Obituary of Ronald Graham Lord

Born April 13, 1943, South Porcupine, Ontario

Died April 9, 2024 – 4 days short of 81st birthday, at KGH, Kingston, Ont.

Eldest son of the late Ronald Daniel Lord and late Helen Dorothy Lord (Richards)

Survived by wife Donna Jean (Edwards), younger brothers Norman (wife Susan) and Ian (wife Lori), sons Gregory (wife Shauna) and Robert (wife Christina), grandchildren Heather, Megan, Colton and Tanner as well as many other beloved family members in the Lord and Edwards families.

Raised near South Porcupine, Ontario, at an active gold mine town, Graham’s earliest days were ones of exploration and adventure. He dreamed of being a cowboy and rode around town with a horse head attachment on the handlebars of his bike and built forts in the woods with his friends and brothers. From northern Ontario, he dreamed of the big world beyond his horizons – his imagination marveled as he delighted in tuning-in distant Maple Leaf hockey games on his crystal set radio.

His parents moved the family to Toronto while Graham was a teenager. His formative years were spent at a beautiful home on Heathcote Ave. in York Mills, at that time the northern reaches of urban Toronto. Here he attended York Mills Collegiate Institute, a short walk from home. Graham’s parents had high expectations for their boys, and Graham was coached to a high work ethic and ambition for his future. During high school, Graham managed to purchase a car of his own and developed a deep love of the independence and adventure it could provide.

After high school, Graham headed to Queen’s University in Kingston, where his own parents had met. Here he soon met the love of his life, Donna, whom he spotted across a crowded reading room at Douglas Library. His clumsy advance somehow worked – a humorous tale he loved to tell – and the rest is a beautiful history.

After his B.A., Graham entered law school at Queen’s, while Donna went to Toronto for work after her graduation. Their relationship continued and deepened during this separation, and they reunited permanently on May 24, 1969, the day of both Graham’s graduation and their wedding ceremony, held in adjacent building on Queen’s campus.

Graham and Donna moved to Toronto and worked there until Donna became pregnant. They found the big city did not suit them and made plans to settle with their growing family back in Kingston. After the arrival of their first son, they bought their first home in Amherstview. Graham began his long legal career in Kingston with a rapid move to independent practice, teaming with lifelong friend Roy Conacher, to operate a small legal office where they could each pursue their own professional interests. Other significant legal collaborators in Graham’s career included John Gerretsen and Wayne Headrick.

After their second son was born, Graham and Donna soon moved to their forever home on Lakeshore Blvd. Here they raised their family with a house full of laughter and love, highs and lows, and so many parties, Christmases, neighbourhood friends and backyard fun. The boys both went on to attend university and moved to Toronto to start their careers, and their own families. Graham and Donna became proud grandparents, travelling frequently to see their children and grandchildren, and gathering them back in Kingston as often as possible.

Graham held numerous passions. First and importantly, Graham loved the law, and the independent career it afforded him. In his spare time, his keen mind loved to keep current on case law, with white Legal Digest editions always found throughout the house. Outside of work, Graham was a lifelong tennis enthusiast, making many great friends through the sport. He was still playing up to two hours of doubles tennis each outing during his last summer, 2023. He was a great explorer and loved nothing more than charting a plan or route to see something new. Long road trips with Donna, kids, or friends, were a lifelong joy for him. Graham and Donna explored all corners of North America, and made wonderful travels to Europe, the UK, the Caribbean, China, and many cruises. Around the house, Graham loved music, movies, and photography passionately. He built extensive libraries in all these media and delighted in possessing and consuming his personal curations. Throughout his life, his favourites always remained the old western movies, and the soaring music that those classics included.

Graham and Donna retired from their careers in the early 2000s and went on to enjoy almost twenty years of happy retirement. This period was filled with much reading, travel, socializing with friends, and pleasurable work and relaxation in the home they had always loved. Throughout retirement, Graham kept keenly interested in current events, the latest books and movies, new technology, and exploring the world. He enjoyed having time to follow closely both the Blue Jays and Maple Leafs. Graham enjoyed a broad circle of friends at all stages of life and was always energized by socializing in different groups.

Graham was a great friend to many, and a beloved and active member of his broad and growing family. He made us laugh, he informed, he provided good counsel, and he protected all those he loved. He and Donna were extremely generous people with their time, the charities they supported and the friendship they displayed to all. Graham added much joy to all he touched, and will be missed terribly by Donna, his family, and his many good friends.

Graham had only recently been diagnosed with Interstitial Lung Disease, which had no known cause, or cure. On March 27th Graham suffered an acute flare up of his lungs, from which he could not recover. He fought longer and harder than anyone thought possible. He loved life so much, and dearly hoped to get back to Donna. He received excellent care from the wonderful staff in the ER, ICU and respirology units at KGH, to whom the family is exceptionally grateful. Graham did not often speak sentimentally in life, so it was especially moving when he expressed, during his final days in the hospital, his profound love and appreciation for Donna, all of his family and his friends.

An open visitation for Graham will be held 2-5pm on Saturday April 13, with a funeral from 2-3pm on Sunday April 14 (followed by reception) – all at James Reid Funeral Home in Kingston. Interment will be family only at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family would ask you to consider a donation to the Alzheimer’s Society of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Counties

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