Cover photo for Marie Graham's Obituary
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1926 Mrs. Graham 2023

Marie Graham

March 9, 1926 — August 6, 2023

Camden, Arkansas

The Legacy of Mrs. Marie Cazy Graham

 

Marie Cazy Graham, daughter of the late David Cazy and Arosy Smith Cazy, was born March 9, 1926, in McNeil, Arkansas. Like her peers, she grew up with parents and siblings of meager and economic means. Marie’s mother made her a dress from a flour sack, which was not unusual at that time. She wore it to school at the age of six and did not return to school the next day because she did not have another dress. She then resumed her education at the age of seven.

Marie was fascinated and intrigued by school. She recalls attending many schools including Early View in Stephens, Arkansas, and Edna Brown in Magnolia, Arkansas. Harvey Couch, a Caucasian man, built Edna Brown and gifted the school to Black citizens. The Couch family resided across the field from Edna Brown School. Marie graduated from Lonoke School near Shady Grove Baptist Church in Camden, Arkansas.

Marie became interested in cooking by observing her mother. She baked her first-pound cake at the age of nine. She became notorious for her baked goods, especially her “monkey bread.” Growing up in a Godly home, Marie accepted Christ as her personal savior at the age of 13. She united with and baptized at St. Luke Baptist Church in the Calhoun Community of Magnolia, Arkansas, where Rev. H. B. Brown served as pastor.

She met Clyde Graham on the school bus driven by his father, Ellis Graham. They fell in love at a youthful age and later united in holy matrimony on December 26, 1942. To this union, six children were born: Bernice, Clyde Jr., Flotilla, Robert, Jessie, and Joseph. When Bernice was seven months old, Marie united with Pleasant Grove Baptist in April 1944. Unfortunately, Clyde Graham transitioned from earth to heaven on June 17, 1970, at the age of 44. She was determined to raise her children in the fear and admonition of the Lord.

Her work ethic was exemplified, as she was later employed at the Camden Manufacturing Company until the plant closed. In 1971, she began her career as a cook in the cafeteria at  Harmony Grove Public Schools. She enrolled at the University of Arkansas and the University of Central Arkansas to further her education in managerial operations. She later acquired her certification in management. With this certification, her determination, and her exemplified work ethic, in addition to her education in culinary arts, she was promoted to cafeteria manager at  Harmony Grove Public Schools. After 20 years of dedicated service, Marie retired on June 1, 1991. In addition to managing the cafeteria, Marie also served in culinary roles for 30 years at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in East Camden, starting under the leadership of Rev. P. B. Sharp and continuing with Rev. Harvey Goodwin.

Not only did Marie instill a strong work ethic in her children, but she was also an example of the importance of desire and need for education. Four of their six children attended college. She encouraged them to “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” Marie Cazy Graham was a resolute wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, great-great-grandmother, cook, and servant of God with a living legacy to remember.

Marie Cazy Graham departed this life on Sunday, August 6th, 2023. She was preceded in death by her parents, David Cazy and Arosy Smith Cazy; two daughters, Bernice Graham Elliott and Flotilla Graham Meadough; one son, Joseph Graham; one grandson, Demetrious Graham; one granddaughter, Angela Meadough-Bulliner; one great-granddaughter, Mya Harris; four brothers, Paris Cazy, Edward Cazy, D.C. Cazy, and Ulysses Cazy; two sisters, LV Cazy Bradford and Oree Cazy Morgan.

She leaves to cherish her memory with three sons, Clyde Graham, Jr. of Camden, AR; Robert Graham of Little Rock, AR; and Jessie (Inez) Graham of Camden, AR; 16 grandchildren, 35 great-grandchildren, 19 great-great-grandchildren, one sister, Earnie Mae Johnson of Camden, AR; and a host of nephews, nieces, other relatives and friends.

Submitted by the family.

Public visitation will be held Friday, August 18, 2023 from 12 noon until 6:00 p.m. at Williams Funeral Home Van Buren in Camden. Additional viewing will be held at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church on Saturday, August 19, 2023 from 10:00 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. with a celebration of her life beginning at 11:00 a.m. with Rev. Winfred Thompson, officiating and Rev. Roy Elliott, her grandson as eulogist. Interment will be at Pleasant Grove Community Cemetery.

Active Pallbearers are Christopher Elliott, Jr., Darius Elliott, Jr., Aaron Hopson, Aaron Graham, Michael Graham, Earl "AJ" Graham, Jr., and Deacon Donez Graham. Honorary Pallbearers are Members of the Cazy & Smith Family, Richard Hopson, Lamont Larry, Jordan Golden, Jimmy Golden, Billy Sasser, Earl Morgan, Danny Gill, and Jerry McKenzie, Jr.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Marie Graham, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Public Visitation

Friday, August 18, 2023

12:00 - 6:00 pm (Central time)

Williams Funeral Home Van Buren

119 Van Buren St, Camden, AR 71701

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Public Visitation

Saturday, August 19, 2023

10:00 - 10:45 am (Central time)

Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church

1065 N Calhoun 95, Camden, AR 71701

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Celebration of Life

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church

1065 N Calhoun 95, Camden, AR 71701

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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