Albert James “Papa” Proctor

It is with great sadness that the family of Albert James “Papa” Proctor announces his passing, at the age of 89, on Sunday, December 11, 2011 at the Kamloops Senior’s Village in Kamloops, British Columbia.

Albert was born in Conquest, Saskatchewan, January 25, 1922. As a child he enjoyed riding in the stagecoach with his grandfather around rural Saskatchewan. He moved to Saskatoon as a young boy, where, in need of some pocket change, Albert caddied for players at local golf courses. It was during this time that the seed for his life-long love of the game was planted. In the end, he was not only a skilled golfer, but also a sage in its finer points, thanks to his exposure at an early age. He spent countless hours sharing his knowledge of the game with his children and grandchildren while on the course.

After excelling at Thornton School and Tech Collegiate, Albert went to work on his uncle’s farm, in the late 1930s. It was here he developed his enduring love of horses that would be with him all his life. Shortly thereafter, he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force and served as a mechanic in Great Britain during the Second World War. He’d spend many hours regaling his grandsons with stories from the war, be they tales of fixing planes, or shenanigans on base. To this day, he could accurately recall the names of all the people and events while overseas.

Upon returning home, he met the love of his life, Margaret McEachern. The two would enjoy 64 years of marriage; Margaret was at Albert’s side in his final hours. The couple briefly relocated to Hamilton, Ontario, before returning to Saskatoon in 1951. In 1964, they moved their family to a new house on Mountbatten Street in Montgomery Place. Albert took advantage of the vast property and developed a passion for gardening. In that yard he hosted many family gatherings, ones that are fondly remembered to this day.

A tile setter by trade, many fine tiles around Saskatoon bear Albert’s handy work, including the mosaic on Walter Murray Collegiate. When he and Margaret retired to Vernon, British Columbia in 1989, Albert continued to tile his own personal pieces; ones he gladly shared with family and friends. It was then that he took to crafting birdhouses as well.

Albert and Margaret enjoyed 21 wonderful years at the Sandpiper retirement community in Vernon. They busied themselves with card games at the clubhouse, traveling with neighbours to bowling tournaments or babysitting their many grandchildren. When alone, Albert and Margaret often engaged in rousing games of Scrabble and cribbage, or tended to their garden.

Known for his good-natured charm and amiable demeanor, Albert was a reserved but indelibly warm presence at the many family gatherings he hosted. In his private time, he devoured many a book on history and philosophy and enjoyed watching horse races on television. A loyal husband to Margaret, and caring and supportive father and grandfather, Albert will be dearly missed.

Albert is survived by his loving wife, Margaret; his children: Richard (Margaret), Robert (Debbie), Patricia (Sheldon) Bitz, Judith (Kent) Hartshorn and Pamela (Rob) Doherty; his grandchildren: Francine, Brad (Michelle), Corrine (Dave), Lori (Leif), Amanda (Andrew), Gillian (Josh), Jon (Janice), Tyler, Rebecca, Jordan, Katie and Brendan; great grandchildren: Dominic, Janelle, Graham, Jackson, James, Erik, Greta and Leela. Albert is predeceased by his parents, Herbert and Anne, along with his seven siblings: Bertha, Anne, Violet, Edward, Douglas, Wilfred and Arthur.

A celebration of A.J.’s life will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, December 17th at the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Cathedral in Kamloops.

The family wishes to thank the staff at Kamloops’ Senior’s Village (Long term residential care) for their wonderful care of “Papa” over the past few months. A special thanks to nurses, Becky and Martin. Funeral arrangements entrusted to Personal Alternative Funeral Services, Kamloops, BC.

Come to the edge… We can’t, we will fall

Come to the edge… And they came.

And he pushed them… And they flew

Come fly with me

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