Obituary for Allen Roy Alward

Alward, Allen Roy passed away Tuesday, November 6, 2018, at the St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital at the age of 78, surrounded by his family. Beloved husband of Pat Alward, his wife of 49 years. Adored Dad of Kristin (Bryan) May, Katie (Trevor) Simpson, and Mark Alward. Cherished Grandad of James and Kennedy May, and Charlotte, Maxwell and Bentley Simpson.

Born June 4, 1940, he was the firstborn child of Roy (2000) and Jean (nee Allen) (2009) Alward. He is survived by his siblings Ron (Sue) Alward, Cheryl (Jim) Fox, and Karen (Joe) Van der Linden. He was predeceased by his brother David (1948). Allen is also survived by his sisters-in-law Linda (Paul) Chapman and Carol (Allan) Trembley, and several nieces and nephews. With his father in the Air Force, Allen and his family moved every few years and he grew up in Port Stanley, Centralia, Edmonton, Trenton and Komoka. He settled in St. Thomas with Pat in 1972.

Allen was a graduate of the University of Western Ontario, and was a teacher in Elgin County for 32 years. After his retirement in 1997, he and Pat started a family business Earthly Treasures.

Anyone who knew him, knew of Allen’s great love of rocks and minerals, and his world-class collection. He would spend summers collecting rocks throughout North America, and winters cataloguing them. He and Mark took numerous road trips to collect: to Newfoundland and Labrador, Alaska and the Yukon. They would return home to begin planning the next trip. Allen served on the executive of the London Gem and Mineral Society and the Central Canadian Federation of Mineralogical Societies. He donated rocks to the ROM, Smithsonian, and several universities and museums.

Allen had a love of geography, nature, science and history, and shared his gifts in the classroom, by co-founding the Elgin County Outdoor Education Centre, and as a Boy Scout Leader. He had a wicked sense of humour and would tease his grandkids with a twinkle in his eye.

He was kind, loyal, hardworking and fair. A talented carpenter, an animal lover, a rower, and a cherry pie aficionado. He taught Kristin, Katie and Mark to leave their surroundings better than they found them. He was known for his generosity: of his rocks, his time and his knowledge.

His happiest place to be was at home with Pat with a cat on his lap.

Allen’s family would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to the staff of STEGH, Extendicare, CCAC and the EMTs for their compassionate care this year.

Visitation will be held at Williams Funeral Home, 45 Elgin St., St. Thomas, from 2-4 pm and 7-9 pm on Monday, November 12. The funeral will be at 1 pm on Tuesday, November 13, at Williams Funeral Home, followed by a reception at Knox Presbyterian Church, 55 Hincks St., St. Thomas. In lieu of flowers, donations would be appreciated to the Alzheimer Society of Canada, Pets Friends for Life, or a charity of choice.

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