Wes DeGraw
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Obituary of Wes DeGraw

Wesley Gale DeGraw 

August 19, 1947 - February 26, 2024 


 The family of Wes DeGraw regretfully announce his peaceful passing on Monday, February 26, 2024 in Vermillion, AB. 


Wes is survived by his ex-wife and dear friend, Deb DeGraw (nee Markwart); ex-wife, Myrna Lynn (nee Kress); daughters: Joley DeGraw (Devin), Kandis DeGraw-Birch (Kevin), and Dionne DeGraw (Dale and Sandy); grandsons: Dallas McGrath, Joel McGrath, and Dane DeGraw; sisters Esther DeGraw, and Ellen (Ted) Ashmore; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, extended family, and dear friends. 


He is predeceased by his parents, Gale and Loretta DeGraw. 


A lover of golf, poker, and a good dirty joke, Wes could make anyone who met him instantly love his cheery laugh, warm smile, and kind blue eyes. He cherished his family, and was thrilled every time one of his children or grandchildren would come for a visit. A sentimentalist at heart, his love was shown subtly through small gestures, a wink, or a “get home safe”. 


Born in Val Marie, SK, Wes grew up working side by side with his Dad, Gale, on the farm. Tending the horses, helping with harvest, and driving farming equipment were all part of daily chores through his early years. His mother, Loretta, ever being the kind woman she was, would prepare snacks for the boys while they were toiling away in the Saskatchewan sun - much to Wes’ delight.  


As he grew into the man we all know and love, he met his first wife, Myrna, and had two daughters, Joley, and Kandis. He and Myrna raised the two girls in Taber, AB. 


Later, Wes moved into the Oil and Gas Industry, gaining invaluable knowledge in how to run his own company - Wes’ Backhoe Service - of which he was immensely proud. He would use these skills not only to benefit oil and gas companies, but to help local farmers and friends alike. 


Wes continued through his journey, and eventually met his second wife, Deb, and they had a daughter, Dionne. He and Deb raised their daughter in Hardisty, AB, while working in different positions within oil and gas. Morrison Petroleum wound up purchasing Wes’ backhoe services, and he continued working with them as an operator for many years. 


In retirement, Wes moved to Vermillion, AB, where he spent the rest of his life building friendships in this small and welcoming community. He often attended and hosted poker tournaments where he sometimes won (and lost), but always had a great time laughing and joking around the table. On days he wasn’t at the poker table, he could be found watching and playing curling, playing golf at the local course, camping, or helping out a friend. 


Wes found a little time to travel during his retirement with his singular trip to Nova Scotia. He said there was nothing like the salty breeze hitting his face and the cool waters on his hands. The coast was a place he loved, and was thrilled when he got the chance to see it in person, if only once. 


The family wishes to extend a multitude of sincere thanks to Dr. Kirk Sinclair at the University of Alberta Hospital for his thoughtful, thorough, and compassionate care. Dr. Sinclair was easily Wes’ most loved doctor, and his family will forever be thankful to him for his sincerity and amazing care. 


As per his wishes, cremation has taken place, and a private family service will be held at a later date.


In lieu of flowers and donations, please consider throwing on a cap, going out and playing a game of poker, helping out a friend, or hugging your loved ones close in memory of Wes.

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