Graham Robert Putnam, 76, formerly of Oak Park, died under hospice care in his home in Dexter, Michigan on Oct. 31, 2023. Born in Lansing, Michigan, after earning an MBA at the University of Michigan and service in the Army National Guard, his long-standing interest in magic led to his career as owner of Chicago-based FUN Inc., manufacturing magic tricks and novelties, one of which was “Whoops” the original rubber vomit. For many years, he enthusiastically coached youth baseball in Oak Park, where he raised his family. Active in the Showmen’s League of America, he received their Hall of Honor Award and annually attended Abbott’s Magic Get Together and Michigania Alumni Family Camp. He was honored that his friends and family went out of their way to spend time with him.
In retirement, he became an avid duplicate bridge player and took opportunities to travel. He was a supporter of the performing arts and had a lifelong interest in theater. He honored the careers of his mother and sister through contributions to scholarships for educators.
If you asked Graham, he was always “wonderful,” even in the last weeks when he was anything but. Graham’s last performance was earlier this year at his daughter’s wedding where he gave a father-of-the-bride speech and performed card tricks for guests.
Waiting for him in the afterlife are his father, DeVon Putnam, his mother Velma May (Graham) Putnam, and his sister, Evonne Putnam. He is survived by his wife, Kathryn (Andersen); his daughter and son-in-law, Elise and Lewis; his son and daughter-in-law, Miles and Elizabeth; and his granddaughters, Evelyn and Victoria.
His family will hold a memorial celebration on Dec. 2 from 12 to 4 p.m. at the Michigan League in Ann Arbor.