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Robert Graham

Robert Alexander Graham

Thursday, November 21st, 1935 - Friday, September 6th, 2019
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Obituary

GRAHAM, Robert Alexander – It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Bob on Friday, September 6th, 2019, in his 84th year at the Belleville General Hospital surrounded by family and friends. Predeceased by parents Alexander and Florence and brother Ian. Survived by loving wife Joan, sisters Joan (Henri) & Leona (Richard) and brother Ralph (Grace). Loving father to Laura (Vern), John (Sylvia), Bruce. Grandfather to Gabriella, Garrett, Sean, and Sonny. Uncle Bob will be fondly remembered by his many nieces and nephews.

Attended King's College, later joined Canada's ambitious Naval post-war program, HMCS Venture, graduating in the first class (1956). An inspiring teacher, philosopher, poet and marathon runner! He published his memoirs recently, “The Chieftain: Personal Memoirs in Poetry & Prose (Epic Press, 2019)”.

In keeping with Robert’s wishes, cremation has taken place. Arrangements entrusted to JOHN R. BUSH FUNERAL HOME, 80 Highland Ave., Belleville (613-968-5588). A celebration of life will be held at a later date. If desired, donations to Prostate Cancer Canada or Canadian Cancer Society would be greatly appreciated by the family. To share memories of Robert and for online condolences, please visit www.rushnellfamilyservices.com
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Amber Clement

Posted at 03:47pm
I am very sorry to hear of Bob’s passing. He spent time at my fitness studio in Tweed regularly over the past 3 years until he was no longer able to. I always admired how he stuck to a routine. I enjoyed his stories and just chatting with him in general. I thought about him often and was very sad to hear the news of his passing. Rest In Peace Bob. Thinking of your family.
LG

Leona Graham

Posted at 08:29am
My eldest brother Robert ('Bob') was a 'Renaissance Man', with diverse talents and multiple careers, starting as a 'wee boy' when he entered King's College, setting the stage for a military/naval career like his officer father before him; years later he joined Canada's ambitious Naval post-war program, HMCS Venture, graduating in the first class (1956). Being one of this 'band of brothers' and 'a deep sea mariner' remained his most powerful and rewarding life experience. He was also an inspiring teacher, philosopher, poet and marathon runner! Fortunately, he published his memoirs this year, so in his own words (from The Chieftain: Personal Memoirs in Poetry & Prose (Epic Press, 2019):

"I was born on November 21, 1935 in the city of Toronto. In 1942, I attended King’s College in Windsor, Nova Scotia, and at the end of the war, I returned to my birth city until the start of the Korean War, when my father rejoined the service. In the 1950s, I also joined the Navy, like my father, and also sailed “deep sea” in the merchant service. In the 1960s, I became a tax assessor and for several years worked as an income tax consultant. At the age of thirty-five, I started teaching at Loyalist College and retired in the late 1990s. My avocation has always included reading and athletics, but at forty-four, I upped the ante and became a long-distance runner. I ran my last race at seventy-six, and in between, I completed sixty-seven full marathons and many others of a lesser distance.

I was subconsciously driven in the closing chapter of my life to examine, if I could, what my time here was all about. So I started writing poems and later stories.

I’m the oldest member of the family, and as the name Graham is Scottish, I go by “the Chieftain.”
At the naval college I attended, I was Chief Cadet Captain or First Captain on two occasions—not matched by anyone since, to my knowledge."
Miss you Big Bro...

Kathi Hurst

Posted at 02:07pm
KATHI POSTING ON BEHALF OF JOHN GRAHAM.

Robert Alexander Graham, Bob to most, including his wife Joan, or to me, his son John, and my two siblings, Laura and Bruce, he was simply Dad, in name and role, passed away peacefully in the Belleville Hospital on Fri., Sept. 6, 2019, around noon, on a beautiful, sunny, fall-like day, overlooking the picturesque Bay of Quinte, where the high-noon sun shimmered on gentle waves, almost beckoning him to better place, after many months of suffering.



He will be missed for his irrepressible personality, sharpness of mind and a life force that burned brightly and independently for more than eight decades. He was adventurous, outgoing and always curious. When we finally talked him into getting his first iPhone, he took to it like a child born after it was launched in 2007, i.e. attached to him like a cyborg implant, and it soon opened up a world of communication, research and entertainment that seemed to expand daily. He even wrote his book of poems on it, and would send 10+ screen texts to people expecting an immediate response, and then he discovered emojis…which I fully expect he will somehow rain down upon me from the hereafter because not even death could stop the life force that generated those emojis. I often wondered how having a powerful tool like an iPhone would have affected him, and his active mind, if he would have been introduced to it when he was a child, like children are today.



He spent almost 50 of his 83 years living in two homes near the town of Tweed, and became a recognizable, appreciated and respected member of the community. He had many friends and routines, like daily visits to the local library to use the free computers before he got his iPhone, and went out into the world every day during his 20 plus year retirement until he stopped driving earlier this year.



As his autobiographical poetry indicates, he was most engaged in life during his time in the navy as a young man; and as his son, I long to have met him at this point in his life as a peer, a friend, a fellow adventurer, so I could have enjoyed and experienced my father when he was most alive and doing what he loved. Bye dad, love John.

Kathi Hurst

Posted at 11:13pm
Remembering a long run with Uncle Bob in London, ON many years back. After maybe about 10K we stopped, shared a can of Coca-Cola to get that sugar rush, then turned around and headed back to 540 (Graham HQ!) . I've included a pic of Bob at 540 Oakridge Dr. from 1979.
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