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Lenore Phyllis Florence Graham (Young) (Cumming)

June 9, 1944 - June 8, 2022

Tribute

With family at her side, Mom’s musical journey played its final, peaceful note in the palliative care ward of Richmond General Hospital on the evening of June 8th, 2022. She was predeceased by her father Bill and mothers Phyllis and Jean, her husbands Al Graham and John Young, and her brother Bob. Lenore will be sadly missed by her son Roger (Gladys), her daughter Berythe, her sisters Jeanne, Sandy, and Willa, her grandchildren Becca, Joshua, Shane, and Daniel, her extended family throughout Canada, her special friends Charles and Hazel Rowley, her dog Peanut, and the horses, goats, and other animals on the farm in Falkland.

Lenore was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba but spent much of her youth surrounded by the wonders of the natural world on nurseries and farms in the small towns of Dropmore, Teulon, and Morden, where her father was an agricultural researcher for the federal government.  There were memories of sleigh rides to school when it was too cold for the car to work, hours spent tagging along at research stations with her dad and his pollinating brush, the fear she felt retrieving a coat she’d forgotten outside in the fields one evening; but more than anything,  there was a growing love and respect for the natural world around her. She also loved music, and especially the piano from an early age. She would reminisce about waking family in the frigid winter mornings with her scales to keep warm before her father roused himself to put on the furnace. He met any complaints with, “Let Lenore play.” Lenore excelled at school and music during her high-school years, accompanying choirs and performers. She was also an excellent swimmer and during summers, she worked as water activities director, lifeguard, and swimming instructor at Lake Winnipeg and Lake-of-the-Woods. She moved to Winnipeg to attend Normal School and University, became a teacher at a private all girls school, and was an accompanist for various musical performers, groups, and churches.

Married in 1966, Lenore came out west for a visit to Vancouver one particularly warm cherry-blossomed March and four months later she’d made B.C. home. She lived here for over 50 years, teaching in Richmond elementary schools as a K-2 and band teacher, teaching private piano lessons, serving as organist at St. Stephens, South Arm, and Brighouse United Churches, singing in the award-winning Gallery singers, and giving back to the community in countless other ways. Yet Mom was always there for us, supporting us and the family: picking us up from school and soccer, basketball, dance and brownies, cooking for us and her in-laws, especially the big Sunday dinners, and the feasts for Christmas and Easters with giant turkeys and potatoes, turnips, and brussel sprouts and New Years with gingerbread castles and foot-thick vina tarta cakes.

In retirement, Mom stayed active and musical, joining the Little Mountain Brass band, the Brock House Society orchestra, and various other musical groups. She also maintained her love of the natural world by volunteering as school group garden guide at the Van Dusen Gardens and at the Richmond Nature Park. She did this all while playing an active, supporting role in the lives of her grandchildren. Mom kept swimming through the years, especially after a tobogganing accident left her with an injured back that kept her from other vigorous activities.  She also loved to read (often reading a book each day), do crosswords, and watch her British TV shows. During her final years, she particularly loved to sit on the deck of her cabin at the farm and watch the horses graze in the fields below. In her last weeks and days, it was her fondest wish to get there just one more time.

As a family, we would like to extend our appreciation and thanks to the staff at the Cancer Care Clinic, the Emergency Department, and the Palliative Care Unit at Richmond General Hospital for their professional and compassionate care. We’d also like to thank the Vancouver Community Care nurses, and the Pain Care staff at the Vancouver Cancer Centre. To all those who have brought notes of joy, care, and/or support to our mother during her life, we thank-you.

Private family celebrations of life will be held in Vancouver, Falkland, and Dunara, Manitoba in the following days and weeks.
We will always remember your love and your gentle, caring nature. Thank-you for bringing joy and kindness into our lives.

May you rest in peace.

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From: Wiebe and Jeske Funeral Home

Wiebe and Jeske Funeral Home Staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: R Young
Relation: Son

Mom lived a life of song. One song in particular stays with me. It is the song she’d play between piano students, after a church service, or when playing a newly tuned piano. It is a song I heard her play my whole life. For me, it will always be her song: Francis Poulenc’s Novellette in C major. I invite you to listen and remember. Thank-you, Mom.

Service Schedule

Private service arrangements have been made.

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