Franklin J. Graham Jr., 83, of Exton, an educator and decorated World War II veteran, died of complications from Alzheimer's disease Saturday at Southeastern Pennsylvania Veterans' Center in Spring City.

Mr. Graham began teaching at Devereux School in West Chester in the late 1940s and was principal for many years until his retirement in 1985. The school is operated by the Devereux Foundation, which provides services for children and adults with emotional, developmental, educational and cognitive disabilities.

"He took great joy in working with children with special needs and did his best to make a difference," his daughter Virginia said.

After graduating from John Bartram High School in Philadelphia, Mr. Graham joined the Army. He trained to be a pilot, said his wife, Miriam S. Graham, but the Army needed medics for the Normandy invasion. He earned a Bronze Star for saving wounded soldiers from attack at the Battle of the Bulge.

After his discharge, he earned a bachelor's degree from Dickinson College in Carlisle.

He earned a master's degree in education administration from Temple University.

Mr. Graham enjoyed sports, politics, dogs, and vacations with his family at the shore in Maine and New Hampshire.

In addition to his wife of 60 years and daughter, Mr. Graham is survived by a son, William; another daughter, Linda Kenney; a sister; and four grandchildren.

A funeral will be held at 11 a.m. today at Founds Funeral Home, 229 S, High St., West Chester, where friends may call after 10:30 a.m. Burial will be in Philadelphia Memorial Park, Frazer.