Pfeiffer University mourns the loss of Dr. Lane Graham

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Pfeiffer University and the division of education have lost a valued friend and colleague, Dr. Lane Graham, assistant professor of special education. A lifelong resident of Rowan County, Dr. Graham, 64, died Sat., March 11, at Glenn A. Kiser Hospice House in Salisbury.

Dr. Graham joined the faculty at Pfeiffer in 2011 after a long career with Rowan-Salisbury Schools, which included teaching positions with Landis Elementary School, Hurley Elementary School and Cleveland Elementary School. Wholly devoted to special education and his students, he is described by Dr. Dawn Lucas, dean of Pfeiffer’s division of education, as the kind of teacher “who comes around once in a blue moon.”

In addition, he served as coordinator of the Spencer 8th Street Park summer recreational program as well as the Rowan County Special Olympics. A master fifth degree black belt, Dr. Graham taught karate for many years for Catawba College, Rowan County Parks and Recreation, and Cleveland Elementary School’s after-school program.

After graduating as salutatorian from North Rowan High School in 1971, Dr. Graham earned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Catawba College, master of arts degree in psychological counseling/ human development and learning from Appalachian State University, and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction (specialized educational services) from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where also he obtained graduate certification in special education. He was a member of Mt. Tabor United Methodist Church, where he served as a lay leader. Previously, he taught Sunday School at First Baptist Church of Spencer.

Dr. Graham is survived by his wife, Carolyn; daughters Stacey M. Adams (Paul), Albuquerque, N.M., and Melissa Mustard, Williamsburg, Va; grandchildren Evan, Will and Clark Adams; and several siblings, in-laws, cousins, and nieces and nephews.

Visitation is Wed., March 15, 3-5 p.m., at the Omwake-Dearborn Chapel on the campus of Catawba College, 2300 West Innes Street, Salisbury, with service to follow immediately. Memorial gifts are being accepted by Mt. Tabor UMC (4520 Old Mocksville Rd., Salisbury, NC 28144) for the Lane G. Graham Scholarship Fund for the Teaching of Special Education. Dr. Graham’s family has expressed an intention to initiate a scholarship fund in his honor at Pfeiffer.