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Discussion: Brian Graham

in: Orienteering; General

Aug 31, 2016 3:17 PM # 
Brian Robert Graham
January 19, 1964 – August 25, 2016

It is with aching hearts that Brian’s family announce his passing on August 25th, 2016 at the age of 52 while surrounded by his family. Dear husband of Marketa for 23 years, proud father of Robert and Tomas, cherished son of Hugh and the late Patricia, loving brother of Paul (Jackie), uncle of Audrey and Matthew, and fondly remembered by extended family members and friends in Canada and abroad.

Brian loved life. He had a brilliant mind and witty sense of humour. He was a talented athlete mastering many sports and loved the outdoors. He had a passion for orienteering, running, cross country skiing, biking, skating, hiking, canoeing, camping, birding, and so much more. At home, he loved to barbecue, bake bread, garden, do handy work and listen to all kinds of music. He also loved to travel and did so extensively with his family. He mastered many languages along the way.

He was determined to beat the race against cancer and lived life as always, to the fullest. Gracious thanks to Brian and Marketa’s family and friends for their love and encouragement. It meant a lot to Brian. Special thanks to Dr. Scott Laurie for the superb care and for having the same determined, positive attitude as Brian in fighting the disease. Also a thank you to the staff at the General Campus of the Ottawa Hospital and Dr. Gail Webber.

A private service will be held for the family.

Friends are invited to gather at Canal Ritz, 375 Queen Elizabeth Drive, Ottawa on Thursday, September 1st, 2016 from 3:00 to 5:30 pm to celebrate Brian’s life. Please join us to share stories about Brian, talk or just listen. We will have a microphone available from 3:30 to 4:30 for those wishing to say a few words about Brian or play a song.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Lung Cancer Canada in memory of Brian Graham.
Aug 31, 2016 5:55 PM # 
This is so sad to me. I always looked up to Brian. He was the real deal, in so many ways.
Aug 31, 2016 6:17 PM # 
So sorry to hear this. I only knew him through orienteering but that's been for 25-30 years and I will truly miss seeing him at events.
Aug 31, 2016 9:40 PM # 
Does anyone involved with the 1993 WOC have a picture of Brian from those races? His 35th in the Long was one of the best performances ever by a North American male at a WOC.
Aug 31, 2016 10:18 PM # 
Just posted a '93 team photo to Facebook (Orienteering Canada). Don't have an action shot. (Also don't have the know-how to post or insert a photo here.)
Aug 31, 2016 10:28 PM # 
There's a set of photos of Brian on this memorial page (click on the Photos link). While I didn't know Brian personally all that well, I did know him by his reputation for always beating me in O races. One look at a start list and I would just notch my chances down by one place. Very sad to hear this news.
Sep 1, 2016 12:02 AM # 
My first encounter with Brian came in 2007, in my role as registrar for the Surebridge Challenge. It was notable that he, Joe and Carl would be running in the same terrain they ran in the 1993 WOC Classic race. IIRC, all WOC '93 runners got single-digit bib numbers at the Surebridge Challenge.

We spoke many times since, including at least one meal together. He told me about his treatment at the last NAOC, and seemed very optimistic -- so I was too. Had no idea he had taken a turn for the worse. Now, I'm combing my memory for the most recent -- and last -- time we spoke. Or even just waved...

Robbie & Tommy are Brian's legacy, at least one of whom is sure to follow in his footsteps at a future WOC -- like the children of those other WOC '93 veterans.

My thoughts and prayers go out to them and Marketa -- especially tomorrow.

RIP Brian
Sep 1, 2016 2:57 AM # 
It felt fitting that thanks to the wonders of smartphones I was actually in Gatineau Park when I got the news.

I'm still working on the significance of it coinciding with the news of Gene Wilder passing.

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