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Billy Graham Library- BGEA
Billy Graham Library- BGEA
USA News

Billy Graham’s last surviving sibling dies, aged 91

by Lydia Davies

Jean Graham Ford, the last surviving sibling of evangelist Rev Billy Graham, passed away last week at age 91.  Her nephew, Franklin Graham, shared a tribute to Facebook on 1st March, highlighting her unwavering devotion to Christ. 

"My Aunt Jean loved the Lord Jesus Christ," Franklin wrote.  

Jean's faith blossomed early, forming the foundation of her life. Franklin described how Jean, raised on a North Carolina dairy farm, considered Jesus "part of our family."  

Even childhood challenges, like polio at aged eleven, couldn't shake her faith.  

"She traced her faith back to her childhood, commenting that Jesus 'was part of our family,’" he continued.   

Jean married Leighton Ford, a fellow believer and evangelist, and together they built a life serving God.  Their son, Sandy, though tragically lost young, left a lasting testament to God's grace.  

"She exemplified this when her and Leighton's oldest son, Sandy, died of a rare heart disease at the young age of 21. Sandy's testimony for the Lord lives on to this day, and so does the testimony of Jean Graham Ford," Franklin's tribute concluded. 

Jean herself once said: "Sometimes it's so difficult to trust our lives to the Lord Jesus Christ...And yet to me, there's no option. That happened to be ingrained in me, my trust in what he promises; my trust in who I know him to be." 

Billy Graham died at aged 99 in 2018, Catherine Graham McElroy died in 2006 at 86, and Melvin Graham died in 2003 at 78. 

On 2nd March 2018, Jean spoke at Billy Graham's funeral in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

She shared that when she heard the news of her brother's death she was reminded of the hymn, 'Heaven came down and filled my soul with glory'. 

"On 21st February heaven came down and took my brother from me," she said.  

"One day, heaven will come down and take me. And I know what [my brother] would want me to say today is, 'Heaven is coming again and would like to take you also.' " 

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