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Pallet People: Drew Graham Passes Away
Drew Graham, Hardy-Graham, wooden container, fastening system, reusable packaging, transport packaging, wooden boxes, military packaging.

By Ed Brindley
Date Posted: 11/1/2013

                Andrew Stuard “Drew” Graham, Jr. passed away on September 23, 2013 at the age of 82. I remember the first time that I had the pleasure of meeting Drew. He came to a Richmond Show as a guest of Jack Thornton of Woodthorn. One of the contributions that Jack made to our industry was being an ambassador to introduce other people who provide products and services to the pallet industry. Drew’s company, Hardy-Graham, manufactures and services hardware for wooden boxes. It is a unique product that helps pallet and box users that need convenient, reusable fastening systems for material handling.  Hardy-Graham fastening systems are used for tough jobs, such as military and industrial packaging applications.

                Hardy-Built fastening systems can be used to make pallet bins with rings and collars. Benefits include optional removable sides or hinged sides for easy of loading and unloading, stackable and collapsible for return/reuse savings when used in shipping with optional lids. The company will continue manufacturing and servicing its fastening systems.

                I remember Drew as being a nice gentleman who was the beloved husband of Peggy Kelleher McDonald Graham for the last nine years. His first wife of 47 years, Patricia Hardy Graham, passed away in 2002. Born in Philadelphia, Drew was the eldest son of the late Andrew Stuard Graham, Sr. and Dorothy Benkert Graham. Drew graduated from Lehigh University in 1953 with a Bachelor of Science degree. Drew was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity, musical director of WLRN radio station and played varsity lacrosse.

                Drew joined the U.S. Marine Corps where he served for four years at a base in Washington, D.C. Drew was a member of the Presidential Guard at Camp David serving President Dwight David Eisenhower. He finished his service at Parris Island as a drill instructor and was honorably discharged with a good conduct medal. Drew regarded his time in the Marines as a defining experience in his life.

                In 1957 he returned to work with his uncle at the Fairmont Foundry and spent the next eight years at Drexel University where he earned a master’s degree in metallurgical engineering. In 1962 Drew went to work with the 106 year old family business Fleck Industries, a large metal stamping and fabrication company in Willow Grove, Pa. He became chairman and president of Fleck Industries in 1970 until it closed in 1980.

                At that time Drew’s entrepreneurial spirit called to him and he started Hardy-Graham, Inc. in 1982 which he ran until he passed away. Drew was a member of the American Society for Testing and Materials, the National Institute for Packaging, Handling and Logistics Engineers, and the National Wooden Pallet and Container Association. He was a director emeritus of the Montgomery Country Economic Development Corp, a member of the National Defense Industrial Association and the National Federation of Independent Businesses as well as a member of the board of directors and director emeritus of the Abington Bank which he helped take public in 2005. Very much involved in his community, Drew was a member of the Union League, the Huntingdon Valley Country Club, the Old York Road Historical Society, the Jenkintown Lyceum, and the Rotary Club of Ambler. He was a Mason and member of the Friendship-Williams Lodge #400 F&AM for more than 60 years.

                Drew was an avid sportsman, having skied throughout Canada, the Pacific Northwest and Europe as well as playing for the Philadelphia Rugby Club for several years as a scrum half until he was seriously injured at the bottom of a scrum. Drew played in a tennis league and was so involved that he built a tennis court in the front yard at the Wyncote home. In his later years, Drew became a member of the wheelmen and rode his high wheel bike in thousands of parades as well as every Mummers parade for about twenty five years.

                Drew was a member of the Episcopal Church of Our Saviour in Jenkintown. Drew is survived by his loving wife, three children, two stepchildren, ten grandchildren, two brothers and sisters,and many nieces and nephews. We salute Drew for his many accomplishments, in particular the Hardy-Graham hardware he designed and sold to companies around the world for efficient materials handling applications.

                I cannot think of any better way for a pallet company to thank Drew for what he did for the materials handling industry than becoming aware of what his hardware can provide for your customers and discussing its potential with any customer who could benefit from using it. Hardy-Graham will continue manufacturing and selling its fastening systems. You can get details of these durable systems at www.hardy-builtfastener.com or by calling Hardy-Graham at 215-699-6111.

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