TOPSHAM — Michael M. Gragen, 66, of Cathance Road, Topsham, died at Parkview Adventist Medical Center on July 5 after a two-year struggle with multiple myeloma.
Gragen was born Nov. 28, 1947, in Derby, Connecticut, the only child of Harry and Ruth Gragen. After growing up in Shelton, Connecticut, and graduating from Shelton High School, he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.
Gragen worked for the states of Connecticut and Vermont as a health economist and in several other executive positions. After attending Officer Candidate School in 1982, he served in the U.S. Navy for 20 years, rising to the rank of lieutenant commander before retiring. His service included submarine tours during the 1980s and 1990s, based at duty stations around the world. In 1992, he earned a master’s degree in management from the Naval Postgraduate School. He completed his career as a Navy liaison at Bath Iron Works.
Gragen was an avid golfer and a skilled handyman who upgraded nearly every part of his house over the years. He was also generous in helping family and friends with their own home improvement efforts. Gragen enjoyed political debates, crossword puzzles and brain teasers, and a good game of Scrabble.
He also enjoyed traveling with his wife, Debra, to Bar Harbor, and the couple visited North Conway, New Hampshire, annually to celebrate their wedding anniversary and kick off the Christmas shopping season. They also were auto racing fans, whether they visited Wiscasset Speedway or watched NASCAR races at home.
Most of all, Gragen enjoyed spending time with family, especially his grandchildren. He was a committed caregiver to his wife, who predeceased him in the past year after 18 years of marriage.
Gragen is survived by his two children, Zachary Gragen and his wife, Katherine, of Ashland, Massachusetts, and Mary Rogers and her husband, Michael, of Laurence Harbour, New Jersey; two grandchildren, Laura and Jack; and his special nephew, Eric Brewer and his wife, Amy.
Visiting hours and a funeral were held earlier this week at Brackett Funeral Home, 29 Federal St., Brunswick. Burial was scheduled to follow at Rogers Cemetery in Topsham.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, 383 Main Ave., Fifth Floor, Norwalk, CT 06851.