Obituary of Gary Fred Graham
Corner Brook, NL
August 11, 1945 – June 24, 2019
With thanks for a life well-lived, but with much sorrow, we announce that Dr. Gary Graham passed away on Monday, June 24th, 2019 at Western Memorial Regional Hospital in Corner Brook, NL, in his 74th year. Son of the late Fred and Laura Graham, Gary is survived by his sister Barbara Graham, in Nova Scotia, cousins in Canada and the United States, and by his special friend in Corner Brook, Barbara Rogers. Gary had no children of his own. His children were his many, many students who remain a living and lasting legacy.
Gary was a well-loved music teacher and choir director in this community for over fifty years. Many of his students participated in the Corner Brook Rotary Music Festival, often winning the highest awards. He taught in the school system until his retirement in 1998 but subsequently continued to teach music for many more years at Immaculate Heart of Mary School. For the past three years he taught at Gros Morne Summer Music’s Graham Academy, which was named in his honour. For twenty-two years he was the organist and choir director at First United Church.
These were just his public roles. He also taught hundreds of students privately throughout the years, many of whom have gone on to musical careers the world over, from Australia to Europe and throughout North America. For a number of years, he was also the Musical Director of the Stephenville Theatre Festival and of Theatre Newfoundland Labrador.
Gary received many accolades in recognition of his contributions to the arts, including the province’s highest honour, the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2004. In 2009 the concert hall at the Corner Brook Arts and Culture Centre was named the Gary Graham Theatre. In 2013 he received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland at the convocation ceremony at the Grenfell Campus.
Gary was a tireless volunteer of his time and talents throughout the community. He had an extraordinary rapport with the elderly, volunteering for many years at the O’Connell Centre, and subsequently at the new Long Term Care Facility. As well, he was the long time Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Gros Morne Summer Music.
He was well-travelled, and particularly enjoyed visiting antique shops and bookstores. He was the ultimate shopper, with a unique style of his own.
Gary was kind, caring, generous and empathetic. Many people, especially in Corner Brook, will remember his kindnesses to them. We in turn would like to thank the exceptional nurses and doctors of the Cancer Care Centre at Western Memorial Regional Hospital, as well as Dr. Kate Lafferty and the wonderful nurses of the Palliative Care Unit.
A “Celebration of Life” service will take place at First United Church on July 15th at 3 pm. A Memorial Concert is being planned by Gros Morne Summer Music (details to be announced later). Donations in Gary’s memory may be made to: The Graham Academy Bursary Fund (GMSM), 30 Elswick Road, Corner Brook, NL A2H 2W6. This program provides financial assistance to young children in the Musical Theatre and Choral programs at the Graham Academy. Gary felt very strongly that every child with a desire to join the Graham Academy programs deserved that opportunity, regardless of their financial situation.
“All things shall perish from under the sky,
Music alone shall live, never to die.”
– Traditional round, based on a German folk song
Nos plus sincères sympathies à la famille et aux amis de Gary
Graham 1945 2019..
Décès pour la Ville: Corner-Brook, Province: T-N