It is with profound sadness that our family shares the news of the passing of our beloved husband, father and Papa. Albert Oliver Swanson (Swanny) was born in the cold of winter on a farm near High Prairie, Alberta on January 26, 1940.
Al was the oldest of five children born to Carl and Runa Swanson, and even from a young age, he was a pillar of support to those around him, eager to help his siblings and family in any way.
Upon finishing high school, he travelled to Fort Nelson to work as a ‘cat skinner’ during the construction of the Alaska Highway. Never afraid of hard work, he was also innately entrepreneurial and operated gas stations in various locations in northern British Columbia before moving his young family to Creston, B.C., where he joined his parents and siblings, and went on to own a number of businesses.
As hard as he would work, Al was also a keen competitor in the curling community, which eventually led him to the role of ice maker. As his skill and reputation developed, Dad moved to Victoria in the early ’80s, where worked as a respected curling ice technician at almost every club in the city.
This career also opened doors to travel around the world; he was invited to make ice in Scotland, Phoenix and Mexico, in addition to his role as the Head Ice Maker for Curl BC, which he held for many years.
It was around this time that Al met and married Charlene (Charlie) on Christmas Eve in 1986. These were very happy times for them, and Al soon found himself at the centre of an ever-growing extended family, as well as the curling community where he and Charlene were active and well-known members.
As the years passed, he became a Papa and Great Grandpa to a very enthusiastic and loving brood; a role that he enjoyed and embodied to the fullest.
Swanny also loved the water and spending time on his boat fishing at Port Renfrew. He was generous in sharing his love of fishing with his friends and family, and many of them hold fond memories of days spent on the water with him. Many will also remember his love of lambsie, which he could often be found playing with his buddies at the curling rink while sharing stories.
Never one to remain idle, Al became an avid bird watcher over the last few years, as his lack of mobility forced him to slow down.
Always down-to-earth, kind and supportive, Al will be remembered most for his generous and non-judgmental nature, which earned him many long friendships and the everlasting love and respect of his very large extended family.
He was predeceased by his parents, Carl and Runa Swanson.
He is survived by his loving wife of 36 years, Charlene; children Christine and Paul Shepherd (Kate and Nick; Adrienne and John), and Richard and Maureen Swanson (Nick); stepsons, David and Sheri Cleugh (Monica and Andrew, Gilbert and Ashley, Daelen and Tanya, Chelsea, Jayden and Olivia, Kayla and George, Anneka and Alex and nine great-grandchildren), and Steven and Joyce Cleugh (Charlene, Rachel, Opal, Damian) and siblings; Sylvia McKenzie, Lena and Wally Lenko, Ken and Barb Swanson, and Edwin and Pauline Swanson.
There will be no service by request and flowers are respectfully declined. If you so wish, please make a contribution in his memory to the Duncan Curling Club’s Junior Program.
Online condolences may be made at www.hwwallacecbc.com
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