March 31, 1945 – August 14, 2022
In loving memory ~
It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Alan Terrell Cutler. After a 2 year battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease), Alan died peacefully in his sleep on August 14th with his wife Anne by his side.
Alan was born in Porthcawl, Wales in 1945 to Ken and Edna Cutler.
He grew up in Wales and England with his parents and brother Andy. After his first year of teaching in Birmingham he moved to Nairobi, Kenya to a teaching post at Hospital Hill School, the first truly multiracial school in that country. Later Alan became the Head Master of the school. It was there that he met and married Anne Ryce.
In 1976, two years after their first son Mark was born, they immigrated to Canada.
Alan and Anne both found work as teachers in the Cowichan Valley and Alan worked at Koksilah Elementary, Discovery Elementary and Easter Seal (overflow for Discovery) in Shawnigan Lake until retiring from teaching in 2005. Over the years Alan had the honour of teaching many students and was known for his engaging teaching style and ability to connect with his students. He had a great impact on many and has left a legacy in those students, some staying in contact many years later, even one from Kenya.
Their second son Neil, was born in 1979.
Alan was an incredible family man, dependable big brother and friend. He cared deeply for his family, friends and colleagues, and was always there to help. Alan was very involved in both his sons activities from project design to helping with the many events his son Neil was involved in, particularly in Neil’s horseback riding. He became a long time volunteer with Cowichan Therapeutic Riding. He also loved time spent with his granddaughters Alyssa and Hailey, including having imaginary tea and being a student in an imaginary classroom. He was also a great and tireless listener, regardless of how many repetitions there were!
For much of his life, Alan played soccer in the Cowichan Valley. Later, he played tennis and Pickle Ball for a short while as well.
Alan was also well known for his singing and guitar playing. He was self taught and could not read music but could pickup almost any song just by listening to it. Many will remember his silly songs either in a classroom, around a camp fire or a get together, playing his trusted 12 string guitar. Some may remember a few questionable adaptations of songs!
Most notably though, Alan was known for his sense of humour and for telling stories which became increasingly impressive over time. With this and the ability to read people, he formed strong and lasting connections with almost everyone he met.
Alan retained his dignity and sense of humour during his valiant fight with ALS and the grace with which he accepted every turn that came his way was inspirational to many. Alan and his whole family have been very fortunate and thankful for the help they received from the ALS Society, Cowichan Hospice House and the many amazing, special health care providers and volunteers for their exceptional care and support.
We would also like to thank the staff and residents from Sherwood House, for creating such a loving and supportive home for Alan and Anne over the past 2 years.
Alan is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Anne; sons: Mark (Leah) and Neil; grandchildren: Alyssa and Hailey; brother Andy (Ann); and nephews: Chris (Hilary) and Jamie (Queenie).
A Celebration of Life will be announced at www.sandsduncan.ca. In lieu of flowers, donations would be appreciated in Alan Cutler’s memory, to the ALS Society of BC or Cowichan Hospice.
Pictures, memories, stories and questions can be emailed to the family at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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