Kelly Graham of Hinton, AB (formerly Aylsham, SK) passed away on Friday, October 1, 2021, at the age of 79.
Kelly was born William Kelly Graham on the farm at Leroy, SK, in February 1942, to George and Ethel Graham. The family moved to the farm just north of Aylsham in 1949. Kelly spent many happy years growing up in Aylsham farming with his Dad, fixing farm equipment, playing baseball in high school, golfing, working on cars, and driving them. He got his first car when he was 13 and worked to get it running. After finishing high school in Aylsham, Kelly earned his journeyman ticket in automotive in Moose Jaw. He then moved to Nokomis, SK, to work at Klassen’s Garage with his tools in a cardboard box. One day Kelly heard Hendry’s Garage across the street was hiring so he went to see what they were paying. They hired him on the spot, he walked back to get his tools, and he carried his tools (in a toolbox this time) across the street. In less than a month, they changed his wage to a flat rate because he was bringing in so much money into the business. He was a darn good mechanic.
While working in Nokomis, Kelly saw a young girl walking down the street, and it didn’t take him long to find out who she was and give her a call. That pickup turned into 55 years of marriage and 4 children. He was a loving and caring dad and grandpa and left everyone with many memories to cherish.
Before those extra people arrived, Kelly and Betty spent their time going out dancing, “hanging out” at the drive-in theatre, driving back alleys in Nokomis in reverse, and on occasion received a phone call from the neighbors telling them to close the curtains. Kelly moved on to Saskatoon to work at Auto Clearing and once Betty finished high school, she also moved to Saskatoon where she attended Business College. They then began their many adventures across Canada: Vancouver, BC; Young, SK; Clinton Creek, YT; Kelowna, BC; Faro, YT; Gold River, BC; Aylsham, SK (town then farm); Hinton, AB. They also enjoyed their winter home in Arizona.
While in the Yukon, Kelly achieved his heavy duty mechanics ticket plus intra-provincial automotive ticket. Throughout his career Kelly worked as a mechanic at different garages (three of which he owned), mines, and pulp mills over the western provinces. He also farmed for many years in Saskatchewan in the summer and ran a logging business in the winter months. After retiring from the pulp mill, Kelly took on another venture of being an oil salesman to commercial businesses.
Kelly was a friendly, easy-going guy who made friends everywhere he went, but still maintained friendships from childhood. He always loved fixing things and spending time with family and friends, but he also had many interests over the years including travelling, camping, fishing, reading, golfing, and playing cards, pool, shuffleboard, and horseshoes.
Kelly is survived by the love of his life for 55 years, Betty, their four children Deanna (Darryl), Derek (Julie), Nancy (Ed), and Lisa (Rob); a plethora of grandchildren and great grandchildren (too damn many to count); sisters Jean (Tom) and Judy (Lorne); and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Kelly was predeceased by his parents George and Ethel.
Kelly was of the opinion that you cannot have too many tools,
so he gets to take some with him!