March 25, 1932 – March 04, 2013
Alec Saviskoff passed away peacefully with his family at his side on March 04, 2013 at Kootenay Lake Hospital at the age of 80. He had been battling cancer for the past 2 years.
Al was born on March 25, 1932 in the Doukhobor settlement of Glade, BC, to Nick and Molly Saviskoff. The family later moved to Bonnington where he was followed by his sister Vera and brothers Cyril and Gus. He attended elementary school in Bonnington and continued his education at Trafalgar Junior High and Nelson High school in Nelson. The family moved to Taghum (Sproule Creek) in 1950. Al spent his summers and after school working at various jobs – HB Mine in Salmo, CP Rail, orchards in the Okanagan during harvest season, and driving for Jonella Cleaners delivery service. After a bad car accident at the age of 19, he spent several years recuperating from a broken leg, and then attended business school in Nelson.
In 1955, Al began his career working for the Federal Government at the Unemployment Insurance Commission office when it was located on Baker Street in Nelson.
On December 17, 1955, Al and Olga were married in the United Church Hall on Stanley Street and in September 1956, they began the work journey around BC. The first stop was Kitimat (1956 – 1962), followed by Cranbrook (1962 – 1964), Mission City (1964 – 1965), Abbotsford (1965 – 1967), and happily returning to Nelson as supervisor in 1967 until he retired. Along the way, Al and Olga had four children: Peter (1956), Molly Ann (1957), Shirley (1966), and Alan (1969).
Al always wanted to participate in each community he lived in. He joined the Kinsmen Club in Kitimat and was a member until the club folded in Nelson. He was president of the Cranbrook Kinsmen Club and the director of the BC Polio Foundation.
He was an ardent bowler and belonged to leagues in Cranbrook and Mission. In 1980, he and his brother Cyril fulfilled a lifelong dream and purchased the Heritage Lanes Bowling Alley. They enjoyed running it along with their wives until 1982 when, sadly, it was destroyed by a fire.
Al was also a member of the Fraternal Order of the Eagles Aerie #22 and served as secretary treasurer for many years. He joined the Masonic Lodge in Nelson rising to the position of Worshipful Master. Through his membership with the Masons, Al also became a Shriner, attending many functions through the years and being very active in their fundraising initiatives.
In 1987, Al suffered a massive heart attack that ended his working days. He had bypass surgery and recovered his health. In 1989, he and Olga drove across Canada to visit friends in Ontario. One highlight of the trip was touring the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa and seeing the Red Army Chorus and musicians performing in the Rotunda (lobby), and getting to visit with some of the group. Al also saw John Fraser, Speaker of the House and Don Mazenkowski, Deputy Prime Minister.
There were many more trips as Al loved to drive. He loved his red VW convertible. He was even asked to drive it down Baker Street for Steve Martin’s movie “Roxanne”, though it didn’t make it to the screen. In the 90’s, Al and Olga made a few bus trips to Reno where Al got to enjoy video poker. They began snow birding, driving to Palm Springs and enjoying the sunshine, warm pool, and making new friends.
In 2008, Al became a good cook as Olga was having some health issues. He could make the best chili, greek salad, and minestrone soup. Al kept busy, was never bored, enjoying his grandchildren’s visits, watching favorite his TV shows, especially hockey. He was so pleased when his favorite team, the Boston Bruins won. Al mastered the computer and spent hours reading a great variety of subjects. He enjoyed his conversations with friends and relatives. Al carried with him his belief in a peaceful way of life, strong principles, and he had a strong passion for history and his Doukhobor heritage.
Al was predeceased by his parents Nick and Molly, and brothers Gus and Cyril. He is survived by his loving wife Olga of 57 years, sons Peter (Dominique), Alan, daughters Molly Ann, Shirley (Sasha)(Ramin), grandchildren: Nicholas (Christina), Angela (Devan), Tosh, Tula, Kourtney, Kaden, Jordyn, Mathieu. Also sister Vera Maglio (Bud), sisters in law Georgina and Joan, brother in law John Zalewski (Marlene) and many nieces and nephews, relatives and friends.
Al was a very kind and loving husband, father, grandfather and friend. He will be in our hearts forever. Rest in Peace.
Arrangements are under the direction of Thompson Funeral Service Ltd.
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