August 23, 1939 - October 26, 2016
Audrey Graham, beloved wife, mother and grandmother, deeply cherished friend and member of her large and adoring family, died early on the morning of October 26, 2016, surrounded by her family, of complications of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Audrey was the seventh of eleven children born to Hjalmer and Herta Vedaa in rural northern Minnesota. Her family was loving and close-knit, living and working in a remote and challenging environment: loyalty, fortitude, and generosity were hallmark traits that she brought with her from this childhood. After graduating from high school in Indus, Minnesota, she struck out on her own, training in laboratory science, and then moving to Oregon, where she married and raised her family. After working to support her family as a hospital laboratory technician during most of the 1960’s, she was able to return to college where she studied fine arts and ceramics. She eventually became a master potter, showing her work at dozens of shows in the United States and Australia, and specializing in finely crafted and beautifully glazed ceramics which now grace literally thousands of homes throughout the world. Despite her exceptional artistic skills, Audrey will be most remembered for the profound impact that she had on those whose lives she touched. She lived her life by practicing her beliefs, and her foundational adherence to faith, beauty and love were apparent in everything and everyone that she touched. Audrey was a Christian who deeply studied the teachings of Jesus Christ, and who lived these principles in a practical and unpretentious manner. Forgiveness, generosity, and compassion were daily practices; she was a study in humility, but also knew exactly who she was and what she believed. Fickle winds did not sway her from her stance: one friend, describing Audrey to his children stated, “She was the most centered person I have ever known.” As she contemplated the approaching end of her life, she wrote a note to her son which simply read, “I will be in a good place.” Beauty was evident in all that Audrey touched. From her art work, to her graceful home, to the hundreds of pieces of clothing she created by hand, to the innumerable special meals and celebrations that she lovingly hosted, Audrey’s efforts exemplified beauty and elegance, and represent a lasting testament to not only her unique talents, but also the special care she gave to each of her offerings. She was radiant, beautiful from the inside out and endlessly generous in sharing her world and her creativity with those she cared for. Audrey’s love for her family and many friends was the final foundation of her life. She was a treasured member of her large and extended family: more often than not it seemed that she was hosting the holiday gathering, and every sibling, niece and nephew was welcome. As one cherished niece said, “She was a magical person that made everyone feel instantly comfortable in her presence.” Audrey demonstrated, moreover, that love is a practice: she gave in a true spirit of generosity, benefiting friends, family, her church and those in need, always focused on the need and the benefit, never on the credit or her own accomplishment. Audrey’s final battle with ALS was a study in strength and determination, and a source of inspiration as she adhered to her foundation of faith, and the beauty and love that she brought to each day. In the end, she left this world peacefully, with the same grace and courage with which she lived her remarkable life. We all feel both tremendous sadness and deep gratitude for the blessing of her presence in our lives. Audrey is survived by her husband Robert, her children Scott and Jennifer, and her numerous grandchildren, nieces, nephews, siblings and dear friends. A celebration of Audrey Graham’s life will be held at the United Methodist Church in Canby, Oregon on November 26, 2016 at 2 o’clock PM.
Audrey Graham, beloved wife, mother and grandmother, deeply cherished friend and member of her large and adoring family, died early on the morning of October 26, 2016, surrounded by her family, of complications of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.... View Obituary & Service Information
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