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11/22/20 - NNHS Newsletter - Graham Pillow

Elijah Graham Pillow
(06 Aug 1931 - 13 Nov 2020)

Jefferson High School Class of 1949

Newport News High School Teacher

Dear Friends and Schoolmates,

   We have more sad news today. Graham Pillow, Jefferson HS Class of 1949 and respected NNHS Teacher of both English and science, passed away at the in Elmira, New York on Friday, November 13, 2020 at the age of 89.

    Widower of Jane Carney Pillow ('50) (d. 08 Aug 2009), he was the brother-in-law of Ann Carney Snider ('54) of VA,  Ellen Carney Manson ('63) of SC, and the late  Joe Carney, Class of 1959 (d. 29 Mar 2006).

From the Olthof Funeral Home (NY) - 11/22/20:

              Elijah Graham Pillow


    ELMIRA, NEW YORK - Elijah Graham Pillow, 89, of Elmira, NY, passed away on Friday, November 13, 2020 at the Arnot Ogden Medical Center.

Graham was born on August 6, 1931 in Farmville, VA, the son of the late Oliver and Isabel (Fleshman) Pillow.

Grahamís early life was centered in Virginia. As a young man he earned a Bachelor of Arts from William and Mary College in Williamsburg, VA while serving as a Army ROTC cadet. In the summer preceding their senior year in college, Graham married his first wife Jane Carney.

After completing his studies at William and Mary, he served the U.S. Army during the Korean War as a second lieutenant. After his four years in the Army,

Elijah Graham Pillow
  Graham taught English at Newport News High School and Physics and Computer Science at Christopher Newport College ( a branch of William and Mary) in Newport News, VA. While teaching, he earned his Masters of Science from William and Mary College and later did extensive post graduate work at UNC Chapel Hill. During this time he served in the U.S. Army Reserves for 10 years and was promoted to the Rank of Captain.

In the early 70ís, Graham worked with Riverside Hospital in Newport News, VA to develop one of the first computer programs for medical diagnostics. It took years to compile, write and test a program that could analyze data and direct it toward possible diagnosis and treatments. The variables were many and computer power was still limited. He was ahead of his time in the computer field. While at Christopher Newport College, he and a colleague created one of the first computer science degree programs in Virginia.

These accomplishments led Graham to become the Director of Medical Computing at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville. He went on to become the Assistant Vice President of Information Systems at the University of Oregon in Portland. He then was the Director of Systems and Data Processing at Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY, from where he retired.

After retirement, Graham's love of music led him to play the keyboard in Florida as part of a dance band that performed at various yacht clubs and clubhouses. He also was an avid video game player, loved dancing and going on cruises. He and his first wife Jane also raised purebred Burmese show cats. Curious by nature, he was a voracious reader, loved to travel and was a lifelong learner. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

Graham is survived by his loving wife, Betty (Christopher) VanDelinder Pillow; sons, David (Terri) Pillow of Arlington, TX, and Steven Pillow of Newport News, VA; step-daughter, Debb VanDelinder of Elmira, NY; step-son, Scott (Megan) VanDelinder of Albany, OR; grandchildren, Jason, Joshua, and Jeremy of Texas, Walker of California, Stewart of Texas, Wilson, Davis and Isabelle of Virginia; step-grandchildren, John and William VanDelinder, Jamie VanDelinder-Pierce of New York State, Ethan and Skyler VanDelinder of Oregon; great-grandchildren, Benjamin and Leah Pillow of California; step great-grandchildren, Julian VanDelinder, Dillon and Jacob VanDelinder-Pierce, Ruby Newton VanDelinder, all of New York State; and brother, Frank (Donna) Pillow of Mishawaka, IN.

Graham was predeceased by his parents and his wife of 56 years, Jane (Carney) Pillow.

Due to the COVID pandemic, memorial services will be held at a later date for family and friends. Burial will take place in Bushnell National Cemetery in Bushnell, FL beside his first wife, Jane.

The family asks that memorials be made to Christopher Newport College, 1 University Pl., Newport News, VA 23606 in Graham's name. Graham's tribute wall may be signed at

To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Elijah Graham Pillow please visit our Sympathy Store.

Published in Olthof Funeral Home (NY) on
November 22, 2020.
View Olthof Funeral Home Guest Book


November 14, 2020, 4:27 PM 

Doyle and I have spent time with Graham and Jane when they visited Julie and Steve in Newport News. Both of them always so happy to visit and spend time with them and Isabelle and Davis, his grandchildren.. We learned from them they were enjoying their lives in Florida as a retired home. and at the same time always missed Newport News, Virginia. The last time we saw Graham was at an "away" Soccer Tournament he enjoyed so much. I am positive he was happy to know that his grandson, Davis, was attending CNU and Isabelle, his granddaughter, was attending VCU. Graham was a kind and gentle man.

~ Gale and Doyle Sutherland

November 14, 2020, 9:02 PM 

I want to send my condolences to Aunt Betty and the entire sorry...thoughts and prayers! Becky Maynard

~ Becky Maynard

November 15, 2020, 10:17 AM   

To the Pillow family, I'm sorry for your loss. Sounds like he loved his life and touched many. Again sorry for your loss. May he R.I.P.

November 19, 2020, 8:54 AM 

Graham was my physics professor at Christopher Newport College, 1965-66. What a great teacher and gentleman. Will keep his family in my prayers.
Wayne B. Rammell

~ Wayne Brown Rammell

November 22, 2020, 12:17 PM  

Mr. Pillow was my 8th grade science teacher at Newport News High School. I remember him walking around with his "meter stick" and if someone wasn't paying attention he would slap the stick down on the slate topped lab table and that got everyone's attention. Great teacher, so thankful I knew him.

November 25, 2020  


November 25, 2020  

Harry and I dearly loved Jimmy, he was the sweetest and kindest man we've ever known. You are all in our prayers. - See more at:


November 25, 2020  



November 25, 2020    



November 25, 2020   



November 25, 2020  


November 25, 2020  


   Our sincerest sympathies are extended to Mr. Pillow's family, friends, and former students at this difficult time.

   This information is also posted here:


  Y'all take good care of each other! TYPHOONS FOREVER! We'll Always Have Buckroe!

                          Love to all, Carol





Carol Buckley Harty
7020 Lure Court
Fayetteville, NC 28311-9309

Abide With Me

Words by Henry F. Lyte, 1847
Music by William H. Monk, 1861

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day;
Earth's joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word,
But as Thou dwell'st with Thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar, condescending, patient, free.
Come not to sojourn, but abide with me.

Come not in terrors, as the King of kings,
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings;
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea.
Come, Friend of sinners, thus abide with me.

Thou on my head in early youth didst smile,
And though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee.
On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.

I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter's power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death's sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

"Abide with Me" midi courtesy of - 06/01/06

"Abide with Me" lyrics and available history courtesy of - 06/01/06

Greg Olsen Paintings courtesy of Ė 01/27/05

Animated Army Flag clip art courtesy of - 06/18/03

Blackwork Flowers Divider Line clip art courtesy of - 08/12/04

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