Al lived life with love and gratitude, facing his journey with courage and dignity until his last day. Al passed away at home in the early hours of March 1st, 2019. He was 82 years old.
Al was born to Alexander and Kathleen Muir in Kamloops, BC, the middle child of five boys. He grew up in Cache Creek and Ashcroft on his parent’s dairy farm until his mid-twenties. According to Al, he defied the odds and rather than heading west, he and a friend headed East. Broke, with two flat tires stuffed with mattress filling, they stopped at a trapper’s campsite near the Torch River. There was an available trapline for Al and his friend to work over winter. This set Al’s path for life, as the following spring he described how he met “a pretty young girl who turned me to jelly”. Al and Carol were married on July 6, 1963.
Al was one of those people who could fix, build or figure out just about anything. Al’s ability to DO was a great match for his spirit of adventure. He and Carol travelled and worked in different communities that few have experienced. They lived in Moose Lake, MB when it was only accessible by plane in the summer and Bombardier in the winter. They were the 40th family to live in Leaf Rapids, MB before there was a real road or grocery store. Al was a storyteller who could bring these early years to life. Al and Carol’s three children were born across the prairies, with Jeff in Alberta (1964), Rae in Saskatchewan (1968) and Terry in Manitoba (1969). Al often joked that they couldn’t have a fourth child, as they would have had to move to Ontario!
Al was thankful to Carol’s parents for taking him in as their own, allowing him to be part of their large, kind, and fun-loving family. Al’s greatest source of joy and pride were his children, grand children and great grand children. Al was generous with his time
to do things and his hands to make things. Al’s friends and family always knew they were cared for.
Al’s retirement years were “the very best of times”. Holidays were sometimes with family and friends, and always with Carol. Holidays were short, long, on a bus, on a plane, even on a train, local and international. Afternoons with the old-time dancers were a joy, both for the dancing and the wonderful people Al met and befriended.
Through his life, Al’s spirituality and peace came from spending time in nature. Camping, working outside, gardening and golfing with friends and family were Al’s best days. His favourite place in later years was sitting on the back step in the sun, watching his beloved raspberries grow. Al was even more fond of them once they started producing berries!
Al shared his wisdom with family and friends… Only drink Nabob coffee, plant your garden rows straight, Red Viking are the only potatoes to bother planting, if there is a job to be done just do it, kiss your wife every morning and every night, work hard play later, if you are going to have milk have whole milk, if you’re thinking it you might as well say it, and above all be grateful for everything.
Al was predeceased by his parents Sandy and Kate, brothers Gair, Tom, Bud, and Rob, father-in-law Dale Smith, and brother-in-law Lyle Smith. Al will forever be loved and remembered by his wife, Carol, his children Jeff (Donna) from Grande Prairie, Rae (Gary) from Moose Jaw, and Terry (Brad) from Saskatoon; grandchildren Cheryl, Josh (Courtney), Rance, Adam, Jori (Michael), Erin, Christian (Amanda), Paige and Darian; and the twinkle in his eye, his great-grandchildren Dawson and Reilly. Al will also be missed by Carol’s mother, brothers and sisters and countless nieces, nephews and cousins in the Muir, Smith and Wiese families, as well as the many friends he made throughout his lifetime.