Trooper’s Funeral Draws Regional Officers

By Beacon Staff

KALISPELL (AP) – Law-enforcement officers from throughout the region paid respects at the funeral for David Graham, a Montana Highway Patrol trooper killed when a pickup truck hit his patrol car on U.S. 2.

The death of 36-year-old David Graham on Tuesday came 13 months after he joined the patrol.

Nearly 1,000 people gathered at the Christian Center in Kalispell for the funeral Saturday. Mourners included law enforcement officers from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and South Dakota. Gov. Brian Schweitzer and Montana Attorney General Mike McGrath were present.

“The best way to remember David is to walk the walk, to remember what we do,” said Col. Paul Grimstad, commander of the Montana patrol.

Graham graduated from Kalispell’s Flathead High School in 1989, lived in Missouri for a time and returned to Kalispell in 1999. He worked in the retail industry, and began pursuing a law enforcement job a couple of years ago.

“He chose a profession — not a job and not a career — but a profession where he could help those who needed it,” friend Glen Magers said.

Graham joined the Montana Highway Patrol in August 2006, first working just east of Glacier National Park and then transferring to Kalispell.

A service at Glacier Memorial Gardens on Saturday included a rifle salute, taps and these words spoken via an audio system: “You’re now off shift to go where God has prepared you to go.”

Survivors include Graham’s wife, Genny, and children Cedric, 9; Chynna, 7; and Caiden, 4.