John F. "Fred" Graham

April 2, 1936 ~ March 14, 2019 (age 82)


Passed in peace March 14, 2019 at the age of 82 with his daughter, Wendy, and her husband, Marc, by his side. While Fred lived with his daughter, her husband, and their two sons in Philadelphia, he remained a Pittsburgher at heart where he was born on April 2, 1936.  “Little Freddie” (a nickname that didn’t suit a 6’7” tall man) was the first child born to his mother, Ruth (deceased) and father “Big Freddie” (deceased).  He had three sisters, Phyllis, Carol (deceased), and Lois (deceased) and cherished their many children and grandchildren. Fred said he knew that he wanted to be an engineer at age 12 and paid his own way through college by working every night as a theater manager while attending Carnegie Institute of Technology, now known as Carnegie Mellon University (CMU).  He graduated in 1958 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering and his name is on the CMU Wall of Honor. Fred worked most of his career as the Director for Engineering and Construction for Pittsburgh’s Alleghany County where he oversaw hundreds of bridges and over 500 miles of roads.  In 1989, he became Director of Capital Projects and oversaw the construction of the Pittsburgh International Airport as well as related construction projects such as the Southern Expressway.  After retiring for 10 days, Fred worked for the PA Turnpike Commission, taught a project class for three years at CMU, and until 2015 ran his own civil engineering consulting firm where he was involved in projects including the new Steeler stadium infrastructure. For his eminent career of completing large public construction projects, such as the Pittsburgh International Airport Midfield Terminal Complex, and the replacement or rehabilitation of more than a hundred bridges, and for starting more than $10 billion of highway work for the PA Turnpike Commission and as a role model and mentor to young engineers, Fred was named a distinguished member and elected one of eleven civil engineers as honorary members of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).  This honor is ASCE's highest accolade and had only been given to 186 of its 139,000 members worldwide when Fred received it in 2006.  While he received many other awards during his influential career, none meant more to him than the William Metcalf Award for Outstanding Engineering Achievement given to him by his peers at the Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania in 2018. Fred will be fondly remembered as a loving husband to his wife Kay (deceased),  grandfather to Tim, Patrick, and Jake, a distinguished civil engineer, loyal friend, mentor, a proud Pittsburgher, a life-long learner, and US Army veteran. Family and friends will be received at Laughlin Cremation & Funeral Tributes 1008 Castle Shannon Blvd. on Thursday 6-8 PM. mass of Christian Burial will be offered in St. Anne Church on Friday at 9:30 AM. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to Little Sisters of The Poor 1028 Benton Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15212.

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