Paul Francis Graham

Born: Toronto on 29 July 1949

Passed away: Kelowna on 28 January 2016

Aged: 66 years


The Story

Paul Graham gently passed away surrounded by his girls on January 28, 2016 in Kelowna, BC.

Born to Margaret and Thomas Graham, Paul grew up in Toronto with four brothers: John, Gerry, Leo, and Peter. He was also very close with his many ‘kissing’ cousins and extended family in Ontario. Summers were spent in Georgian Bay where Paul developed a love for boating and spending time on the water with friends and family.

While attending Ryerson University, Paul worked summers as a waterski instructor at the Delawana Inn where he met Helen. They married in 1973 in Toronto and Paul graduated shortly after. Paul’s career in hospitality brought him to work at Aston Resort, the Ontario Government Protocol Office, the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Windemere House, and Minaki Lodge. His passion for looking after people created a lasting impression on the many guests and staff he touched over the years. Paul retired after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.

Paul was an incredible father to Andrea and Clare. He raised them with love, integrity, and a sense of humour. Despite the challenge of living with Parkinson’s, Paul always stayed positive. His girls were first and foremost and he gave them a beautiful life. The love Paul and Helen shared is undeniable. It is the type of true love that lasts forever.

His greatest passions were family and friends and his social network spread across Canada and Australia. Paul’s genuine smile inspired the same in everyone he met and he used his ‘dad’ humour to break the ice at any opportunity. Under that humour was a generosity and selflessness that shone through. Paul always said he wanted to be a positive influence in people’s lives and he lived this goal out daily.

Please join us in sharing your memories of Paul.

He lives on in our hearts.
Andrea, Clare, and Helen

If you wish to make a donation, we would like to support ongoing research for Parkinson’s Disease,
https://www.parkinsons.ca

If you have any trouble uploading photos, please email them to [email protected]
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Paul, you were a remarkable caring person. We knew you first when you worked at the Delawana like the family and so many of us. You were always brilliant in social situations. When you were Social Director your bingo games drew hundreds! In a room full of people, you could form a real connection with each and every one. For those of us lucky enough to know you well, you made us all feel like we were your best friends. If laughter is the best medicine you should have been a doctor. We don't mean just the ordinary kind of ha!ha! (although we shared many of those) but the sidesplitting belly laughter that releases the heart and mind and soul. Although we could write a book of treasured memories, we especially think of you and Helen at Windermere House when you were so close to us and our children. We shared so much during those times and your good cheer and optimism influenced us all. Then there was your courage! You bore a relentless disease not only with amazing grace but with your unfailing sense of humour. You are a true inspiration. Paul, we will never forget you! To Helen, Andrea and Clare we send our condolences on your loss-he was taken too soon. We wish you joy and consolation in precious baby Sophie and laughter through your tears. Lots of love, Fred and Shonnie

Fred and Shonnie Grise

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My, how time passes. So sad to hear of Paul’s passing; he was a class act; ever the gentleman, impeccably dressed, groomed, and yet there was always a sense of humour and playfulness bubbling beneath the very calm, controlled exterior. Wonderful guy. I will always remember him wheeling into the Brebeuf parking lot commanding that big, dark green Buick Electra 225, gliding it effortlessly; smooth, calm and confidently to rest. Be well, friend, Paul McKernan

Paul McKernan

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My parents cottage on McArthur Drive.

Peter Graham shared a photo.

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Peter Graham shared a photo.

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Kelly and I tried to plan our own wedding but didn't have a clue about what we were doing. We even had the invitations printed. Paul phoned me and said would you like me to help???? So Paul and Helen organized our wedding at Windermere. We could not have done it with out them. My Father's buddies all showed up (Halls,Wakelys, Bernardos, DeCarli) and were sitiing at a table waiting for lunch. Paul came over to the table, in cohoots with my Father, and told them that Kelly's family were very religious and that it was a 'dry' wedding and that there wouldn't be any alcohol served all weekend. Paul then let them sit for a bit while Mr. Hall and Mr. Wakely almost had heart attack trying to find out where the nearet LCBO so they could have a bottle in their rooms. My Father and Paul told them that it was too far to drive and the LCBO would be closed. In the end Paul let them know it was all a joke. The day of the wedding Paul sent a bottle of champagne up to Kelly's room to enjoy while the girls got ready. Subsequently Kelly and the girls and her official photographer (Margie Graham) were 45 minutes late for the Church.

Peter Graham shared a photo.

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Kelly and I tried to plan our own wedding but didn't have a clue about what we were doing. We even had the invitations printed. Paul phoned me and said would you like me to help???? So Paul and Helen organized our wedding at Windermere. We could not have done it with out them. My Father's buddies all showed up (Halls,Wakelys, Bernardos, DeCarli) and were sitiing at a table waiting for lunch. Paul came over to the table, in cohoots with my Father, and told them that Kelly's family were very religious and that it was a 'dry' wedding and that there wouldn't be any alcohol served all weekend. Paul then let them sit for a bit while Mr. Hall and Mr. Wakely almost had heart attack trying to find out where the nearet LCBO so they could have a bottle in their rooms. My Father and Paul told them that it was too far to drive and the LCBO would be closed. In the end Paul let them know it was all a joke. The day of the wedding Paul sent a bottle of champagne up to Kelly's room to enjoy while the girls got ready. Subsequently Kelly and the girls and her official photographer (Margie Graham) were 45 minutes late for the Church.

Peter Graham shared a photo.

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Peter Graham shared a photo.

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I took this photo of Helen, Paul and baby Andrea at their Castlefield Ave home in 1980. Paul was working at Ontario Place and was a larger than life character with hair to match.

Greg Johnson shared a photo.

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October 1980: It was my year in Canada, visiting from far away Australia. Paul's holding baby Andrea and we were pumpkin huntin because I had no idea how big these Canadian pumpkins were! That's me on the right with the long hair.

Greg Johnson shared a photo.

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We were all very fortunate to have grown up with our kissing cousins. They were not only our cousins, they were and still are our friends. Thanks to our Granny and our parents, we spent a lot of time together. As young kids, we spent Christmases together, also 1st Communions and Confirmations with breakfast at Fran's later. Georgian Bay was the catalyst for that bonding. Many memories of Graham's cottage; bonfires, guitars, winters up there, digging holes in the ice to get water, boating, dancing, horseback riding (I rode Bell too like Paul and I fell off him once on the big hill!)...what fun we had. As Michael said, the Windermere Cousins Weekend was the best, even if Judy Flanagan was smoking. Laughing, laughing, laughing - we all knew how to do that the best. Formals in high school and parties - your "group" always contained at least 50% brothers, sisters or cousins. We were and are a lucky group to have each other. Paul was one of those good guys. A nice guy. When I think of Paul, I see him with a big smile on his face. He was kind and thoughtful. When I lived in England in the 90's, Paul would occasionally call to see how we were doing. I remember he always ended the call with "I love you". We all have a special place in our hearts for Paul. With his challenges, he still was a giver, making the journey from the West to a couple of funerals in his last 10 years and a wedding just 2 years ago. He was truly a family man and treasured that bond faithfully. Helen, Clare and Andrea - I know that all the wonderful memories you have of Paul/your dad will keep you comforted in the times to come. How lucky we all are to have had this wonderful person in our lives.

Maureen Plant-Richmond

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Thank you Maureen - yes, many years of wonderful memories of great times.

Helen Graham

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It's really incredible hearing stories of the kissing cousins. My Dad loved talking about all the shenanigans you'd get up to!

Andrea Graham

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