Laurie Theresa Harbort
Readers of the Catholic Leader during the period 1955 to 1980
Graeme Hemley's life story features many a Geelong icon.
Born and raised in the city, he was educated at East Geelong Tech, employed as an apprentice at Bright & Hitchcocks (the only one in its 100-year history), went on to work for Ford, had his first date with Kaye, the woman who would become his wife of 52-years, at the Corio Theatre, and played 53 games for the Geelong reserves, making the list with Polly Farmer and Sam Newman.
Mr Hemley also established a Geelong business success story, Paratus Industries, with partners Gerrit te Grotenhuis and later Gerrard Malthouse.
A talented athlete, his love of sport was renowned - played football, tennis and golf and ran competitively, placing second in the 1968 Stawell Gift.
"We all struggled to watch our big strong dad's body fail him," his family told mourners gathered at the President's room at GMHBA Stadium, on August 2. "He got frustrated, but was always determined to just get on with it."
With the family's permission we publish their eulogy that was read at the funeral hosted by Kings Funerals.
We wanted today to be about celebrating the wonderful life that Dad had - he loved to laugh and have fun, and we wanted today to be just that.
We are devastated to have lost him, however we all have some wonderful and fun memories of him. He was busy with work for a lot of his life, but had some wonderful relaxing times too and lots of fun times with family and friends
Dad had many names - Dad, Poppy, Big G, Grayza, Grazey, Affa, Cocko
He loved playing golf and all three kids have fond memories taking him to golf, even when his mobility was affected, he still had a go.
He had a potentially risky drive of the golf cart during his last golfing adventure with Trav, Chris and Nathan! We're happy to report he didn't end up in the drink.
The family had many holidays and Mum and Dad had many amazing adventures together, all over the world. He loved to travel, and shared this love with his three kids.
He loved the Australian bush, with many weekends spent in the Brisbane Ranges, or exploring other places in Victoria on Sunday day trips. Most Sunday afternoons were spent at the Lynch or Spiller farms.
We all remember the many car trips to Canberra in the Cortina, with Nana Carrie squeezing in the back seat for one trip.
Dad loved music and all the music played here today were his favourites - he loved the fun songs and we all remember him singing along in the car.
Travis was so pleased to have Dad and Mum in Amalfi for his wedding, and being able to sneak off for a cheeky beer with Dad during all the wedding preparations.
Dad spent many hours on that holiday following Tess around while she mastered walking.
Kirsten has fond memories of dad and mum's trip to the UK and when we took Emily and Tess to Halls Gap for a few days before Covid hit. Kirsten loved dancing with Dad - he just glided over the dance floor, leading and making you feel safe. When he broke his hip, Kirsten remembers telling Mum that she would miss that.
Chris entertained Dad a lot in Tassie and up in Myrtleford where Dad loved watching Chris play footy, wearing out many videos and DVDs reliving Chris' footy highlights.
The three kids all remember playing possum after a long car trip, so that Dad would carry us inside to bed! To delay sleep time, Kirsten remembers yelling out 'DAD!' to get him to come and kiss us goodnight at Kansas Ave.
Poppy loved being a Poppy - he was smitten with his two granddaughters.
Tess and Emily spent a lot of time with Poppy in the garage, making things, drawing and playing games.
They always had lots of fun, and he thoroughly enjoyed this time with the girls - treasured memories now.
Emily and Poppy used to get up to mischief and keep secrets from Kaye and Kirsten.
Granny did always worry though, when she heard the power tools start up.
Some of Tess's fondest memories are of her and Poppy sneaking off to the study then sitting on his lap to play computer games, making stone fairy castles in the garden, and sitting on the handlebars of the exercise bike listening to his music through headphones while Poppy pedalled away.
Dad was always making something, or designing something - there was always something on the go.
We were very proud to call Dad ours - he was a gentle man who loved his family and whose family loved him.
We all struggled to watch our big strong Dad's body fail him. He got frustrated, but was always determined to just get on with it.
Dad instilled a good work ethic in us, and was proud of all of our achievements, big or small, in our personal life and professional. Dad, we will continue to make you proud every day.
Dad, G, Poppy - we're not sure how we go on without you. You were the absolute best. May you continue to inspire us.
"The person who was always there for me": Emily's tribute to grandfather
Graeme, my Poppy.
The person that was always there for me. The memories I have with him are unforgettable. Especially the ones when I was little. Like when I was learning to walk, and I would shuffle just like him.
He always had a smile on his face.
He would walk me down to the park when I came over to his house. He would always make everything fun.
About five years ago I realised I loved to run, back then I didn't even know he was a good runner. It just came naturally. About two years later I found out he liked running which made me love it even more.
He is the most talented and kindest person I've ever met. I will never forget him.
I love you Poppy
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