GRAHAM, Sylvia Muriel ( nee Casey)
July 1917 – August 2011
Sylvia was the last surviving child of Anthony and Julia Casey of Powell River. She was the middle child and was predeceased by her older brothers Ranie, Albert (Bud) and sister Bernice, her younger sisters Shirley, Lorraine (Tiny) and brother Wilfred (Skip).
The Casey’s were part of the original company town where her father was employed at the pulp and paper mill. Sylvia was a self confessed tomboy and loved being outdoors whenever possible. She was very athletic and took great pride in her physical abilities especially her love of running. She was well known in Powell River for her long runs from the town site up through Cranberry and along the connecting roads back to her home. She had great hopes of running competitively one day but had to forgo this dream. She adored her father and spoke highly of him, reminiscing about times spent digging clams on the beach, boat trips up Powell Lake and his abilities to fix anything mechanical. At the age of 15 Sylvia moved to Vancouver with her mother and other siblings. She left school and went to work to help support the family as her father has remained in Powell River. In 1936 Sylvia married Richard (Dick) Fielding and together they had a son, Howard, They separated and Sylvia became a single mother. With incredible determination, a good work ethic and the support of a large extended family, Sylvia was able to support herself and Howard during very difficult social and financial times through the depressions. Around 1950 Sylvia accepted an invitation to accompany the friend of a friend to a curling banquet. Her date was Joseph Graham. She fell in love with curling and Joe. They became a couple in 1953 and were avid curlers for many years. Joe worked for Taylor paving in Vancouver and in the late 1960’s they moved to Courtenay when the company amalgamated with Cochrane paving to become Taco Paving. They became active participants in the Comox Valley Curling Club. Sylvia loved a good party and loved to dance. She taught this love of dance to Howard. Sylvia was very creative, having won artistic competitions in school. She continued her creativity with needlework, rug hooking, sewing, gardening and gourmet cooking. She loved dogs from the depth of her heart and supported the SPCA. In 1973 Sylvia and Joe purchased property, built a home and their focus turned to gardening and landscaping and their last dog Kelly. In their later years they did some cruising to the Panama Canal, and Alaska.
Besides her parents and siblings, Sylvia was predeceased by Joe in 2006, She leaves behind Howard and his wife Diane, nieces and nephews and long time friends in Powell River, Vancouver, Victoria, Montreal, and California. We want to extend a huge thank you to all Sylvia’s informal community supporters; the staff at Mane Lines hair salon, BMO bank, Thrifty Foods, Shoppers Drug Mart, Comox Valley Taxi and her long time neighbours. We are grateful for the support of Dr. Edward Howard, Lifeline, HandiDart, and VIHA Community Support Services. With all of these people cheering her on Sylvia was able to live in her home until two weeks before her death.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Comox Valley SPCA.