With heavy hearts, but lasting memories, the Johnston family announces the passing of Allen Garth, Saturday August 1st, 2015, at the Glenboro Hospital. His strength and courage will forever be an inspiration to all of us.
Al was born June 6th, 1958 to Garth and Lillian, and was the eldest of two boys. He grew up in Cypress River where he attended school, and later graduated from Glenboro Collegiate. He went on to earn his pilots' license, and developed a passion for aviation. Al enjoyed working as a commercial pilot, and crop duster. He was a flight instructor for the Brandon Flying Club and took great pride in teaching flying lessons and enjoying the camaraderie among his peers.
Later Al graduated from Brandon University with a Science degree in Geology, and worked for Granges Exploration in Flin Flon as a hard rock field geologist. Years later, he worked in the oil fields of southern Manitoba and Saskatchewan as a contract geologist on a directional drilling crew.
It is at university where he met and later married his wife, Susan (nee Kolisnyk). They were married August 3rd 1991 in Swan River, and lived in the town of Cypress River before moving to the family farm. During this time, they were blessed with two sons, Andrew (1995), and Matthew (2000). They both agreed that parenting would be the most important role they would ever have. The decision was made to leave geology, which involved being away from home for long periods of time, to farm full time and raise their boys.
Al had a passion for history, and thoroughly enjoyed his trips to Europe and Mexico, among other places. Many hours were spent on the farm searching for and collecting arrowheads and other historical artifacts. He loved managing, and playing on the Cypress River Blues baseball team. Al was also an active member of the curling club, including the 2015 season when his rink captured first place.
Al took great pride in his family, and was very proud of his boys. He spent hours playing catch in the yard, and helped coach baseball for several years. He rarely missed a baseball, or a hockey game, and enjoyed watching a team effort. He respected and
admired the dedication and commitment of all the coaches and managers, and developed many lasting friendships with the families, that he truly cherished.
Al taught the boys to respect and appreciate nature. Hunting and fishing trips with family and friends will be dearly remembered as special moments. He particularly enjoyed fishing on the beautiful lakes of northern Manitoba, and hunting deer, elk, and wild boar in southern Manitoba.
Al supported the value of a well rounded education, and encouraged the boys to learn and appreciate a simple, yet meaningful life. He enjoyed sharing a coffee and a visit with neighbours and friends, and was truly content living on what he called his piece of paradise.
Al will be dearly missed, and lovingly remembered by his wife, Susan, sons, Andrew (Shay), and Matthew, his brother Arnold (Tracy) nephew Mitchell and niece Chloe, extended family, and friends. He was predeceased by his parents, Garth and Lillian.
A Celebration of Allen’s life will be held at the Cypress River United Church on Friday August 7, 2015 at 10:00 am with Sharon Hamilton officiating. Following the service, a reception will be held in the Cypress River Memorial Hall. Everyone is welcome.
Those wishing to make a donation in Al's memory, may do so to the Marathon Monday fundraiser for Canadian Cancer Care, www.marathonmondaygolf.com or to the Cypress River and Area Foundation, Box 86 Cypress River MB R0K 0P0.