Obituary of Graham Albert Waddington
Graham Albert Waddington left this earth on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 on his 29th birthday. Graham leaves to greatly mourn him: his father and mother, Derek Waddington (Karen Calvanese) of Somers, CT. and Allison Waddington (Ken Marceau) of Andover, CT; his big brother Nicholas Waddington, his little sister Dylan Waddington, a stepsister Chelsea Calvanese, his beloved “Nana and Papa” Grandparents Albert and Lawanna Scotti of Hebron, his Uncle and Aunt Albert and Mary Scotti, his cousin Rachel Scotti all also of Hebron, CT; and his family in Bothwell, Scotland: Aunt & Uncle Lynn and Euan Stirrat, their children, Graham’s cousins Jillian, Douglas and Andrew Stirrat and their families, and his Uncle David Waddington of London. He was predeceased by his paternal grandparents, Andrew and Margaret Waddington, of Bothwell, Scotland. He also leaves behind his amazing rescue cat, Wallace, whom Graham referred to as “his son.” He loved that little orange cat with all of his heart. He found Wallace while working as a security guard and stuffed him in a box, and brought him home on Christmas Eve, 2015. He couldn’t bear the thought of this little guy being out in the snow. He also leaves his great friend Mike Haddad, his new BFF Jay Zannetos, childhood friends Kevin and Stephen Blais, Cam Lutz, Abir Akhand and many, many acquaintances. He had so many memories of his pals Alex Buller and Ethan Sperry, and he would talk of them often.
Graham was larger than life, ridiculously funny, tremendously handsome, a gifted saxophone player, and the best all-around human that anyone could know. More than anything, he loved his family. We can hear him now, “My family is the best. I love my family so much. We have the best family.” He idolized his father, and frequently called him a certified beast because his Dad is the best Dad, and the greatest golfer. Graham was so proud of being Derek’s son. He loved his Mom so much, and left little notes everywhere for her to find, telling her how much he appreciated everything she did for him. He told her how beautiful she is and did so many little things for her. He adored his big brother Nick and celebrated all of Nick’s many accomplishments. “Can you believe that Nick won the championship again? Nick is the greatest.” He thought so much of his brother and sister... and he lit up every time he saw them walk in the door. He loved his sister Dylan with all of his heart, and said she was the most beautiful woman he’d ever met, a great cook, and the best artist. He was her champion, and he encouraged her to reach for the stars. He left here anxiously waiting for her to finish writing and illustrating the children’s picture book she has been working on. He loved his Nana and Papa and spent as much time there as he could, watching TV and talking with his Papa. He loved his Papa’s stories and was held in rapt attention no matter how many times he heard them. “Papa is the man.” While waiting for Nana’s lamb chops to come out of the oven, he would say “Nana is so beautiful. Did you ever have her roast beef? OMG her beef burgundy. Nana is the best Nana. I can’t wait for dinner!” He was at his happiest when his family was with him. At his cousin Rachel’s Halloween party... he played Frisbee like a madman while dressed as Hugh Heffner, and was always the last to leave the party. He was so proud of Rachel, her new home, her 2 kitties, and he loved her so much.
Graham leaves his stepmother Karen, whom he cared so much for. She showed him so many kindnesses in his short life from giving him cars, to throwing great parties that he loved to attend. He often spoke of her and her mother who made tremendous desserts that he raved about. He always came home happy from Dad and Karen’s house with a plate full of desserts that he would eat in his room! Graham leaves his Mom’s partner Ken Marceau. Ken and Graham butted heads a million times, but Graham was always one of Ken’s favorite photography subjects. Something we are all grateful for now. Ken told Graham how proud he was of him for making so many improvements in his life, and Graham knew that. Graham leaves his beloved Uncle Al… they shared a love of cars. Graham loved Al’s vintage T-Bird, and would always call upon his uncle for tools, or car advice. He said, “It doesn’t matter what or when, Uncle Al always comes through when I need him.”
Graham loved cars, but only Starions and Conquests... old cars that most people have never heard of. He really should have been born in another era, for the cars, and his love of neon 80’s vintage clothing. He owned several of these cars, and friended many Starion fans in Facebook groups all over the world. He often told stories of his hero Howard Driespan of New Jersey, who so kindly gave Graham many vintage Starion items and treated him to his favorite New Jersey pizza place every time he visited. Graham said proudly, that Howard thought of him as the son he never had. Howard wrote that, “Graham’s love for the Mitsubishi Starion was boundless! He would buy rare parts, and if the owner’s were reluctant to sell, his enthusiasm and persistence would get them every time! His friendship and love for this particular car was contagious and was felt all around the world! Everyone knows him, or of him! Many people owe him a debt of gratitude for his help with sending parts to get their cars running again! The car community lost a gem, a rare gem!” Graham would be humbled to know of his impact on the world.
One of his life highlights was going to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee for a Starion/Conquest meetup with his good friend Justin Marble of New York. He recalled their breakfasts at Waffle House, because the little things meant everything to Graham. He came home with so many Starion and Conquest souvenirs for his entire family. After his passing, we were inundated with messages from all over the world, everyone telling their own Graham stories, and sharing the silliest videos that he sent. His friend Chris Miller of New York, is making memorial tee shirts for his buddy which read, “In memory of Graham Waddington, now on his own eternal StarQuest.”
Of Graham, his friend Christopher Miller wrote, “All the world over, Graham was known as the guy who knew all the tiny idiosyncrasies that differentiated different models and trim levels of Graham's favorite car, the Mitsubishi Starion/Chrysler Conquest, commonly referred to as "StarQuests." Graham knew how to find the good stuff; the rare parts people thought no longer existed. He made friends as far away as Australia, New Zealand and England. Graham loved to add rare parts to his collection, all for a rainy day, and perhaps for bragging rights. He was not only an associate who bought parts from folks, he made heartfelt, and everlasting friendships with the people he connected with in the StarQuest world. He would often send silly video messages and photos, and surely put a smile on the face of any recipient. He was passionate about his quest for knowledge, and his quest for "the good stuff." Graham would always answer a call and help out when there was a friend in need, or if they just wanted to talk. Graham was also not afraid to get dirty in his search for parts. He would often pull apart cars in rough shape in order to sell the parts to finance his lust for nicer parts. He was clever in that way. We will miss his silliness, his knowledge, his passion. We will miss his smile, his laugh. We will miss the feeling of envy we'd get when he would post the rare parts he found or possessed. We will miss having such a valuable resource to ask the oddball questions. We will miss Graham. There are likely hundreds of stories that could be told about Graham from his car friends. The most important one is one of his love for all of humanity, and most importantly, the story of his immense love for his family. We thank his family for sharing him with the StarQuest community. For that we are eternally grateful.”
The family is humbled and honored to have our Graham remembered so kindly by so many.
Graham loved food. Rachel’s bacon wrapped jalapenos, Auntie Mary’s strawberry cake, Dylan’s world famous nachos that we enjoyed at his birthday party just days ago, his Mom’s beef stroganoff with buttered noodles, and anything that his precious and adorable Nana made, especially lamb chops and her world famous beef bourguignon. He also loved junk food and scarfed mountains of Captain Crunch, Lucky Charms and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. He loved the dehydrated marshmallows that come in Lucky Charms, and chocolate covered toffee (and… he peeled the chocolate off and threw it away!) He loved everything that was super sweet, super sour or insanely super fiery hot. He left so much food uneaten including a kitchen cabinet full of cereal, scorching hot salsa, ramen noodles, sourdough pretzels, and 9 different kinds of gourmet hot chocolate. He never got to enjoy the 3-pound bag of dehydrated marshmallows that Dylan gave him for his birthday.
Graham loved watching Unsolved Mysteries, and he would binge watch all of the episodes for days at a time. He loved Forensic Files, but his first love was the Three Stooges. When he was 3 years old he could impersonate Moe Howard like a veteran performer. He loved the movie, “Drive,” “A Place Beyond the Pines,” “The Town,” and “A Simple Plan.” He left behind so many books, including his favorite book, “Hacksaw,” by Edward R. Jones.
Nicholas, Graham and Dylan grew up on Hall Road in Hebron, which was a dream childhood. He recently told us that he frequently dreamed of his days there. His best pals, Ted Alexander, Tom Ouellette and Spencer Brown could be found building ramps to jump their bikes, swimming in the neighborhood pools, picking wild raspberries, catching frogs in Mrs. Grant’s pond, and just getting up to general shenanigans. He adored Connie and Garth Brown, and their Spencer and Katy. Garth shared Graham’s love of dirt bikes and the two of them were fast friends. Phyllis and Les (Mr. Les!) Kurz and their children Matt, Jenny and Tom were phenomenal neighbors who both tricked and treated Graham in the funniest ways. Stu and Lee Alexander and their Ted and Emily provided such fun and memories. The time that Ted and Graham found two $100 bills in the snow… it was literally buried treasure. Only on Hall Road. Those were golden days.
Graham was wildly inappropriate. In high school he was king of the universal remote. His antics caused all of the classroom electronics to go haywire. The volume went sky high while the channels randomly changed. We believe that the Region 8 school system spent considerable time troubleshooting these “glitches,” all of which were caused by Graham. These pranks were not out of malice. He just loved to push the limits. He would wear a Trump wig with a MAGA hat, and drive around just annoying people. Graham loved to rile people up. He did a near perfect Trump impersonation and left his audience always wanting more.
But there was tremendous kindness to Graham too. He loved to help people who were stuck with broken down cars or flat tires, anything. Just a few months ago he told a story of a man whose car had broken down in a busy intersection. Graham stopped his own car, jumped out with a rope and helped tow the man to the side of the road. The man said... “You have been sent to me by God.” Graham loved that!
Graham was a talented machinist and spent hours trying to explain to his Mom and his sister how lathes and mills worked. We wish we had listened more. He said that his favorite machine was a Haas, as they had them at Manchester Community College, where he completed the Precision Manufacturing Program. He proudly wore a Haas baseball cap that hangs in his bedroom.
Graham left a large hole in his family that can never be filled. We are so sad that he won’t be with us to see so many things. He will miss his happy family milestones, and our shared sorrows. He will always be forever young, forever joking and laughing, forever our Graham. Summer Saturday nights at the fire pit with s’mores will never be the same.
In Graham’s honor, please fix yourself a mug of hot chocolate, pile it high with marshmallows, and look out for people whose cars are broken down, have a flat tire, or need help reaching the top shelf at the grocery store. These are the things that Graham did every day of his life. There is no kindness that is too small...
Graham will live on in the warm breeze, in the frosty snow and in raindrops that fall gently to the earth. Graham, one day my buddy... one fine day…
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John F Tierney Funeral Home
219 West Center Street
Manchester, CT 06040