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Dear Linda,

I am writing to express my condolences to you for your sad loss.  Your father was an iconic figure in Grande Prairie and I feel privileged to have known him and to have worked with him.  Al made an impact on the business community as well as on the lives of many people.

I’ve had time to pause and reflect on the years I worked at Visa.  Al was a man who may not have been large in stature but he was a giant in so many ways. I’ve worked for some fine people over the years, but there was no one whom I respected and admired more.  I think its indisputable that he was a giant in cerebral matters too, and he must have gone to bed every night wondering where the next opportunity to start a business would present itself.

I still see the laughter in his eyes when he handed me a slightly risque Dear Ann Landers joke and waited for me to react.  He had such a wicked sense of humor and he was just fun to be around.

No one enjoyed a golf game more, especially when he played well, or just a brief visit from someone stopping in at the office.  I think he was not just a keen businessman but also a man who enjoyed people, particularly smart people.

I wonder how many people benefited from being mentored by Al Side and how many he quietly supported or offered a helping hand. I say again, what a guy and what a legacy he leaves.

Not only was he involved in countless business ventures, he was also a hero to his outstanding family. I know how proud he was of you and thought you were capable of anything and everything and it seems you have lived up to those expectations.

Such is the human condition, we live our lives the best we can, and then we go on to the next life.  Al lived his life, he was an exceptional man, happy in his success but always humble and self-deprecating. I’m so grateful that I knew him and his family, that I had the opportunity to work for him and that I considered him a friend.

Please give Barb and Rhonda a hug for me and tell them what they already know. That Al was an exceptional man and his passing will leave a huge hole in your lives, as well as in the lives of many.

With sincere sympathy to all of you,



Shared by From Pearl Fee

Memories! Oh Yes! We have them!

If we could have bottled up Al’s enthusiasm for life – we could give it to people who need – a “boost” in life.

He was a true adventurer – seeking out life – like an explorer – choosing his twists and turns on the “river of life” and when people say Al was “one of a kind”, they weren’t kidding. There was only one Al and there will only ever be one.

Al made the world a better place for a lot of people – and sometimes treaded on places – where others feared to go.

Al had the ability to see things in a different way – and to change them for the better.

He lifted up people in his presence and became a part of their lives – some through business, friendships, or humanity.  Always with a unique sense of humor.

He will be greatly missed by all!

Elmer & Merne Arndt

Shared by From Elmer & Merne Arndt

Always enjoyed taking Al on the boat. He was always a good time. Will miss his stories.

Shared by Randy Gulick

Always felt very welcomed in this man’s presence. I say that about the entire family as well. Have always enjoyed my time at the Side’s place. Rest in peace Al and heart felt condolences to all the family.

Shared by Ninette Laliberte

I have known Al for 48 years and enjoyed his company at work and at his home with Barb. I had the privilege of a visit with him on October 10th for 3 hours at the farm and at the horse track Casino for lunch. Our conversation come around to the time he took me out to see the farm when he first bought it. The only building on the property was the original house, a prefabbed catalogue order from a company in Toronto which the owner had built back in the 1930’s. He was 96 years old and living in a retirement home when he sold it to Al. Al and I went though the place which had many old magazines, National Geographic & Readers Digest, from the 30’s & 40’s, lying around. Al wanted to get on with building his new home on the property and burnt this old house down much to the concern of the RCMP and local fire department. His comment to me at our last lunch together was ” I shouldn’t have burned that place down. All that real old lumber I probably could have sold for a good buck”. We had a good laugh.
So many great memories.
My condolences to you Barb and to all your family. And thank you for the many times you had to put up with me for dinner. I live in Edmonton but still visit Grande Prairie and Al would have me over for dinner giving Barb little notice.

Shared by John Glass

“If you can fill the unforgiving moment, with sixty seconds worth of distance run…”  Kipling

This is so Al.

Every moment lived and none wasted on things that did not matter.

Shared by P. Flette