James “Ardis” Graham was born March 21, 1944, in Hoke County, North Carolina and entered eternal rest on November 19, 2018. From the union of Samuel Graham & Mable (Monroe) Graham, Ardis was the only child. He inherited a strong legacy of faith, family, and leadership and made it his mission to live by those tenants.
His relocation to Boston is marked by the “Great Migration”, where the Graham family moved from the rural South to Massachusetts in the 1950s. Ardis graduated from The Boston English High School on June 6, 1963. He went on fulfill his higher education at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. This is where he played his Trumpet and well enough to become a member of their Blue & Gold Marching Band.
During his life, Ardis held many jobs. We view him as a renaissance man; his ability to create music, paint portraits, and his photography spoke volumes about this man. The camera led him to start his own photography studio in Mattapan. While pursuing his dream, Ardis worked for the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA), as a legal investigator for 17 years (1987-2004), while also attaining this goal of starting his own business. Ardis was the founders of Ardis Graham Photographers, in which he has been the Owner & President for 51 years.
Ardis’ primary focus was his family and his service to the Boston community. A man of joy and selflessness, who would constantly put the comfort and well-being of others over himself. He served on countless community boards and offered photography services to several organizations, including: the Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement, Prince Hall Lodge No. 459, Cruz Companies, the Boston Celtics, Roxbury Seniors Club Incorporated. His photos range from the ringside bouts of the “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler, to the initial recording sessions from Atlantic Star, to the state-of-address by President Bill Clinton. Ardis was also the main photographer for several annual functions, weddings, and other private events across the country.
Ardis Graham leaves to carry on his legacy his loving parents: Samuel Graham & Mable Graham; his dear children: Nujan McCormick, Jessica Graham, Osiah Graham; his grandchildren: Jeffrey McCormick, Brianna Bryant, Rihana Henderson, Uniya Bryant; his great-grandchild, Louis Fontosantiago-Bryant Jr.