April 18, 1915 – June 6, 2010
Is is with sadness that we announce the passing of Lillian Madelaine Graham, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, peacefully on June 6, 2010 at the age of 95. Born in Onaway, Alberta, she moved as a child with her family to Quebec and then returned to Onaway where her parents were farmers. She married and moved to Port Alberni and then to North Vancouver (Deep Cove). She and her husband had general stores in both locations and Lillian would tell stories of delivering groceries to customers with the aid of “a lad” in an open dory, on the sea, in all kinds of weather. During this time, Lillian attended The Academy of Useful Art (a design and tailoring school) where she graduated with perfect marks. In 1950 the pair received the last Homesteaders Grant awarded in BC and headed for Nuko Lake, north of Prince George with two children, where they established a family farm. A third child was born four years later. The farm became the fodder for more stories – shooting a full-grown moose in the vegetable garden, having the kids ride the bull on a huge adapted saddle, fighting the chickens out of the kitchen. In 1963, Lillian and her youngest made their way to Northway, Alaska, Mile 1263 of the Alaskan Highway. After a series of short moves, she established in Fairbanks, Alaska where she met and married Robert (Bob) Graham. Eventually they moved to Eugene, Oregon where they lived until Bob’s death, at which time she returned to Prince George for a short period before moving to Lake Cowichan in 1993.
Lillian was a amazingly accomplished woman; she was a trained seamstress and furrier who could sew anything out of anything. She was a talented crafter, artist, gardener and homemaker. She will long be remembered for her love of and exceptional abilities in her sewing, doll making, painting, pine needle basket weaving, knitting and crocheting, Christmas decorations and her generosity in teaching anyone who wanted to learn.
She loved John Wayne movies, Louis L’Amour books, and North American history. She loved her children and her grandchildren and visited from New Mexico to northern BC until she was no longer able to travel.
Predeceased by her parents and siblings, husband Bob, and son, Wilf, she will be sorely missed by her daughter, Phoebe (John) Houk of St. Albert, Saskatchewan, and son Al (Julie) McClure of Lake Cowichan, and their families and by Bob’s children, Carol, Bob Jr, and Tom and their families.
Our thanks to the Dr. Froese and the staffs of VIHA Home Nursing and Sunridge Place for their care and attention to Lillian. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to are asked to plant flowers in Lillian’s memory. There will be no service by request.