Life Story / Obituary
Witty and a bit sarcastic, Graham Jagnecki always knew how to bring a smile to the faces of those around him. A daredevil athlete and an enthusiastic musician, a hard working employee and an aspiring engineer, Graham was many things to many people. What held true throughout, however, was Graham’s kind heart, dedication, and willingness to help others. Although Graham’s time with us was far too short, he nonetheless touched the hearts of many; he was deeply loved, and will be deeply missed.
The year 1989 will be forever remembered as the year of historic events such as the fall of the Berlin Wall and pro-democracy protests in China’s Tiananmen Square. Closer to home for most Americans, 1989 also saw the first sales of Nintendo’s Game Boy, the release of Microsoft Office, and the orbiting of the first GPS satellites. For proud parents Edward and Susan (Funderburg) Jagnecki, however, by far the most important event of 1989 was the birth of their son, Graham Matthew, on January 8, 1989.
The Jagnecki family lived in Muskegon, Michigan, where Edward earned a living as a painter. Susan was a homemaker, staying home to raise their four children: Jason, Corey, Shannon, and Graham, the youngest. Graham grew up on the east side of Muskegon, on Kooi Street, and attended classes at Shettler Elementary School. He enjoyed playing with the neighborhood kids, and was also happy to just draw by himself. Some of his favorite childhood memories were of building forts in the yard, or of pretending to be a big-time wrestler with his brother, Corey. One day when Graham was six years old, he surprised his family by coming home with a kitten he’d found somewhere. The kitten, “Jersey,” quickly became one of the family, and lives with Graham’s mom to this day.
Neat and tidy, even as a young child Graham liked everything to be in its place. He had a bit of OCD, and Susan remembers that while her other kids were working in the yard, Graham preferred to clean the house. He also liked to have a say in what clothes he wore, and was always concerned about his appearance.
For vacations, Graham and his family had fun renting cabins on Duck Lake, Little Silver Lake, and Clear Lake. Graham enjoyed being around the water, and also looked forward to Skim Boarding on the beaches at Lake Michigan. When Graham was ten years old, his parents filed for divorce, and although he lived with his mom, he also spent time at his dad’s place riding the dirt bike or jumping on the trampoline.
As a boy, Graham took a few ice-skating lessons, but it didn’t take long for him to find a sport he liked even more – rollerblading. Graham loved rollerblading, and spent countless hours at area skate parks, showing off his latest moves to friends. He built ramps, rails, and jumps around the house, and could even do a backflip with his rollerblades on! At one point, Graham’s moves were captured by a photographer at a skate park in Grand Rapids, and his photos appeared in the Grand Rapids Press. Graham also played soccer and peewee football for a year each.
Graham was musically talented, and started playing from a young age. He picked up the guitar from his brother, Jason, but his real passion was always the drums. Graham enjoyed fast-paced, heavy metal music, but also played Christian rock at several local churches. Although he tried to put together a band with his friends, he never really found the right combination of people. No matter where he was, Graham was always drumming a beat with his fingers or other objects.
Graham went to Fruitport High School, and graduated in 2007. During his high school years, one of Graham’s favorite activities was travelling to different towns with his buddies, rollerblading in skate parks or just around the town. They had the reputation of being daredevils, and were known to jump off the bridges right into Spring Lake! High school wasn’t just about having fun for Graham, however – he was also an extremely hard worker, and had many goals for himself. In addition to his classes, Graham also worked part-time at Meijer’s, Walmart, and Sundown Sheet Metal, where he learned welding.
After graduating from high school, Graham studied to be a pharmacy technician at Baker College. He eventually found his niche at Shape Corporation in Grand Haven, Michigan, where they had plans to send him back to school to become an engineer. Graham enjoyed the work, and was always happy to work overtime (he was saving up to buy his own house).
In his free time, Graham loved spending time with his special friend, Nicole, playing Frisbee disc golf, and biking. He especially enjoyed biking on trails, and explored bike trails from Muskegon to Coopersville. Recently, Graham had adopted a Welsh Corgi named “Kirby,” and had a lot of fun taking care of her.
Hardworking, witty, and adventurous, Graham was a loving son, brother, and friend. He will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered by his many friends and family members.
Mr. Graham Matthew Jagnecki died on May 8, 2013, at the age of 24. Graham’s family includes his father, Edward of Muskegon; his mother, Susan of Muskegon; his sister, Shannon Jagnecki of Muskegon; his brothers, Jason Jagnecki of ME and Corey Jagnecki of Muskegon; his grandmother, Joan Jagnecki of Muskegon; his grandfather, Wayne Funderburg of Muskegon; his nieces, Janessa, Felicity and Aleiyah; his nephews, Christopher and Moreese; his special friend, Nicole; and his dog, Kirby.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 15, at the Clock Chapel - Muskegon with Rev. David Crowell officiating. Friends may join the family for visitation from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 14, at Clock Funeral Home – Muskegon. Please visit Graham’s personal memory page at clockfuneralhome.com, where you can learn more about his life, share a favorite memory or photo, and sign the online guestbook.