Obituaries

Allen "Al" William Freeman

August 03, 1947 - January 21, 2023

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Obituary For Allen "Al" William Freeman

Al passed away surrounded by his family on Saturday, January 21, 2023, at Grande Prairie Regional Hospital after a short battle with cancer, at the age of 75 years.

Al was a resident of Clairmont, AB, and was born in Moncton, NB, to Clifford Freeman and Mary Freeman Beverley (nee Dale).

In Al’s youth, he could’ve been described as a rebel with a bit of a wild side. As a young man in Moncton, Al worked as a well driller and for the Canadian National Railway for a time before moving to Lynn Lake, MB, to work in the mine. He then joined the Canadian Armed Forces but soon moved back to Manitoba to Leaf Rapids.

He met the love of his life, Shari, when a friend told her she needed to meet “this guy because he’s so nice.” After a few months of dating, Shari’s children Rhonda and Brad asked Al if he was going to marry their mom, to which he replied, “You will have to talk to your mother about that.” A few months later, Al phoned home and told his mom, “I’m married, her name is Shari, and there are 2 more names, Rhonda and Brad.” Baby Ian came along late the following year.

Al and Shari were pioneers in the brand-new community of Leaf Rapids. Over the next couple of years, they lived in Bjorkdale, SK, and Thompson, MB, before settling in The Pas in 1978, where Al was a millwright at the sawmill for 20 years.

Al and Shari moved to Clairmont in 2001, where he worked at De-In Industries and then at the QEII Hospital where he spent 17 years as a millwright in the maintenance department. Al was a mentor there to many apprentices over the years. Many of the staff loved him and called him “Big Poppa.”

Al was a family man, and a man of great faith. He was hard working, dependable, loving, big-hearted, funny, down to earth, generous, and solid. He was complex, but in a very subtle way. He was known as a gentle giant who always saw the positive side to everything. His arm could be falling off and when asked how he was, he’d more than likely reply, “AWESOME!” accompanied by two thumbs up. Al possessed integrity, was always happy, and deeply spiritual.

Al loved cheering on his Philadelphia Flyers but was most happy being with his beloved Shari and their family. He especially loved spending time with them while camping and enjoying the outdoors. Al’s other joy was his church, and he played a large part in making the Worship Centre a reality.

The loss felt with the passing of Al is immeasurable. He was so much to so many people. One word that comes up often in conversation is “hero.” His grandchildren especially idolized him, and his morals and integrity were a beacon for how they now live their lives and are raising their own children. His legacy will live on for many generations to come.

Al is survived by his wife of 49 years Shari; children: Rhonda (Jason), Brad (Patti), and Ian (Melanie); his grandchildren: Chance (Jennaleah), Alix (Mandy), Daimon (Crystal), Torie (Tanner), Lainy (Dallas), Jarren (Myra), Jared (Kerissa), Tristan, Ryder, and Rowan; great-grandchildren: Emri, Kamrin, Brieyre, Keagin, Leah, Paisley, Kinlee, Jaxson, Alise, and Isaiah; siblings Don (Sue), Faye (Trudy), Jim Beverley (Gloria), and Bob Beverley (Cindy); as well as sister in-law Therese.

He was predeceased by his parents; two infant siblings Maryann and Michael Patrick; his brother Jerry; as well as grandson Braedon.

The family would like to thank the staff of Grande Prairie Cancer Centre, GPRH Emergency Unit C, and Unit 22. They are forever grateful to their church family at the Worship Centre.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, January 28, 2023, at 2:00pm, at The Worship Centre in Grande Prairie (9710 102 St.).

A Livestream of the service will be accessible 15 minutes prior to the service on Al’s obituary on Oliver’s Funeral Home website.

In lieu of flowers, if you would like to make a memorial donation, the family would appreciate donations be made to The Worship Centre (9710 102 St., Grande Prairie, AB, T8V 2V2).

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Condolences

  • 01/28/2023

    Dear Shari, Rhonda, Brad, Ian and families, Growing up we always looked forward to our summers in Moncton and spending time with our cousins Jerry, Allen, Don and Faye. One summer, after a day of bringing hay in from the fields we had a corn boil. All of us cousins sat on Aunt Mary's lawn eating corn and were totally amazed as our older cousin Allen ate 18 cobs. He certainly had bragging rights that day and made sure we all knew it. He was a kind, considerate, loving rebel with a heart of gold. Our thoughts will be with you all as you gather to celebrate his life. You were so fortunate to love and been loved by a man so rare. May God's Grace sustain you in the days and weeks ahead. With hearts of love, Donna-Rae and Earl

  • 01/28/2023

    I grew up in Hildegarde, outside of Moncton, New Brunswick with the Freeman family as neighbors up on Jones Road (now Ryan Street). Allen and his brother Jerry were older than me and my twin brother, so we knew of them as Don and Faye's older brothers. I am sorry to hear of Allen's passing and hope that memories will help ease the loss. Jim Beverley

  • 01/27/2023

    Dear Shari and Family, we all who worked with Al are flattened by the loss of our friend and co-worker. Al always seemed to bring people together though his sense of humor, and willingness to help his fellow man. his ability to think outside of the box, to get complex jobs done was his genius, and Al was more than willing to share this with anyone, who could keep up to his work level. When my dad passed in 2018, Al set up a couple HVAC motor replacements for my return to work, this took about a week to complete. he kept the conversation light, but without saying too much. He showed me that I was supported thought a very difficult time in my life. But that was Al, he just made sure everything was "Awesome"!! And looked for opportunities to mentor people around him all the time. Patrick Parsons

  • 01/26/2023

    "Job well done, My good and faithful servant, " says the Lord. These will be the words Allen will hear when he meets his Maker. What a faithful life he led. He will be missed by his family and church family. Sending sincere condolences to you, Shari and family. Bob and Cindy Beverley

  • 01/26/2023

    Shari & family: I remember in my childhood, looking up to Allen- he always seemed larger than life, He was funny, kind , wild (in a good way). Always had time for the younger cousins and lived to the beat of his own drum. He will be missed by all who knew him- a force to be reckoned with. I am sure where ever he is, he is having a wind-ding of a good time. Love, Sincerely Sharon

  • 01/25/2023

    So sorry for your loss, I pray you feel comfort knowing he is no longer in pain. Al was an amazing man with such a positive attitude & hard worker, always smiling & laughing. Rest easy Poppa, till we see you again. Jolene (Shaw)Dennis

  • 01/24/2023

    So sorry to hear of your loss. Sending condolences Shari to you and your family. God bless you all. 🙏🌹 Sincerely, Edith

  • 01/24/2023

    Wayne and I are so saddened to hear of Al's passing. We knew him from QE 11 while working there. Condolences to the family. Wayne and Phyllis Ryan

  • 01/24/2023

    Dear Shari and family, I am sadden to hear of Allen's passing but we know that he is absent from the body and present with the Lord. Please know that others feel your loss and understand your pain. May you feel the love of our Heavenly Father surround you during these difficult days and may the memories that you have deep in your heart remind you of the love and happy times that you shared together. Sincerely Bonnie

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