June 3, 1928 – June 8, 2020
Born into a loving family in his Aunt Nell’s house in Vancouver at the start of the Great Depression, Al and his two sisters Joanie and Bunny soon moved with their parents to McLennan, AB. A hard start marred by the depression and a house fire, they lost everything, and the family returned to Vancouver.
Al took his first part-time job at 14, fabricating metal sheets with Western Bridge as part of the Naval war effort. Later summers saw him grading lumber for White Pine, a precursor to his eventual lifelong connection to MacMillan Bloedel.
Growing up, Al discovered fishing and fowl hunting, and what began as a lark with some pals grew into a lifelong passion. Spare time often found Al with a rod in his hand heading to his local fishing hole at Elliott Creek.
Al attended John Oliver Secondary until grade 13, matriculating at UBC with his CMA. Returning to MacMillan Bloedel, Al remained a loyal employee until early retirement in 1980.
Marrying late in 1971, Al met Rosemarie and her three children at Yellowpoint Lodge. Soon after retiring to Ladysmith, Al tragically lost Rosemarie in 1987.
After retiring, Al reinvented himself as a landscaper and local handyman around his beloved “little ole town of Ladysmith”. He loved sitting on his deck with family and friends with a cold beer, “telling a few whoppers”.
Frequent trips back to Victoire, Saskatchewan to visit family saw numerous hunting trips and ice fishing for jacks. Many photos captured Al proudly showing off his catch or a plump pair of Canada geese. Al loved fishing for salmon off Ladysmith point, and trying for halibut in Sooke.
Al loved his community and settled into a quiet retirement in Ladysmith. Later years saw time spent with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, sitting by the water, asking: “How can you tell we ain’t rich?”
Al’s incredible kindness and empathy drew many to him. He was a gentle soul who believed “the warmth of one human being for another (was) the ultimate strength.” A generous, thoughtful man, Al brought out the best in those around him. A happy and caring person, Al quietly reminded all of us to be kinder versions of ourselves.
Al will be laid to rest with his sister and mother at Mountainview Cemetery, overlooking his dear J.O. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the charity of your choice. A celebration of life will be held at a future date.
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