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Dr. John S. Graham (B.Sc., MD, FRCS, FAAO, DABO)

February 14, 2024


February 14, 2024

In Loving Memory ~

It is with heavy hearts and great sadness that we announce Dr. John Steele Graham passed away peacefully at Vernon Jubilee Hospital on February 14, 2024, at the age of 93 years.

He is predeceased by his wife of 61 years, Dorothy Graham (nee Eidem), his elder sister Dorothy Milner (nee Graham), his twin brother, Alan and his parents Melvin and Ivy.

John is survived by his children Bill, Lesley, and Stuart (Shelley), his grandchildren Curtis, Breana, Shaun, Mercedes, Tanner and Cayleigh, his great grandson, Campion, and his long-time friend and loving companion, Iris Lawrence.

John was born in Ponoka, Alberta in August of 1930. His father, Melvin was the town doctor and his mother, Ivy, was a psychologist when it wasn't usual for women to be educated. They instilled in him a love of learning and he spent many hours in the company of his dad on his weekly house-calls which led to his choice of a career in medicine.

John attended the University of Alberta where he not only got his medical degree but met the love of his life, Dorothy. After they graduated in 1955, they were married in Vermilion, Alberta the following year.

They moved to Swift Current, Saskatchewan shortly after they were married where John continued his education handling everything from obstetrics to general surgery. He loved the variety of the office but felt his future lay in a more specialized area and returned to the U of A and received his degree in ophthalmology in 1968.

Shortly after graduating, he took his young family on a vacation through the beautiful Okanagan Valley, fell in love with the area and purchased a home in Vernon's East Hill neighborhood. Not quite satisfied, he talked Dorothy into buying a lot on the sparsely populated Kalamalka Lake and they moved into their dream house in December of 1969.

John grew his popular ophthalmological practice upstairs in the building across the street from the iconic City of Vernon clock tower, where he remained in practice for 31 years. He then worked as a locum until he retired in 2002.

He spent the sixteen years traveling to South America performing surgery and seeing patients in isolated areas of Peru and Columbia with the Medical Missionary International organization - he performed his last surgical procedure at 80!

John served on several boards during his life including the Swift Current Regional Hospital, Trinity United Church and was Chief of Staff at Vernon Jubilee. He was also the past president of the British Columbia Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons.

He joined Vernon Rotary in January 1970 and served as Director of International Service on different occasions and was also the secretary for a number of years. He was a multiple Paul Harris Fellow and received the Rotary Centennial service Award for Professional Excellence in 2005.

John spent many volunteer hours at the Canadian Blood Donor clinics, and both he and Dorothy were staunch supporters of the arts, music and theatre in the region. John loved skiing - both downhill and cross country - and held a season pass at Silver Star until he was 80.

He was a dedicated, caring, and quirky man who spent his life serving others. His involvement in his community and his dedication to his profession has touched many lives, he will be missed.

Funeral arrangements will be left in the care of Pleasant Valley Funeral Home and a celebration of John's life will be held at Trinity United Church on Saturday March 2nd at 2:00 pm.

Condolences for the family can be left at

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation, Diabetes Canada or the Vernon Hospice Society.

Service Details

Celebration of Life
Saturday, March 2, 2024
2:00 PM
Trinity United Church, 3300 Alexis Park Drive, Vernon

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