942-1945. Louis later graduated in 1949 from the University of Virginia where he received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Chemical Engineering. He then received his Masters’ of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky in 1950 and also took advanced courses in technical color from Purdue University in Illinois.

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Louis joined the American Viscose Division of the FMC Corporation in 1950 in Parkersburg, West Virginia, as Plant Color Engineer and Technical Department Color Engineer. While at AM, Lou met the love of his life, Jean Crawford Nelson.

They were married on June 18, 1955. In 1956, Lou and Jean had their one and only child, Natalie Jean, and relocated with AM to the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area, where he held various positions as a color specialist, a key synthetic fiber researcher and the Senior Manager of color and science from 1956-1967.

Beginning in 1957, Louis joined the Inter-Society Color Council (ISCC), serving and chairing numerous committees, including the Council’s Long Range Planning Committee from 1988-1993. He was also ISCC’s president from 1982-1984.

Louis was instrumental in the formation of the “Color Marketing Group” (CMG) in 1962 and served a 3-year term as its first president. He was also a member of the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists: (AATCC), the Association of International Colorists (AIC), Sigma VI Research Society, Alpha Chi Sigma Fraternity, American Association of Textile Chemistry and Color, the American Optical Society and Society of Dyers and Colorists.

From 1967 until 1987, Lou was Senior Manager of Corporate Research and Development at Burlington Industries in Greensboro, North Carolina, with responsibility for the dyeing, computer and color laboratories. His employment involved extensive travels around the world.

Following retirement from Burlington Industries, Louis formed “Lou Graham & Associates, Inc.”, where he developed the HVC Color Vision Skill Test, later sold to a large corporation. His consultant work continued worldwide, allowing him to travel and live in various countries with his wife, Jean, including Zimbabwe and Mauritius through his involvement on projects with the International Executive Service Corporation (IESC).

While still active with his own company, Lou and Jean moved to Temple in 1998, where they were welcomed with open arms. Lou and Jean moved to Temple in 1998, where Lou found his “niche” in the community, working side by side with his best friend, Neal Corbitt and his wife Glenda, at the Temple Railroad and Heritage Museum and the CAC, participating in the Barclay Art Contests, attending Grace Presbyterian Church and supporting Kiwanis’ goals and objectives.

Louis has now left his earthly home to join his beloved wife Gigi in a heavenly world full of color and peace.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Jean (Gigi) Nelson Graham; two brothers, Samuel Lyle Graham IV and wife, Mavis Graham, and Thomas Hardy Graham and one sister, Sarah Graham Wells and her husband. John Wells. Also, brothers-in-law, William Nelson and wife, Lee Willingham Nelson and Arthur Van Nest and sisters-in-law Mary Nelson, Betty Nelson Van Nest and husband, Arthur Van Nest.

Louis is survived by his daughter, Natalie Graham Hinkle and husband, Charles Edward Hinkle, of Temple, Texas; granddaughter, Frances Elizabeth Hinkle of Fort Collins, Colorado; grandson, Louis Edward Hinkle, of Houston, Texas and numerous loving nieces and nephews.

Lou and Jean’s final resting place together will be with the Graham family in Farmville, where a private service will be held at a later date.

The family would like to thank Dr. Thomas “Philip” Reilly and the team of extremely skilled and empathetic colleagues, especially Drs. Bird, Zhang, Rotenberry (aka Paul Newman) and Tsai as well Ms. Donna Reese and many others, who, over the 6 years Lou spent visiting the Urology department at Baylor Scott and White, treated, counseled, and consoled my father and our family with the utmost patience, care and respect. Also essential to Mr. Graham’s well-being were the numerous teams of excellent MDs, DOs, RNs, LVNs, PAs, CNAs and support staff who cared for him patiently and professionally through critical and difficult stays at BSW Hospital. We also embrace all of Lou and Jean’s absolutely wonderful circle of close friends who enriched the Grahams’ lives so much, Tony Jeter and the devoted caregivers from Tender Mercies who cared for (spoiled) both of them so lovingly, as well as members of the Temple Meridien, Encompass Home Health, Amedisys Hospice, Scanio-Harper Funeral Home and Grace Presbyterian Church.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to a charity of your choice or one of those that Lou supported: Kiwanis, Temple Railroad and Heritage Museum, the Cultural Activities Center, Texas Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital in Dallas and Grace Presbyterian Church.