Rural 08

William "Bill" John Graham

March 18, 1924 ~ March 6, 2021 (age 96)


William John (Bill) Graham passed away on March 6, 2021 at Carberry Plains Health Centre.  Bill was born on March 18, 1924 in Melbourne, MB.  His parents were Thomas John (Jack) Graham, born Oct. 12, 1887 in Anstruther, Peterborough County, ON and Jessie Alice Wood, born April 17, 1896 in Otonabee, Peterborough County, ON.  Bill was predeceased by his daughter-in-law Lorna.  He is dearly missed by Estelle Louise (Stella) Graham (nee McLeod), his loving wife of over 68 years, to whom he was forever devoted; sisters Marion Galbraith  of Winnipeg and Joyce Finlayson of Vancouver, BC; sons Brent Graham and wife Pat of Melbourne and Ray Graham of Melbourne; daughter Karen Tilley and husband Terry of Brandon; grandchildren Heath (Thomason) Graham, Heather (Faron) Nakaska, Kara (Dave) Van Dam, Laura (Matt) Phillips, Terri-Lynn (Jaret) Harms, Vanessa (Ben) Wallace, Gayle Graham and Paula Graham. Bill also took great delight in frequent visits with his great grandchildren: Piper, Marlo, Lachlan, Nicolas, Aurilla, Emily, Josie, Clara, Cole, Hunter, Katey and Braden.  Bill’s grandfather Alexander Graham was a first generation Canadian born in 1845, who traveled with his family to Melbourne MB from ON in 1894.  In 1897 he purchased and began homesteading on his own land in another Melbourne location, a property which has continued to be owned and farmed by subsequent generations of the Graham family and remains a favourite spot for family to visit. Next to his wife and family, Bill’s greatest love was farming.  He knew every farmer for miles around and enjoyed discussing farming with any he met, of all ages, throughout his life. His children and grandchildren may all remember walking into a wheat field with him and watching him snap off a head of wheat, roll it between his palms, and chew the kernels to test if it was ready for harvest, his favourite time of year. Bill began growing potatoes for Carnation Foods in 1963, while continuing to raise cattle and grain crops.  He was pleased and proud that his sons stayed on the farm and worked every day with him. Playing fastball was one of the few things that could take him away from farming in summertime. He was known for miles around for his impressive pitching arm; his pitch was feared by many a batter. Family picnics were enjoyed at ball diamonds, while watching him play. Bill was also a natural born mechanic. He loved the challenge of finding out just how things worked and could be counted on to fix most anything mechanical. He investigated becoming an Air Force Mechanic during WWII, however he was told his work as a farmer was needed to provide food for the starving British. He and his father then raised pork to be shipped overseas.  When the time came for Bill and Stella to move into Carberry from the farm at Melbourne, it was made a bit easier by the fact that they both had always been involved in that community, as well.  Bill served on the Hospital Board; he was a member of the Carberry Agricultural Society for over 50 years, serving as a director for many of them; together they attended the United Church in Carberry, and Bill was a long-time member of Masonic Lodge 29 in Carberry.  He joined the Masonry in 1958, where he became Worshipful Master in 1966.  Bill was the Chaplain for 35 years, from 1980 until its closing in 2015. Through the years he was an active participant in degree work. He was also a long-time participant in the annual installation of lodge officers, presenting the very long and beautiful “Final Charge”.  After moving to town, Bill continued to make regular trips out to the farm to meet with “the boys” at the shop and, in recent years, to see what mischief his two young great-grandsons were up to.   Bill never lost his curious nature and love of learning.  He found the internet, using his iPad, to be a great research tool for exploring a variety of topics, keeping up with world news and events, and pursuing his fascination with maps. His family could count on endless patience and  intelligent, informed advice and discussion to the many questions they brought to him. “Papa Bill” will be sadly missed and remembered always as a man worth knowing, with a life well lived.



The family sincerely thanks the staff of the Carberry Plains Health Centre for the exceptional kindness and caring that Bill received while in the hospital.


Carberry Health Centre

Carberry Agricultural Society

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of William "Bill" John Graham, please visit our floral store.

Committal Service


Private Family Graveside

Carberry Plains Cemetery
122 Main Street
Carberry, MB R0K 0H0


Carberry Health Centre
Box 2000, Carberry MB R0K 0H0
Tel: 1-204-834-2197

Carberry Agricultural Society
Box 372, Carberry MB RoJ 0H0
Tel: 1-204-834-3408

© 2021 White's Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy