Hi, my name is Robb and I was lucky enough to be one of the many many grandkids. From as early as I can remember grandpa was my absolute hero. He was the coolest guy, a full grown kid who had ALL the coolest toys.
I was telling Rhonda just a couple weeks ago that when I was in high school, there was multiple instances where I’d be playing a football game on a Saturday in Grande Prairie, and I’d look over to the sideline, and grandpa would be there. I never once invited him, I don’t think we ever even really talked about it. I would just look over sometimes and he would be there and then he’d pull the Arab goodbye and disappear without a trace.
When I was 12, he gave me my first job at the farm. $5 an hour to clean the shop at the farm. I never asked him for the job, one day he just walked me over to the shop and put me to work. When I was 13 and my mom wanted to toss me on a plane to my dads for being a bad kid, he took me in to work off my debts at the farm. When I was 22, he gave me my first car, the red T bird. I think for a long time when I was a kid I was convinced I was his favorite grandkid. “We must have more in common, we have a real tight bond, he’s always looking out for me”, I would tell myself. Then I got older and realized that’s just the guy he was, he had that with every single one of us. We were all the favorite.
My grandpa is literally the most successful man I’ve ever known. As a child I would feel so much pride driving along 108 st and seeing this little mini industrial empire that he built through old fashioned hard work. Yet his business accomplishments paled in comparison to his true passion, which was his family and of course, Grandma. His dedication to all of us was immeasurable. He was there for nearly all of our births. Didn’t matter if it was in Grande Prairie, Vancouver, or Hawaii. Grandma and Grandpa were there. When my mom was in her final days at the old QE2 hospital, he cleared his schedule and barely left her side (much to her chagrin). He was truly the most dedicated and passionate man that I have ever known, and I consider myself so lucky to have had him in my life and to be a part of this family.
Thank you for everything, Al. You will never be forgotten.
-Robb, Benji, Nova.