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Wednesday November 2, 2016

Graham Conrad Lount
June 30, 1921 - October 30, 2016

Graham was one of those rare people that made you feel like everything would be alright, that he could take care of anything, and he did just that.

He was born in Winnipeg and considered the city his home base. He was passionate about Winnipeg, its people, and the opportunities that the city had provided him. He often spoke of the importance of 'giving back'.

Graham graduated from architecture at the University of Manitoba in 1945, building a house in St. Boniface while attending university. He and his father Charles, a civil engineer, formed C.T. Lount Construction in 1947. The company grew from building single family homes to high rise, multi-family developments. Hillsborough House, Fountain House, Sussex House, Kiltarton Towers, 55 Nassau, and the Holiday Inn South mark the Winnipeg skyline today. After 55's completion, Graham founded Shelter Corporation of Canada. Shelter built Seven Evergreen in 1980 and moved the corporate head offices to the upper floors. Seven's sister building, Eleven Evergreen, was built shortly after. Under Graham's direction, Shelter Corporation developed thousands of multi- family rental units across Canada and the United States. His moniker, 'the Silver Fox' was certainly fitting.

The project that Graham was most passionate about was Bear's Paw Golf and Country Club, a golf community which Graham developed with Jack Nicklaus in Naples, Florida. He and his wife Suzie built their vacation home there, and together with family, have enjoyed warm holidays at Bear's Paw since 1985.

Graham was strongly connected to the community and volunteered his time in many organizations. He was the President of the Kinsmen Club, Founding President of the Fort Garry Rotary Club and was honored with the Paul P. Harris Fellow Award. He was the President of the Winnipeg Homebuilders Association and the National Homebuilders Association as well as a Member of the National Building Code Committee. He was President of the Red River Exhibition and very involved with the YMCA, an organization dear to him as he spent his early teenage years at Camp Stephens in Lake of the Woods. His donation of Lount Lodge remains as a testament of his gratitude for the years spent there as a young man. It was at Camp Stephens where his passion for sailing was ignited.

Years later, dismayed by the reality that there was no sailing club at his summer retreat in the Whiteshell, he ordered a dozen Albacore sailboat kits from Ferry Marine in England and had them shipped to Winnipeg. He started building the 15 foot sloops at the company workshop and sold them to those who were interested on the lake. Within a few years, he was the proud commodore of the Caddy Lake Yacht Club, hosting a race every weekend.

Like many men, their toys grow, and for Graham, it was his sailboats. Skippering his C&C's on Lake of the Woods in many races including the LOWISA each year, he finally conceded that a six foot draft could be a problem with the many reefs in the lake. His last sailboat 'Wayward Wind', a ketch with significant draft, was moored in St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands where the reefs were much less of a problem.

If someone asked Graham what he did for a living, his usual reply was 'I'm a carpenter'. And a gifted carpenter he was. Many pieces of furniture in his homes and cottages, from the late 1940's until very recently, were crafted by him, in his various wood working shops.
He had many other interests as well, including golf, skiing, and bridge, all of which he began in university and continued throughout his life. He shared countless sailing and skiing adventures with his first wife, Bette, and their six children, and with his second wife, Suzie, and her four children. We are all truly thankful for those wonderful experiences.

Graham was amongst the early pioneers of helicopter skiing in the Bugaboos outside of Lake Louise in his forties and in his eighties, he was delighted that they did not charge him for his lift tickets anymore in Vail.

As a lasting legacy to the Winnipeg community, Graham created the Graham C. Lount Family Foundation to support disadvantaged children and youth of Greater Winnipeg. The Foundation has supported so many wonderful organizations since it was founded in 2001 and will do so in perpetuity. Three generations of the Lount family are involved in its philanthropic work and are very grateful for his generosity and foresight.

Graham was predeceased by his first wife Bette and two sons, Dexter and Christopher (Helen). He is survived and dearly missed by his wife Suzie, his children; Susan (Carl), Jennifer (Ron), Colin (Shana), and Derek, his stepchildren; Joe Banfield, Alex Sawchyn (Brent), Jeff Banfield, and Ashleigh Banfield, as well as his eight grandchildren; Laura Stovel, Tamara Burman (Rich), Alex Lount (Greg Porth), Ben Lount (Chrystal Neault), Nicholas Lount, April Lavilla-Lount, Sam Lount, Matthew Lount, nine stepgrandchildren; Nick Banfield, Spencer Banfield, Fraser Banfield, Matthew Sawchyn, Leigh Sawchyn, Ali Banfield, Mackenzie Banfield, Fischer Gould, Ridley Gould, and nine great-grandchildren; Hannah Burman, Josh Burman, Gabriel Stovel, Ella Porth, Roxanne Porth, Oberon Lount, Genevieve Lount, Cazeniah Lount, and Julien Neault- Lount.

Graham was a powerful, but sensitive and generous man who acted as a role model for all who knew him. We will remember with fondness his adventuresome spirit, brilliant mind, his laughter and curiosity, his calmness in times of adversity and his willingness to try everything that this world had to offer. As it turned out, the world had a lot to offer a daring man like Graham, and as his beloved wife Suzie says, 'He had a great ride'.

A Celebration of Graham's Life will be held at St. Charles Country Club on Friday, November 4 at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to The Winnipeg Foundation or Camp Stephens.

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