Al Wong – kind-hearted community builder, cook extraordinaire, animal lover – passed away on August 29, 2014 in Edmonton, Alberta.
Al was born in Victoria and raised in Saskatchewan along with his eight siblings – Emma, Effie, Ernie, Ben, Andy, Alan, Joyce and Pat. In 1953, armed with his education in business and a determination to strike out on his own (at the “encouragement” of his father) Al headed to Vancouver, but ended up making it no further than Alberta. After a short time in Calgary, he made his way to Fort Saskatchewan, where industry was starting up and jobs were plentiful. He began as a crew leader in a metals refinery. Work was more than a paycheck to Al – it was an opportunity to spend time with people. His amiable and easy-going manner with people made his next career transition – into Human Resources – as natural as breathing.
Al greeted everyone and every day with a smile and a chuckle – the sign of a man who knew and did what made him happy. He loved his “games of chance” which led him on many legendary Vegas adventures. He was a master cook – who was only disappointed if anyone at the annual Chinese New Year celebrations did not have a full plate and doggie bag of his amazing dishes. The twinkle in his eye was never stronger as when he was walking around the farm, with his animals trailing behind him – or even better – riding around the yard with him on the John Deere Gator.
His strong sense of family and love of his community meant Al had an unparalleled dedication to volunteerism focused on community building. He served his community on more boards than can be listed, but included Fort Lions Club, Crime Stoppers, Rotary Club of Edmonton, Edmonton and District Beekeepers, TOPSOIL, Fort Saskatchewan Golf and Curling Club, employee recreation clubs where he worked including Sherritt and Esso, and the Esso Annuitants.
Al is survived by his wife Darlene, brother Alan, sisters Joyce and Pat, and scores of friends and colleagues. A Celebration of Al’s life will be held on Friday, September 5, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. at the Dow Centennial Centre, Lions Mane 8700-84 Street, Fort Saskatchewan, AB. In keeping with Al’s love of community and animals, he would have been most pleased that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Coronado United Church c/o P.O. Box 512, Gibbons, AB T0A 1N0, or the Edmonton Humane Society, 13620-163 Street, Edmonton, AB T5V 0B2.