May 8, 1955-Vancouver, B.C.
February 17, 2014- Calgary, AB
Graham Monroe Oben, beloved husband of Christa Lee Nicholson for almost 16 years, and devoted father of their 12 year old daughter, Shan Ling Nicholson Oben, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Monday, February 17, 2014 at the age of 58 years, after a courageously fought, 9 year battle with thyroid cancer.
Graham was predeceased by his mother, Frances Emily Oben (nee Quigg), and his father, John Angus Oben. In addition to his wife and daughter, Graham is survived by his cherished “kid” sister, Patricia Oben (Dick Donaldson), and his dearly loved brother, Michael Oben (Dawn Moss), both of Calgary AB, as well as his sister, Donna Raines, of Leduc, AB. He is also survived by his favorite niece, Nicole Oben, and his nephews, Derek and Ryan Raines, as well as cousins, including Wayne Oben of Maple Ridge B.C..
Those who knew Graham would agree that he was larger than life and truly one of a kind. He was passionate, loyal, big-hearted and generous. He had a knack for recognizing people in personal need and supporting them, whether as a mentor or a friend. His sense of humour was renowned: he could always create, and share with a smirk, something hilarious in every situation. Graham’s expanding faith inspired hope in those around him.
Graham was born in Vancouver B.C. and settled in Calgary in 1971. Graham worked hard for his clients for over 30 years as a financial advisor/retail broker in Calgary at brokerage firms including Wood Gundy, Research Capital and, most recently, BlackMont Capital from which he retired in 2008.
Graham treasured his family. It was love at first sight for he and Christa and they were inseparable from the moment they met at Lake Louise, AB. Being Shan’s father was a true and tender joy to him and he fought heroically for the last 9 years to extend his time with her.
Graham loved sports and the outdoors. During his lifetime he enjoyed hockey, cycling, fly fishing, tennis, and golf. Most especially, he will be remembered by many, both in Canada and abroad, for his legendary skill and love of skiing. In his mid-twenties, Graham found himself in St. Anton am Arlberg, Austria where he worked as a ski instructor and guide and was the first North American ever to be accepted into the prestigious Bundessportheim St. Christoph (now known as the Ski Austria Academy). In St. Anton, he developed deep friendships which made it a cherished touchstone for him and, later, his family. Graham took great pleasure in sharing his love of skiing with Christa, Shan and others and enjoyed many happy days “rippin’ it up” there and in Fernie, B.C..
One of the most enduring legacies Graham leaves is what Shan refers to as his “unbreakable friendships”. Graham easily and deeply connected with people and had loyal “fans” of all ages and from all walks of life. Their devotion to him, including by providing companionship and assistance with his care all over North America, is a testament to the strength of those bonds. His friends sustained him throughout his life and especially in his final months and days.
Graham and his family wish to thank the many doctors who cared for him, especially Dr. Peter Neweduk , Dr. Dean Ruether, and Dr. Joe Warshawski (all of Calgary), Dr. Ferre Akbarpour (Orange County Immune Institute, California) and Dr. Robert Sasha Smiljanic (Vancouver). Special thanks are also extended to Graham’s fly fishing (and spiritual) guide, Josh Nugent, for his constant, tender care and companionship during Graham’s six week stay at the Rosedale Hospice, as well as the amazing staff there. Deepest thanks are offered for Fr. Jaroslaw “Yarek” Dziuba, SDS, who has prayed with and for and ministered to Graham, Christa and Shan over the past 5 years.
Relatives and friends are invited to Prayers and Tributes at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY’S Park Memorial Chapel (5008 Elbow Drive S.W. Calgary, AB) on Monday, February 24, 2014 commencing at 7:00 p.m.
Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Mary’s Cathedral (219 – 18th Avenue S.W.) on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 1:30 p.m. Cremation and private interment will take place at a later date. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Rosedale Hospice through The Hospice Calgary Society, 1245 70th Ave. S.E. Calgary, AB T2H 2X8.
In living memory of Graham Oben, a tree will be planted at Big Hill Springs Park Cochrane by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Calgary, AB, T2S 2L5, Telephone: 403-243-8200.Print This Obituary & Condolences