Roberts, Graham Martin

Graham’s life ended suddenly and unexpectedly on Tuesday, August 2, 2022. He died doing what he loved, tending the grape vines on his daughter’s property.

Born in Cheltenham, Glos. England in 1935, Graham emigrated to Canada in 1956. He arrived in Windsor with one suitcase, a possible employer’s name, $90.00 and a quest for a better life. He defined his emigration as a ‘turning the corner event’ and loved to quote Robert Frost “I took the road less travelled and that made all the difference”.

His fiancee, Marlene, followed 4 months later. They married and began their lives in Canada.  Marlene’s parents and four siblings followed shortly after, destination Toronto. Thanks to Graham, all have flourished in Canada and thanked him for his adventurous spirit.

His Canadian career began in mechanical engineering in Windsor, Ontario, moved to Indiana, USA for five years, and eventually Burlington, Ontario. A professor at Mohawk college, he loved to teach and expand other people’s knowledge. His volunteerism as a scout leader brought back fond memories as a young man in Cheltenham and enhanced his strong values of loyalty, commitment and the wolf cub’s promise to “be prepared”.

An insatiable curiosity to learn and a desire to farm began a new life experience as a beekeeper. He became enthralled in the beauty and the science of the life of the bee and when an opportunity arose to purchase a commercial operation in the Beaver Valley in 1977 he moved to Thornbury. They tackled another adventure together.

During his beekeeping career he was President of the Ontario BeeKeepers Association. He exhibited in the Royal Winter Fair for several years and won many ribbons. He was an advocate for apple pollination, leaf cutter bees and spent many years working with the University of Guelph in new research. His belief of small town and community made him an annual participant in the Beaver Valley Fall Fair with an observation beehive.

Running a commercial apiary kept him busy, however Graham also made the time to be involved with the Chamber of Commerce, the local Toastmasters club serving as Governor for a number of years, and the Rotary.

He and Marlene enjoyed a number of unique travels around the world, with one of the highlights being an adventure canoe trip down the Yukon River with friends. He went with a group to Haiti to build homes and distribute solar ovens. He traveled to Cuba and Costa Rica on a beekeeping working holiday.

Although Graham was always working at something, he always made time to sit down and have a chat. He became hard of hearing which took him away from meetings and public affairs.  After beekeeping, he put all his energy into his garden and vineyard, brewing up new ideas and configurations for plantings. Always with a project on the go, Graham did things with enthusiasm and ethics. He liked to question and research projects he set out to do. He was astute with the computer for research and enjoyed corresponding with his grandchildren.

Graham was proud of his family. He will be so missed by his wife Marlene, their daughters Lori (Shields; Dave), Keri (Lockhart; Al) and Jan (Perry; Rob); their seven grandchildren Heather (Porter; Matt), Scott, Drew, Tyson, Jared, Megan and Emma; and great-granddaughter Opal.

A Come and Go Celebration of Graham’s Life will be held at their home in his beloved garden at 200 Russell St. E., Clarksburg, on Wednesday, August 24th from 2 until 4 p.m.

As your expression of sympathy, donations to the David Suzuki Foundation would be appreciated and may be made through the Ferguson Funeral Home, 48 Boucher St. E., Meaford, ON   N4L 1B9 to whom arrangements have been entrusted.   www.fergusonfuneralhomes.ca

Details

A Come and Go Celebration of Graham’s Life will be held on Wednesday, August 24, 2022 at their home in his beloved garden at 200 Russell St. E., Clarksburg from 2 until 4 p.m.

Donations: David Suzuki Foundation
Make a donation in memory of Graham Martin Roberts


Memories & Messages of condolence

  1. Gary & Sharon Long
    Monday, August 8, 2022

    Condolences to the Roberts family. Graham was a great man and always had time for a chat no matter where you met him. Cherish the memories.

    Reply
  2. Jo-Ann Murch
    Monday, August 8, 2022

    Sorry to hear of Grahams sudden passing. We used to buy our honey from him and have always enjoyed looking at his beautiful gardens. Remember the happy times, that will help you get through the difficult days ahead

    Jo-Ann and Kerry Murch and family

    Reply
  3. Glen & Alison McGuire and family
    Monday, August 8, 2022

    Our sincere condolences to Marlene and family – we know Graham will be missed.

    Reply
    1. Susan Irvine
      Friday, August 12, 2022

      Marlene & Girls & Families

      Sorry to hear about Graham, he was one talented & caring guy.

      Sorry can’t be at his Celebration of Life but will be thinking of everyone.

      Reply
  4. Eileen Gamble
    Monday, August 8, 2022

    Thinking of you Marlene and your family during the loss of Graham. We will all miss him in the community.

    Reply
  5. Sue Bumstead
    Monday, August 8, 2022

    Deepest sympathies to the Roberts family. Graham was a great guy, super beekeeper and will be sorely missed with by all who knew him!

    Reply
  6. Darlene Diver
    Monday, August 8, 2022

    Marlene, My thoughts and prayers are with you and the family.

    Reply
  7. Sandra & Randy Pyatt
    Monday, August 8, 2022

    Dear Marlene, Lori, Keri, Jan & family
    Thinking of you all at such a sad and difficult time. Graham was a wonderful person and will be missed by all that loved and knew him. Cherish the wonderful memories you have, which I know will be many.

    Reply
  8. Eric Mathews
    Monday, August 8, 2022

    Dear Marlene and family, please know we’re fondly remembering Graham and his pleasant gift of the gab and interesting perspectives. Hard to believe really! I’m confident that Graham may have said at one point or another that beekeepers never die…they simply buzz off, or words to that effect. He was a super smart and nice guy and we miss him already!

    Reply
  9. Ruth Edmonstone
    Monday, August 8, 2022

    My condolences to Marlene and family. Cherish your memories of your beloved husband, father and grandfather.

    Reply
  10. Colleen Hurst
    Monday, August 8, 2022

    So sorry for your families loss

    Reply
  11. Peter Lougheed
    Tuesday, August 9, 2022

    Very sorry to hear this sad news. My Dad always thought highly of Graham. Thinking of you all in prayers. Wonderful testimony you’ve written. What a courageous man.

    Peter L

    Reply
  12. Wendy &Willy
    Tuesday, August 9, 2022

    Our deepest sympathy, Marlene Lori Keri and Jan may you hold your memories close,with thoughts and prayers to you all.

    Reply
  13. Linda Teed
    Tuesday, August 9, 2022

    Thinking of you Marlene and your family. Graham will be a big loss in your lives, however the memories are with you forever and will help ease the pain.
    Regards
    Linda Teed

    Reply
  14. Heather, Matt, & Opal
    Tuesday, August 9, 2022

    Grandpa will continue to inspire our family for generations to come – he was just that kind of person who lived just that kind of life. We would do well to be a little more like Grandpa Graham.
    Sending so much love from Kingston to Thornbury xoxo

    Reply
  15. Ann Burks
    Wednesday, August 10, 2022

    Marlene, I am so very sorry. My thoughts and prayers are with you and all the family.

    Reply
  16. Arlene Osborne
    Wednesday, August 10, 2022

    Marlene and family,
    So sorry to hear of Graham’s passing. My thoughts are with all of you.
    Arlene and family.

    Reply
  17. GERRY ORGAN
    Thursday, August 11, 2022

    I am indebted to Graham for stepping out and sailing to Canada while ensuring that my sister Marlene would join him! My Dad surprisingly followed and spent time with ‘‘em in Windsor before going to Malton, near Toronto , to work on the AVRO ARROW.
    In 1957 the rest of us came over, Mum and 4 kids! Grateful all for Graham’s adventurous spirit!

    Reply
  18. John Lockhart
    Thursday, August 11, 2022

    To Al, Keri, Megan, Emma, and the rest of the Roberts family, we are so sorry for your loss. Graham had such a thirst for knowledge and was always interested to listen to what you had going on in your life. Our sympathies and condolences.

    John, Jacky, and Robbie.

    Reply
  19. Justus (Gus) Knierim
    Friday, August 12, 2022

    So sorry to hear about Graham’s passing. The community will miss him, for he was such a strong mentor to many. We should all be thankful for his contribution. Our thoughts are with you Marlene, Keri and family.
    Pauline and Justus Knierim

    Reply
  20. Susan Hoadley
    Saturday, August 13, 2022

    Our condolences to all of you. Sincerely, Susan & Perry Hodley

    Reply
  21. Harold and Bev Ardiel
    Sunday, August 14, 2022

    Marlene and family,
    We were so sorry to hear of Graham’s sudden passing. Our sympathies are with you all.

    Harold and Bev

    Reply
  22. Jack & Mary Jean (Reekie) Cline
    Sunday, August 14, 2022

    Marlene…..It seems like yesterday that you & Graham moved into my godparents’ home on Russell Street and bought my dad’s honey business! You were wonderful neighbors to Mom & Dad….they shared many stories with me of your times working and living next door.
    It was quite a shock to read of Graham’s passing.
    Our condolences to you and the family.
    Jack and Mary Jean (Reekie) Cline

    Reply
    1. Dave Roberts and family
      Sunday, August 14, 2022

      Our deepest condolences to Marlene and family. It was with shock that we received the news of Graham passing. Even though we lived hours apart we kept in touch through regular phone calls. I looked up to him as an older brother and eventually followed him to Canada. He was a smart family man who lived a full life and had a loving family. I am saddened that we didn’t get to meet one last time. Love and condolences Dave, Steve, Andrew, Lindsey and Corinne and families.

      Reply
  23. PAul and Marlene Smith
    Monday, August 15, 2022

    Marlene: We are so sorry to hear of Graham’s sudden passing. It is with profound sadness that we send this message. No matter when death comes, whether after a long suffering or as quickly as Graham passed away it is a terrible shock to those left to mourn. However, great memories come flooding back – like the Yukon River trip, Graham’s wonderful clipped British accent, the weekend we said farewell to your cottage and Graham’s kindly helping Matt overcome his fear of bees after stepping in a nest of groundwasps when he was only 6 years old. A fond farewell to a kind friend.
    Paul and Marlene

    Reply
  24. WAYNE BESSO
    Monday, August 15, 2022

    Wayne and Danuta were so pleased to see Graham in June 2022 at his house. Wayne especially was glad that the reuniting went well and he realized how much he had missed on having conversations with Graham. We were very said to hear of the loss of Graham. He was a unique and irreplaceable individual! We will always have him in our thoughts and hearts!

    Reply
  25. Cathy Lancey
    Thursday, August 18, 2022

    Keri, Jan and Marlene, I am so sorry for your loss. Treasure all your wonderful memories. Hugs to you all

    Reply
  26. Kathy Uram
    Saturday, August 20, 2022

    We are so very sorry to hear of Graham’s passing. Our deepest condolences to the family, you are all in our hearts.

    Reply
  27. Cynthia
    Monday, August 22, 2022

    So sorry to hear about Graham. I enjoyed our talks. He will be missed.

    Cynthia Loucks

    Reply
  28. Valerie Shaw
    Tuesday, August 23, 2022

    My deepest sympathy to the Roberts family. Graham was a wonderful man and will be missed by his neighbours and friends. He will be remembered fondly .

    Valerie & Lori Shaw

    Reply

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