At Uncle Alan's request there is to be no funeral, and so far I have not found any obituary or tribute for him online. While a memorial may still be published, I would also like to honour his life here as best I can.
Alan was the fifth of seven children born to Harry Charles ANDREW and Eleanor Louise "Nell" RICHARDSON in North Saint Eleanors, PEI, Canada (near Summerside). Like many of his siblings he was quiet, considerate and caring by nature, with an understated sense of humour. Growing up a farmer's son during the depression, he learned to become resourceful and to work hard. He was also skilled with his hands and machinery. When the Second World War broke out, he was not yet 15, so had to wait until near the war's end before enlisting. He didn't see any action as he was in a motorcycle accident while still at home; by the time he recovered, the war was over and he was discharged.
At the end of 1945 Alan traveled with his younger sister across Canada to join their father and other relatives who were still getting settled in Westholme in the Duncan area of Vancouver Island. Alan also worked in Duncan with his brother Dean and delivered milk for Sunny Brae Dairy. In 1948 he decided to re-enlist in the Air Force, and was stationed in Winnipeg for training as an aircraft engine mechanic. He was later stationed at Rockliffe, Ottawa. By 1971, WO and Mrs Alan E Andrew were living in Edmonton Alberta. They settled next in Maple Ridge BC and, after retirement from the Air Force, he took on the civilian job of school custodian there for many years.
In 1949 in Vancouver, Alan married Robertina Renee PIOLAT, a French girl who was known in the family as "Bobby". They later adopted two wonderful sons. Bobby sadly died in 1990 while on holiday in France. In 1993 Alan remarried Doreen Townsend, and they lived in Ladysmith on Vancouver Island. Doreen too passed away from cancer in 2005, and Alan moved into a trailer park near the Cassidy airport. He continued his gardening, growing bumper crops of grapes and tomatoes, preserving and sharing his bounty with neighbours and friends. For the last few years Alan lived with his older son in Maple Ridge.
Alan was also predeceased by his four older siblings: George in 1976, Mabel in 2000, Dean in 2005 and Harriet in 2009.
As Alan did not live on Vancouver Island while I was growing up, and not until much later in his life, I only got to know him and his family on their infrequent visits. Yet he was without doubt a very special man and a darling uncle to me. Uncle Alan was involved for a time with our family history research after his mother passed her research onto him. Then in the 1980s when I showed great interest in our family tree, he willingly passed the gauntlet to me and was very encouraging and supportive.
I will remember Uncle Alan with love, and will miss his wonderful spirit.