Public memorial service and reception for U.S. Sen. and Fla. Gov. Bob Graham set for Saturday

Community By Linda Trischitta, Editor Monday, May 6, 2024

The family of the late Bob Graham will welcome the public to two celebrations of his life to be held this weekend in his hometown.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, May 11 at the Miami Lakes United Church of Christ from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.  The church is at 6701 Miami Lakeway South. There is not a lot of parking and guests are encouraged to park at the Miami Lakes K-8 Center School, at 14250 NW 67th Ave., or use Freebee or other methods of transportation.

The service will also be livestreamed online by WPLG-Ch. 10, at and on the TV station’s YouTube channel,

It will be followed by a reception at ML Steaks + Sports restaurant in the Miami Lakes Hotel on Main from 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.  Also open to the public, guests will be able to record their memories of the man who devoted four decades of his life to serving the public. When Graham was not in Tallahassee or later, Washington, D.C., residents often saw him around town. Recordings will be part of a living history project of the Bob Graham Center for Public Service at the University of Florida and will be made at the hotel that afternoon.

Graham is survived by former First Lady Adele Graham, his wife of 65 years, daughters Gwen Graham (and husband Steve Hurm); Cissy Graham McCullough (Billy); Suzanne Graham Gibson (Tom) and Kendall Graham; 11 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. 

Bob Graham served in the Florida House of Representatives from 1966 – 1970; Florida Senate, 1970 -1978; as the state’s 38th Governor, from 1979 - 1987 and as a United States Senator, from 1987 - 2005.

His efforts included protecting the Florida Everglades and other natural areas of the state; investments in public education; promoting the Florida economy and demanding accountability from U.S. intelligence agencies.

During more than 400 workdays, he toiled while wearing the work boots of laborers, at classroom blackboards, with the fire service and other in jobs that enabled him to stay in touch with his constituents and understand their needs.

The Bob Graham Center for Public Service at the University of Florida, which he founded, continues his legacy by teaching the skills of civic participation and public service.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Center to support its mission. For more information go to or call 352-273-1080.