Tynan Sherman Graham

Date(s) of birth and/or death approximate

Date of Birth

February 1st, 1994

Date of Death

May 14th, 2016

Memorial Meeting

Santa Cruz Monthly Meeting


Tynan Graham was born in February 1994 in San Francisco, California to Kim Lacey and Dan Graham.  He died May 14, 2016 in Santa Cruz, California.

From birth he attended San Francisco Friends Meeting with his mother, Kim. In 2002, when the family moved to Atascadero, California, Ty began attending Central Coast Preparative Meeting, which later became Central Coast Friends Meeting.  Both his mother and maternal grandmother were members of the Religious Society of Friends.

Throughout the years Ty attended First Day School on Sundays and other Quaker events such as summer Quaker Camp at Ben Lomond Quaker Center, College Park Quarterly Meeting, and Pacific Yearly Meeting. Through his involvement, he developed lasting friendships with other Young Friends around California.

From a very young age Ty had a passion for dressing in costume.  Starting in elementary school he attended the annual Renaissance Festival with his father where he participated in archery and was even knighted one year.  When Atascadero began its annual historical reenactment of its founding, called “Tent City,” he immediately got involved and brought both his parents along as well.  Ty participated in a number of roles from playing a young “newsie” to helping with the set-up and take down of all the tents. Ty is in the photograph that is currently being used as the logo for the Tent City event. Ty also had a special love for Halloween from the time he was a toddler and in recent years he worked in costume at the Atascadero Scare Park for a couple of years.

Ty was physically active; he loved the outdoors and sports.  He participated in Boy Scouts for about 5 years.  In addition to his local troop, Ty went to summer camps and one year worked at Scout camp.  He played team soccer, basketball, and baseball in both San Francisco and Atascadero.  He loved bike riding and skateboarding and enjoyed the skate park a great deal.  He had a couple of birthday parties at local skate parks.  Ty learned to snowboard when he was five years old.  He also showed a love of horses from a young age.  When he spent a year at boarding school in Utah, during high school, he learned to ride and care for horses.  He also relished his many opportunities to snowboard there. In junior high school Ty was introduced to track and field which he instantly loved.  In high school he started pole vaulting which he pursued for a few years and was good enough to qualify for regional semifinals at Cuesta College as a freshman.

Ty was artistic and he loved music and was very gifted at drawing.  He served as DJ at Pacific Yearly Meeting for the annual dances hosted by Junior Yearly Meeting. He drew throughout his life and continued to develop his talent.  The youth coordinator for PYM has one of his drawings on her notebook, which is also being used as the Facebook logo for the youth program.

Ty had an innate curiosity and wanted to understand how things work.  He liked to take things apart, even though he didn’t always get them back together again.  He was a hard worker and took a number of jobs at the local hardware store, a pizza restaurant, and as a valet parker at special events.  He did a lot of construction projects with his dad and loved to work with his dad and with his hands. Ty would sometimes come up with suggestions for doing things a whole different way than Dan had ever done them – and Ty’s new ideas often worked.  

In February 2016 Ty moved to Santa Cruz where he was living in a rehab program and was working as a warehouseman for Goodwill Industries of the Central Coast.  In just his few months there, he made a lot of new friends and made a strong, lasting impression.

Ty had a vibrant, high energy personality.  He loved to make people smile and laugh.  Many of his friends have shared how he reached out to help them feel welcome and comfortable in difficult situations.  We remember his humor and how he cared deeply for his friends and family.