She married Alvan Graham in 1951, 10 months after they were introduced by his sister. The couple moved to Detroit to find work and lived there nearly eight years before settling on a farm in Clark County in 1959. Three years later, the couple had their only son, Drew, now Clark County judge-executive.
Mrs. Graham has worked in retail since she was 18 years old, except for a few years after her son's birth. Her first job paid $15 a week for a 72-hour week, and she loved it.
"At that time, I had dreamt of having a store of my own," she recalled.
She had worked 13 years at Loma Manufacturing in Winchester and was buying a pair of boots for her husband at L.R. Hopkins 25 years ago when she learned the store was going out of business.
After little discussion, she convinced her husband to buy it. He agreed, she remembers, only if she would run it.
It was the most expensive pair of shoes he ever bought, Graham told his wife.
They bought the merchandise from L.R. "Buddy" and Virginia Hopkins in 1976 and the building a year later, keeping the Hopkins name, but adding "Graham's" to it.
When they bought the store, it was small and sold mostly men's clothes and shoes. Now it offers men's and women's work clothing, men's work boots and shoes and some children's gear, including dance and gymnastics outfits, dresses, play clothes and cowboy boots.
The store is filled to the brim with stock - crisp jeans stacked on tables, cowboy hats hanging on walls, women's skirts and blouses bursting from round racks and loose shoes just waiting to be tried on. More remains upstairs and in a large back room.
Despite the plentiful inventory, Mrs. Graham refuses to rely on a computer, preferring to record transactions by hand with a calculator and many, many notebooks.
"They make too many mistakes," she said of computers. "Or should I say the people that enter the stuff make too many mistakes."
Mrs. Graham spends four or five days a week at the store. A few other employees, including her daughter-in-law, Laura, help her maintain it. She said her husband and granddaughters also help, especially during the busy Christmas season.
Her love of her customers spurs her to continue working. She said the business has never been hard. It's been work, she explained, but it's never been hard.
"I love waiting on people. I love the people, and I enjoy it," she said. "They are all very pleasant. Very seldom do you ever have one that's not. So the one that is not you can overlook it and go on."
"It's something I love to do and I don't know how long I'll be able to do it," she said, laughing. "There's no reason to leave it. We have wonderful customers and we enjoy them all. We have wonderful relationships here.
"We've always been really successful with the store, but our customers are the ones that have done it for us," she said. "If you didn't have them, you wouldn't be here would you?"
Her customers are like friends. So close, in fact, that she opens the store at nearly any hour if they need her to do so.
She also has donated shoes and clothing to people in need. Of course, she is quick to point out she's always helping someone by providing the brands people want.
The business keeps her young and happy. She says she never wanted to do anything else.
"I've done just what I wanted to do with my life," Mrs. Graham said, crediting God with her happiness. "He has been with me with all the ups and downs and family and friends. I thank God every day for his help."
When she's not at the store, Mrs. Graham enjoys cooking and spending time with her four grandchildren.
"My hobby is my grandkids," Mrs. Graham said. "That's just made our life complete, having the children," she said of Tiffany, 14; Tabitha, 12; Bethany, 10, and Drew, 6.
Her retired husband works with his son, Drew, farming hundreds of acres and raising cattle.
The Grahams also enjoy hosting an annual barbecue at their 38-acre farm. Mrs. Graham said the event, to which everyone is invited, is a highlight for her every year.
Mrs. Graham strives to keep Graham's L.R. Hopkins' traditional, old-world feel.
"I thought about remodeling once upon a time, and I had too many farmers say, â??No, no, no, don't you do it, so I never did," she said, adding that the farmers didn't want to worry about tarnishing a clean, new carpet with their muddy boots.
She says her customers like the store as is and don't want to see it change.
"As long as I'm here, it'll be just like it is," she said.