Sept. 5, 1939 – June 6, 2006
Albert passed away June 6 in the year 2006 at the Lakes District Hospital and Health Care Center after a long and courageous battle with cancer.
Albert was born Sept. 5, 1939 in the old Burns Lake Hospital, now the George Brown Center. He was one of four children of Fred and Essie Beach. He grew up in a loving family surrounded by three sisters who Albert said, “Mercilessly whipped me into shape for the whole of my life.” They were the source of his competitiveness and his instincts for self-sufficiency and survival.
He learned his work ethic from his father, Fred Beach, who operated Beach Trucking Company which hauled freight from Vancouver up the barely passable roads to Burns Lake. By age seven Albert was familiar with early and long working days, heavy equipment and working men and this education in the field was the grounding for many other activities in his life.
His mother, Essie, gave him his sense of humor and an appreciation for music (in spite of the fact that he could neither sing it or play it). She gave him his free spirit and the confidence and skills that enabled him to explore new avenues and eventually to become a man for all seasons.
He attended public and high school in Burns Lake. Many of his teachers would no doubt marvel at his success.
Albert had a wonderful and full childhood in the Lakes District. He rode his horse “Tony” over many trails in the Burns Lake area, some of which are now streets and highways. He skated on the ponds, skied on the hills, fished the lakes and rivers. He was a member of the Burns Lake downhill ski team that competed in the North American and Canadian Championships at Grouse Mountain in 1956. He was a member of the Burns Lake Braves hockey team when they won the Fowler Cup in 1967. He had a trophy room that was both astounding and humbling and a testimony to his competitiveness and his athletic abilities.
After high school he traveled to Nanaimo to learn auto mechanics. He began to fly an airplane at Delta, BC and had a flight route between Delta and Gravel Pit at Keatings Crossing in Nanaimo. He worked for a period with a garage in Victoria specializing in auto transmissions. He returned to Burns Lake to work with his father and then moved on to work at Star Motors in 1962.
A friend, Reg Blackwell, told him there was a pretty young lass living in Langley, BC by the name of Patricia McNeill that he should look up. They met the Christmas of 1967 and were married the summer of 1968. Al Beach Contracting was born along with two sons Quinten and Christopher. The next years were a flurry of work and play, camping, fishing, flying, minor hockey coaching, school boards and politics, rodeos, golf and travel.
Al was proud to be a Freemason. He joined Tweedsmuir Lodge No. 152 in 1983. He served two terms as Worshipful Master in 1990 and 1991.
Al and Pat fell in love with Mexico in 1986 eventually buying houses and property there. They own a beautiful home in Puerto Morelos where Pat operates a scuba diving business and Al, never idle, developed a complementary compressor business to fill scuba tanks for Pat’s divers.
Pat was the tempering force and the glue in a loving family. Al learned from her that love is eternal.
The last year of Albert’s life was as full as all the others in spite of the many set backs from his advancing cancer. He played the game for overtime and lost in the dying seconds of the third period.
We are now left with the message Al gave to all of us. His philosophy was, “never put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Live life like there is no tomorrow”. He is an inspiration to all of us who wish for a full and adventurous life. He accomplished it in a very short time and he died too young.
Albert is survived by his wife Pat, children: Melanie (John) Corey, Quinten (Monique) Beach, and Christopher Beach. Grandchildren: Paul and Jennifer Corey, Annalise, Aaron, Bronwyn and Elias Beach. Sisters: Ethel Gilliland, Linda Lawrence and Elsie Evansin.
A service will be held to celebrate the life of Albert Beach at the Francois Lake Hall at 1:30 pm. Saturday, June 24, 2006.