Douglas Arthur Graham K.C., 1948-2024

Douglas Arthur Graham KC
Douglas Arthur Graham KC Western Standard files

Douglas Arthur Graham, beloved husband, father and grandfather passed away peacefully on January 27, 2024.

Born in Lethbridge, Alberta on July 10, 1948 to Arthur and Josephine Graham, Doug and his siblings Joan, Peggy and Stan grew up in the Balmoral neighbourhood of Calgary.

Doug graduated from Crescent Heights High School in 1966, before attending the University of British Columbia, where he graduated with honours in 1969.

After graduating with his Bachelor of Arts, Doug was awarded the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship to pursue a Master’s degree in Philosophy at Brown University.

After one year of study, Doug determined that, despite his love for the subject, “there was no money in philosophy”. He returned to UBC where he obtained his Bachelor of Laws in 1973.

Doug articled and practiced for his entire legal career at Macleod Dixon LLP — mainly in the areas of construction and insurance litigation — becoming a partner in 1980. He had a distinguished legal career and was appointed as Queen’s Counsel in 2000. 

Fortuitously, in 1975, his soulmate Glenda also accepted articles at MacLeod Dixon, where they were introduced on her first day. They caught one another’s eye after the firm’s ski weekend at Lake Louise in the spring of 1976 and were quickly engaged by December of that same year and wed in May 1977. Together they had two sons and two daughters, Blake, Mark, Emily and Sarah.

Doug and Glenda were partners in law and life, balancing a seemingly impossible schedule of activities for their children and their demanding careers, all while finding time to give back to Calgary and Alberta.

Doug was an active member of civil society and politics, including serving as the President of the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party, overseeing the transition and leadership election after Premier Ralph Klein’s retirement in 2006.

In addition, Doug also served on the Board of the Canadian Cancer Society for Alberta, countless legal associations, and was League Coordinator of the Calgary Amateur Hockey Association.

Although most will know Doug for his professional and civic accomplishments, those who were close knew him for his incredible dedication as a family man.

In 2009, Doug was diagnosed with cancer, beginning a long and hard battle with a series of cancers and other ailments that he would struggle with — and largely overcome — for the rest of his life.

In retirement, Doug and Glenda’s family would continue to grow as grandchildren arrived in a steady stream. ‘Grandpa’ loved filling his home with children again and enjoyed spoiling them before sending them back to his own adult children to deal with the consequences.

On February 25, 2021, Glenda was taken from him too early as she succumbed to pancreatic cancer. Despite never believing he would outlive Glenda — even having received a kidney from her in 2017 — Doug fought hard for another three years, welcoming three more grandchildren during that time, with another on the way.

In the morning of January 27, 2024, Douglas passed into eternal rest, rejoining his soul with Glenda’s.

Douglas is survived by his sons, Blake (Talicia Wagner) of Calgary, AB and Mark (Kiersten Stieger) of Calgary, AB; daughters, Emily (Derek) Fildebrandt of Calgary, AB and Sarah (Bryan) Orr of Calgary, AB; seven grandchildren: Lucille, Violet, Winifred, Edith, Friedrich, Silas and Frances; sisters Joan Scott of California and Peggy (Bill) Warren of Calgary, AB, brother Stan (Charlotte) Graham of California, and his cocker spaniel Maddie.

A funeral service followed by a reception will be held on Thursday, February 8, 2024, at 2:00 p.m. at the McInnis & Holloway Chapel of the Bells location at 2720 Centre Street North, Calgary, Alberta. Family, friends, colleagues and all who shared in his life are invited to join together in honour of his memory.

The family wishes to publicly thank Vytality at Home and all their caregivers who took such dedicated and personal care of Doug in his last few years and made it possible for him to remain in the home he loved.  

Charitable donations in Doug’s honour can be made to the Alberta Cancer Foundation or the Kidney Foundation of Canada.

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