The founder of a prominent Blairgowrie -based business has passed away at the age of 77.

James Graham, known as Jim – who set up Graham Environmental Services – sadly died in his sleep in his own home with family around him on Wednesday, May 20, following a long illness.

Born in Forfar, Jim was the son of a farmer from Angus.

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The family then moved to Alyth, where Jim attended school before studying at Dundee College.

A move to Glasgow followed, where Jim took on an apprentice engineering job in the shipyards.

Five years later, he left to join the merchant navy and then had a couple of years as a prison officer before moving back to Perthshire and settling in Blairgowrie.

In 1964, Jim met the love of his life Anna McAndrew in the Dalrulzion Hotel near Bridge of Cally.

They married a year later and celebrated their 53rd anniversary last September.

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Jim and Anna had four children whom he loved very much and was extremely proud of.

A return to Glasgow came about as a result of being successful in getting a job with Rentokil as a pest control technician.

Jim would spend 23 years with the firm, moving to the position of service manager for Scotland latterly in his career.

After leaving the company following an illness, he started up Graham Environmental Services in 1993 with the intention of having a small job to keep him going into his retirement.

Anna left a position with the ambulance service to join him, helping with the administration side of the business.

Sons Ross and Stuart, who had just left the Royal Navy and Black Watch, also soon joined a company which has grown to become Scotland’s largest pest control firm, employing more than 50 people throughout Scotland.

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Most of the workers are based locally.

This growth, which has progressed from Jim working out of a shed in his back garden, resulted in the diversification of the business over the years as a result of customer demand and the formation of Graham Hygiene Services and Graham Fire Protection, which employ a further 40 people.

Jim was immensely proud of his family business, staff and very loyal customers. His motto was “good service breeds good sales”.

An extremely kind and generous man, Jim supported many charities over the years and will be affectionately remembered for encouraging others to “keep smiling”.

This was made apparent when the company celebrated 25 years in business in 2018 and raised £25,000, which was shared between Children’s Hospices Across Scotland, the Scottish Huntington’s Association and Tayside Children’s Cancer Charity.

Jim is survived by his wife Anna and children Jill, Louise, Ross and Stuart.

He was a devoted grandpa to his nine grandchildren and loving father-in-law to Callum, Fitzy, Tracey and June.

A funeral service will take place on Wednesday this week.