“Manitoba has an interesting ring to it,” and thus began an adventure for a 17 year old boy from Holland that lasted 62 years. Big Al began a new adventure on Thursday, November 5th, when he passed from this earth to be with the Lord Jesus.
Al had a lot of energy, ambition, curiosity and a strong work ethic throughout his life which enabled him to attend night school and rise from a clerk to comptroller first at Comstock in Winnipeg and later at
Bennett & Wright in Toronto. These positions involved world travel and he often brought his wife Cathy and/or some of his children along to share in these blessings. For many years Al ran his own business from home where he enjoyed serving many people that started as customers and ended up friends. His energy and curiosity wasn’t limited to the office. Al tried many things, and was at least competent, if not good at beef farming, hydroponic gardening, building furniture, smoking meat, sewing curtains, van conversions and his classic Sunday meatball soup to name a few.
While not without his faults, Al, along with Cathy, had an unwavering faith in Jesus Christ. This faith, embraced by their children, has enabled the family to reconcile the past and become stronger, more whole people. Al had a big heart for people on the fringes and would invite them for meals, find them work and generally try to improve their lot. He will be remembered for his generosity but perhaps more so for his almost ceaseless positive attitude. “Doggone it” you old sausage, we will miss you!
Al is survived by his wife Cathy (Meyer); his sisters: Johanna (Hans), Magda (Jake) and Clara (Kees); his daughters Kate Pops (Henry), Donna Kramer (Neil), Pat Westerneng (Ed), Diana Harbridge (Cal), and sons Wil (Indira), Rudy (Jenn) and Albert (Rebecca) plus 22 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, infant son William and brothers Bill and Rudy.
Visitation will take place at the First Christian Reformed Church, 33 Shirley Avenue on Wednesday, November 11th, from 7 pm until 9 pm as well as on Thursday, November 12th from 9:30 am until the time of the funeral service at 10:30 am. Interment and lunch to follow. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Hospice Simcoe. Online condolences and memories may be forwarded through www.steckleygooderham.com