LaVern Byron ‘Vern’ Graham, 88

Print Article

A celebration of life for Vern Graham, 88, who passed away Monday, Oct. 9, 2017, will be held at 3 p.m. today, Oct. 12, at the Hampton Inn in Kalispell.

LaVern Byron Graham was born March 21, 1929, near Grand Island, Nebraska. Three years later, his family moved to the La Salle area near Kalispell, where his grandparents had homesteaded in the early 1900s. Sadly, his grandparents lost a large section of land during the Great Depression that is currently under Glacier International Airport.

Vern attended grade school at La Salle School with his older brother Kenneth and older sister Ruth. He later attended Flathead County High School and graduated in 1947.

At age 15, he had the unique experience of being a night watchman at the airport, watching for enemy aircraft during World War II. His pay earned him flying lessons, which allowed him to receive his pilot’s license at the age of 16. He spent many hours flying people places and having many adventures.

Also at the age of 16, he worked for the U.S. Forest Service clearing trails, hanging phone lines to fire lookout towers, and even spending some time manning a lookout tower by himself, and he often said it was one of the loneliest times of his life.

He worked at many various jobs as a young man. He worked at Hungry Horse Dam when it was under construction. There he met and worked for a man who greatly influenced his future career choice. His name was Alver Hanson, who taught him some carpentry and homebuilding skills.

At the age of 40, he decided to become a homebuilder full time. In the next more than 25 years, he and his crews built more than 200 custom homes in the valley. The last few years, he worked with his son-in-law, Dan Spencer, who continued on with the business after Vern’s retirement. One of the last homes he built was his and his wife’s dream home overlooking Flathead Lake and the Mission Mountains in Rollins.

On Sept. 20, 1954, Vern married Norma Osburn of Quincy, Washington. Their children are Joyce Ellen Lynch (Michael) of Tacoma, Washington, Rod R. Graham of Mountain Brook, Montana, Julie Louise Spencer (Daniel) of Mountain Brook, Hiedi Marie Vogele (John) of Townsend, Nancy Sue Schutt of Mountain Brook, Ed L. Graham (Lucy) of Phoenix and Rollins, and Crystal E. Graham of Glendale, Arizona. They have 10 grandsons, 11 granddaughters, eight great-grandsons and six great-granddaughters. One more grandchild is expected in 2017 and three more are expected in 2018.

Living relatives are sisters-in-law Katherine Graham (Ken) of Whitefish, and LaVonne Holmstrom (Curtis) of Hood River, Oregon, and brother-in-law Otis Osburn (Phylis) of Stanwood, Washington. He has many beloved nephews, nieces and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents, parents Chester Owen Graham and Pearl Sallinger, brother Ken Graham, and his sister Ruth and brother-in-law Bud Pickar. Also preceding him in death was one stillborn daughter Laurel Anne Graham and one grandson, James Orville Shelton.

Print Article

Read More

4 gold medals to be awarded on last day of Pyeongchang Games

AP

February 24, 2018 at 7:43 pm | PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — Four gold medals are being awarded on the final day of the Pyeongchang Olympics. Medal will be handed out in women's curling, the four-man bobsled, men's hockey an...

Comments

Read More

IOC recommends upholding ban of Russia through Winter Games

AP

February 24, 2018 at 7:37 pm | PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — The International Olympic Committee executive board has recommended upholding the ban of Russia from the Pyeongchang Winter Games. The full membership will vote on...

Comments

Read More

California Democrats look to narrow crowded US House races

AP

February 24, 2018 at 7:34 pm | SAN DIEGO (AP) — Winning seven U.S. House seats currently held by California Republicans is critical to Democrats' hopes of taking back Congress in the midterm elections. But first, they've got t...

Comments

Read More

IOC board recommends upholding ban on Russia for Pyeongchang Winter Games; full membership still must vote

AP

February 24, 2018 at 7:21 pm | PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — IOC board recommends upholding ban on Russia for Pyeongchang Winter Games; full membership still must vote. ...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 755-7000
727 East Idaho
Kalispell, MT 59901

©2018 Daily Inter Lake Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X