GRAHAM, Charlotte Ellen
May 12, 1929 – September 10, 2015
It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Charlotte Ellen Graham of Hope, BC. Ellen was born in Nanaimo, BC on May 12, 1929. Ellen passed away in her family home September 10, 2015. Ellen was well known in Hope and often seen around town, always taking the time to stop and visit, sharing her humour, knowledge and witty conversation. She always knew and was interested in what was happening with her family, community and the world at large. Everyone who knew Ellen, would always say… Ellen loves her family. Ellen was the oldest daughter of Charles and Lavina Prest and was raised in Chilliwack and Laidlaw, BC. She spent her childhood in Laidlaw attending a one room school house and has always loved to learn and read books, winning awards for her story writing. She met her husband, Buzz as he tugged on her pony tails on her first day in school. They were married over 65 years. Growing up, Ellen loved to go to church with her sister and ‘sing away’, watch her brothers in their sports, go to the local dances, work in the hop yards, and help with her brothers and sisters. She married Buzz in 1949 and they had five children, four sons and a daughter. Ellen lived for her children. So proud of each and every one of them and would take any opportunity to talk about them. She supported them in all their endeavours including never missing a basketball game and number one fan of the Hope Mustangs, she travelled to watch them play baseball, hockey, figure skating and could always be heard from the stands supporting her kids. Ellen was an amazing cook and spent many years working for the Hope Drive-In and later at the Seniors Home, and she’d laugh that she didn’t stop cooking for the seniors until she became one herself. She made the best potato salad, spaghetti and mashed potatoes and would ensure every child would have their favourite meal when they came to visit. She was an amazing writer and story teller and would always take the time to write letters and cards to those she loved. So eloquent, witty and knowledgeable about everyone and everything. At any gathering everyone couldn’t wait for Ellen to say a few words. Her hands behind her back and sharing a story with perfect delivery. She loved to play bingo at the Eagles Hall, attend a local flea market, visit a restaurant or shop the local grocery store, who all knew her and loved her – always going the extra mile to help her out. Ellen loved the simple things in life. Had no desire to get on a plane as everything she wanted was right in her home – her family, her friends, her pets, her little trinkets and anything that would serve as a memory of a time she treasured, her view of the school yard and enjoying the afternoon breeze on her front porch. She loved the sounds of the birds, the running squirrels and the people going by. She was always up on current events and would have comment about her theories, loved watching late night television, from Johnny Carson to David Letterman, was always up on the latest novel and would spend hours enjoying a book. She loved the Canucks, movies and music and would have Neil Diamond playing full blast as she enjoyed her day with the doors and windows wide open. She wanted to see Michael Jackson and enjoyed every minute from row eight in Vancouver. And her love for music never faded with her latest request for tickets to see Neil Young on October 5 of this year. Ellen had 13 grand-children and loved them dearly. Often making them perform Christmas plays, enjoy sing-a-longs, piñatas on the front lawn, Easter Egg hunts, big dinners with tables full of her wonderful food, bringing them together for any special occasion, or just sharing a Pepsi and a conversation about what’s happening in their lives. She made sure every birthday was celebrated with cake and festivities and making everyone feel loved and special. She is survived by her five children, Don (Michelle) Graham, Ken (Karla) Graham, Ed (Christy) Graham, Bonny Graham, Rick (Nerine) Graham and 13 grandchildren, Matthew, Farley, Taze, Byron, Kara, Courtney, Jason, Kelly, Taylor, Carter, Madison, Morgan and Mackenzie, her brothers, Andy Prest, Ben Prest, and sisters Edie Graydon and Bev Prest and many nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her husband of 65 years, Hewitt (Buzz) Graham and her brother Joe Prest and sister Doris (Prest) Josephson. A service and tea will be held Saturday, October 10, 2015 at the Eagles Hall (386 Fort Street) in Hope, BC at 3:00 pm, followed by light refreshments and a celebration of life at 5:30 pm for the evening, for those who wish to stay and share stories and reflect on the life of a wonderful mom, gramma, sister, aunty, cousin, friend, neighbour and long-standing resident of Hope, BC. She will be dearly missed and was loved by so many. She always enjoyed flowers and cards and both are welcome in her memory. Her ashes will be laid to rest on top Little Mountain Cemetery with her Prest relatives.