Ila June Graham was born in Almyra, Washington on June 28, 1920.
She was the third child born to Andrew and Hedwig Holte. Sister Alice and brother Tommy came before her.
The family moved to the Chilcotin in 1923. With horses, wagons and supplies they came eager to start their new home.
They were the pioneers of the Chilcotin country. One of their first places was at Engebretson’s at the Towdystan Ranch, which they rented from them on the other side of Tatla Lake.
Another brother, Jimmy, was born on the place. Their first place was Lessard Lake, approximately 20 kilometers North of Anahim Lake, where they started cattle ranching.
Ila loved the outdoors and the horses.
As a teenager she and her family travelled on horseback to the Stuie Stampede, now known as the Bella Coola Rodeo.
There she would enter the horse races and win every year.
In 1944 Ila married Alex Graham and loved the cattle drives from Tatla Lake to Williams Lake.
They had one son Roy. Nine years later daughter Kathy was born and they resided in and around Williams Lake.
In later years Ila worked as a desk clerk at the Ranch, Maple Leaf and Lakeview hotels.
She was known for her kind and generous hospitality, always helping someone with their problems.
One of her sayings was: “You’re not much of a man if you can’t feel the whip on another man’s back.”
Her family believes she got that message from the Lord.
As a senior, Ila’s favorite place to live was the Cariboo Lodge.
When the lodge closed Ila resided at the Williams Lake Seniors’ Village.
Thanks to all the staff for taking good care of mom. God bless you all.
To our wonderful mom and grandmother.
Always in our hearts. Love, Kathy, Bonnie, Quinton; Roy and family; Holte families; and many friends.