In Memory Of

Robert Edward Graham 1942 - 2014

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On 21st July 2014 peacefully at Eden Court Nursing Home, Birkenshaw, Robert aged 72 years formerly of Scholes. Beloved husband of the late Barbara, a dear brother-in-law and a much loved uncle.

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rowland and glenda rangeley
Sat Aug 2014
loving, gentle, humble, generous, dedicated to Barbara, obtuse sense of humour, delightful laugh, a good story teller, loyal to a fault, surprisingly knowledgeable and should have gone on Who wants to be a Millionaire, general knowledge was his forte, loved his bacon butties, hated flies, was fun in the swimming pool, didn't sunbake well, drank a scotch once in a blue moon in Australia, loved potatoes especially chips, hated salad, loved apricot pies, gets sunburnt in Aussie outdoors, loved his ciggies, loved dogs and native birds, looked good in shorts and sunnies, made endless mugs of coffee for Barbara, favourite restaurant in Hobart was the Ball and Chain and in Sydney was the Black Stump, invented and brought to life the ledgendary Sticklepopper bird, was adored by his mother in law Annie and adored back by her, Huddersfield Town (the terriers) was his team, loved buying clothes, loved all things Australian, had a dozen trips to Australia and checked out Queensland, NSW, Victoria and Tasmania, favourite shopping centre was darling harbour and Queen Victoria building in Sydney, loved the Opera House, fell in love with the Blue Mountains, was addicted to Yorkshire Puddings and white bread, was the best brother in law, son in law, husband and friend. His presence was wanted and appreciated, his passing is noticed, his life is remembered, his absence grieved
Glenda and Rowland Rangeley
Tue Aug 2014
Rowland first met Robert only a short time before he moved to Australia in 1962 so he was not known in childhood. However, we know that Robert went to Whitcliffe Mount Grammar School and was a bus conductor at the time he met Barbara on a Bus. We also know that he used to be a long distance lorry driver down to London amongst other places and in later years worked Security. When Robert married Rowland’s sister Barbara, Rowland visited them another 4 or 5 times over the years in England. The bond with Robert, apart from the connection with Barbara, was forged by their love of football and on one occasion Rowland hired a car and took his brother Richard and his wife Elaine plus Barbara and Robert to Colchester to see Huddersfield Town play on a Saturday. Robert was ecstatic at seeing his team, particularly when they won. However, Rowland’s team was always Leeds United and in later years Robert would gleefully keep him informed about results in the Championship with each phone call and in the last 2 years of Robert’s life they skyped each other twice a week on Wednesdays and Sundays to discuss the results. Robert would often gloat mirthfully and chuckle when Leeds United lost and proudly boast if Huddersfield Town won. In 1994 Rowland took his now wife Glenda to meet Barbara and Robert in England. Glenda could not believe how thick Robert’s accent was and found him delightfully funny with his witty sayings and strong Yorkshire dialect. At that stage Robert had a huge appetite and would have at least 6 Yorkshire Puddings drenched in gravy followed by roast beef, and a huge mountain of mashed potato on his plate and then go back for seconds and thirds of potato and gravy! In 1996 Barbara and Robert started going to Australia for 4 to 6 weeks which continued every 2 years and they were up to about the eleventh trip for Barbara and a dozen trips for Robert with his last trip in November/ December/January 2013/2014. Robert and Barbara loved their holidays in Australia and all things Australian. Over the years he visited four states – New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania. He visited mountains, oceans, beaches, lakes and rivers, cities and outback. He stayed in rural towns and big cities, on acres and in inner city apartments. He got around over the many trips. He also saw Koalas, possums, kangaroos, potoroos, ecidnas, wombats and wallabys as well as numerous other Aussie lovlies. Robert’s Facebook is still active so you can see his many photos of Australia particularly the birdlife. Robert used to sit out on the verandah having a ciggie and a coffee watching the rosellas, parrots and kookaburras at play. Robert’s love of birds also led to his invention of the now infamous “Sticklepopper” bird. Over the years the Sticklepopper has been responsible for many a mishap when no-one wanted to own up to something. “The sticklepopper did it” “the sticklepopper made me do it” has been the catch cry on many occasion. Robert invented the now legendary bird to amuse Barbara who was not impressed to start off with when we started the joke as she believed the story. After a while she found that Sticklepoppers were fun to be around. When we said that Robert loved all things Australian we exaggerated a bit as Robert hated flies and nearly went insane on one trip to Victoria in summer when billions of flies landed on us all - stickie little blighters that just would not give up no matter how quickly Robert moved or swatted. There is a reason why Aussies sell hats with corks strung on them. He thought they were a joke until this episode. Also, although Robert looked good in his shorts he had very fair skin and even in winter he got badly burnt when we went to the beach for a walk. Glenda smothered him in lavender oil to try to stop the stinging of the sunburn. The lavender helped a bit and he smelt beautiful. Ever after she would follow him around with a bottle of sunblock! Robert fell in love with our dogs – particularly our boxer dogs Nimbi and later Simmo. We have many photos of the boxers climbing on his lap for attention. At one point there was a fashion statement with Rowland and Robert dressed in Aussie Icon “Dry as a Bone” coats. Even the dogs had matching coats as well. For those of you who don’t know what a “dry as a bone” coat looks like – it is oiled thick cotton – highly waterproof and durable for bad weather. Robert took one home with him on one trip. Food was always an issue when Robert visited as he had particular eating habits that were individual!!! He hated salads, rice and pasta, turned his nose up at many fruits and vegetables, winced at the mention of seafood and practically shivered at the suggestion of any ethnic food such as Mexican, Chinese or Indian! He adored bacon butties, white bread, potatoes any which way – mashed, chipped, battered or roasted and loved jam rolly polly, raison toast, apricot pies as long as they were made with shortcrust pastry. He adored pork pies, roast beef and of course Yorkshire puds.with gravy. If he did not like something he would just not accept it. On one trip he ordered a hamburger with just the meat so when it came with tomato sauce and onions he just threw the lot in the bin – would not even return the burger and say it was an incorrect order as he did not want to make a fuss. He just went hungry instead. Robert had two favourite restaurants in Australia – The black Stump in Sydney and the Ball and Chain in Hobart – both serve good steaks. His favourite shopping and souvenir places in Australia were Salamanca Market, Lowes and Myers in Tasmania plus Darling Harbour and the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney. Robert was often a quiet man but underneath was a keenly intelligent person with good hearing and watchful insight and he really should have gone on some quiz shows as his general knowledge was excellent – often answered all the “Who wants to be a Millionaire” questions. He was loving, gentle, humble, generous, totally dedicated to Barbara, he loved his mother-in-law Annie and was loved back. He had an obtuse sense of humour and a delightful laugh. He was a good story teller although Glenda often missed the punch line because he would start laughing as he talked. He was loyal to a fault, the best brother in law, son in law, Uncle, husband and friend. His presence was wanted and appreciated, his passing is noticed, his life is remembered, his absence grieved.