Ronald Joe Graham died May 22 after suffering a severe heart attack at the age of 62.
He was born Feb. 20, 1949, to Ruby Lee Swanson and Robert John Graham in Alamogordo, N.M. As a young child, he moved to Fortuna, Calif., where he was raised with his brother Roger and sister Rendy.
Mr. Graham was the founder of the Graham Piano Studio, which operated for over 20 years in Pleasanton. He influenced students and audiences around the world through his teaching and his performances in Europe, Latin America, South America, Egypt and the Caribbean. His interests later in life included music, wine, travel, baseball, reading and good (or bad) jokes.
Mr. Graham is survived by his wife Nooshin; his mother Ruby; his sister Rendy; his children Ron Jr., Elaine and Bonnie; and his stepdaughters Jasmine, Natalie and Juliet Roufchaie. He will be memorialized at Graham-Hitch Mortuary, 4167 First St. in Pleasanton from 9-10 a.m. Sunday with a reception until noon. He will be interred at 2:30 p.m. at Westwood Hills Memorial Cemetery in Placerville next to his father and brother.
Pleasanton resident Claudine Wharton died May 15 at the age of 86.
She was born July 17, 1924, to Claude and Birdie (Beckham) Salmon, the youngest of four daughters, in Fresno. The family moved to Oakland in 1930. She was active in school and very involved with Job's Daughters. After high school she worked at the Naval Supply Depot in Oakland.
She married Pfc. Philip Balousek and in 1945 gave birth to a son, Philip Jr., who died in 2010, and in 1947, a daughter, Nancy Lucile, who died shortly after birth. She raised Phil in Walnut Creek then Santa Ana, and after a divorce, moved back to the Bay Area in the 1960s and went to work for Breuners Furniture Co. in Oakland.
She loved antiques; in 1969, she and her second husband Herbert Stevens bought and operated Cottage Antiques in Murphys. She moved back to the Bay Area when widowed, to be near family. In 1981 she was baptized and confirmed into the Lutheran Church in Hayward and began working as the church secretary, a position she held for 10 years.
For almost 20 years Claudine has made her home in Pleasanton with the love of her golden years, husband Walter Wharton. A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. today at Graham-Hitch Mortuary, 4167 First St. in Pleasanton.