In Memory of

Alan

Herbert

Vanderpont

Obituary for Alan Herbert Vanderpont

Alan Herbert Vanderpont

“Life is a journey, not a destination. Happiness is not ‘there’ but here, not ‘tomorrow’ but today.” (author unknown)

These words echo the sentiments of Alan Vanderpont, our dear father, grandfather, uncle, and friend who passed away peacefully on January 27, 2024.

Alan was a kind and gentle soul, thoughtful and caring. He was born in Winnipeg on July 25, 1930. With his father serving as an airplane mechanic in England during WWII, much of Alan’s childhood was divided between school, his home in St Vital and his grandparents' farm in Dufresne, Manitoba. It was on the farm that he developed a love for nature and the outdoors.

In his early twenties Alan worked as a venetian blind salesman and rep for Moirs chocolates, jobs that took him on the road. He applied in 1954 to work in the newly expanding field of air traffic control, and enjoyed a successful 37 year career with Transport Canada, first as a controller, then an instructor, and later as airport manager at St Andrews. He had vast knowledge of aircraft and airport operations, and often shared this information with family as planes flew overhead.

Alan married Esther in 1955 and together they raised three children. The family moved from East Kildonan to St. James in 1967, where they resided for over 50 years. Home was a place of love and laughter, kids’ sports, music and family dinners. Alan was very much a family man, and his lessons about plants, animals, and "the way things work" instilled in his children and grandchildren an appreciation of the world around them.

Alan was blessed with a long and healthy life and believed in “doing the right thing”. As a young man he joined the Air Force Reserve, and enjoyed motorcycling, square-dancing, boat-building, walking and winemaking. A lifelong learner, he obtained his private pilot license, participated in a study on driving and aging, and earned his GED well into his forties. He was active on the board of Vasa Lund and a member of the Masons where he drove a patient transport van for Cancer Care.

Perhaps Al's greatest achievement was the cabin at Ingolf, Ontario, which he built with the help of friends at the lake. Alan's years at Ingolf were undoubtedly his "best of times", snowmobiling in the winter, boating and swimming in the summer. He was a skilled craftsman and could repair almost anything. He enjoyed a wide circle of lake friends and worked hard to keep the cottage comfortable and well-maintained. There was a never-ending supply of stars to gaze at, gas tanks to fill, wood to be chopped, ice-cubes to be made, and things to be fixed.

Upon retiring, Esther and Al enjoyed winter travel to Australia, Mexico, Sweden, Holland and Greece, often with a group of friends and neighbours. These were followed by casino trips to the United States and visits to Vancouver to see Joan. These trips were happy and memorable occasions.

Alan is survived by his children Cathy (Bob), Murray (Melody) and Joan (Archie), grandchildren Mark, Erika, Adam, Jocelyn, Owen, Ryan, Danika and Lauren, and several great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his parents and wife Esther in 2016.

Special thanks to the residents and staff of The Westhaven, and to Jody, his long-term caregiver, for their years of friendship and kindness. When gathered with family and friends, Al would often say, "It just doesn't get much better than this".

We will remember Alan for the many lessons he taught us and for his enduring gifts of encouragement and unconditional love. At his request, no formal service will be held. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Salvation Army or Siloam Mission.