Allen C. Graffam

Allen C. Graffam 1953 – 2020 TOPSHAM – Allen C. Graffam, 66, passed away on May 23, 2020 after a courageous battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his family at his home in Topsham. Throughout his final week, he was also surrounded by the love of colleagues, friends, students, and fellow musicians who paid tribute to him through emails, recorded music, visits, and signs of love placed in his yard. Allen was born to Clinton and Katherine Graffam on Sept. 14, 1953 in Portland. He was a 1971 graduate of Deering High School. Following in the footsteps of his parents and sister, all professional musicians, he went on to pursue music education. In 1975, he graduated from the University of Maine at Orono with a degree in music education. He went on to do graduate work at USM, the University of Maine at Orono and Augusta. His 43-year teaching career began at Brunswick Junior High School in 1975, where he also coached girls basketball at the junior high level and was the assistant at the varsity level. From 1981-1983, Allen was the Brunswick High School band director before moving to Mt Ararat in 1983. There, he was the band director and music department chair from 1983-2018. He enjoyed his role as National Honor Society advisor, class advisor, graduation coordinator, varsity softball coach, and 7th-grade boys basketball coach. At Mt. Ararat, he inherited a band of 17 students, and turned that into a very well respected music program featuring Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, and Jazz Band. The wind ensemble was invited to perform at numerous prestigious events throughout Maine. He had played in and conducted Chandler’s Band in Portland. He was also a trumpet teacher at Bowdoin College and enjoyed arranging music, especially anything R.B. Hall. His professional trumpet career included the Portland Symphony, Bangor Symphony, Don Doane Band, Al Corey Band, freelance for many shows, church services, and he thoroughly enjoyed being a member of the Blue Hill Brass (playing throughout New England). He enjoyed boating and being around the salt water. His favorite saying was, “Life isn’t like rec soccer. You don’t always get a donut hole and a juice box just for showing up.” He wants his former students to know how much they enriched his life. It brought him great joy to hear from former students and to stay in touch with them. He leaves behind his well-loved daughters, Kyra and Brooke Graffam, his son-in-law Matthew Whiting; his loving sister, Andrea Graffam, and his former wife and long term friend, Laura Waite. His grandchildren, Emily, and his “mini-me”, Lochlan were his motivation to retire, and he was one proud Grampy. The hundreds of messages that he received in his last week, have had clear themes. Whether they were students or athletes, Allen had high expectations, while also helping each individual believe in themselves. He taught by example and had a lasting impact on his students, colleagues, and musicians throughout the state. In his humble way, he had become an unintentional life coach to hundreds. His absence will create an enormous void, but his impact will continue to play on. The Mt Ararat community created a public Facebook page of visual and musical tributes called House of Harmony-A Tribute to Mr. Graffam! In his honor, Mr. Graffam requests that you: keep your eye on the ball, practice your instrument, work hard, and always do the right thing. Arrangements are in the care of the Brackett Funeral Home, Brunswick. Memories and condolences can be shared, as well as service information, at . Memorial contributions can be made to the: Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program (MCHPP) 12 Tenney Way; Brunswick, ME; 04011 or to Fight Hard 5k at

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