Alvin Martin

Obituary of Alvin Samuel Martin

With heavy hearts, the family of Alvin Martin announces his passing on Monday, July 1, 2019, in Regina. Al was born in Shaunavon, SK, on June 2, 1934. He was the second of Awald and Bertha Martin’s five children, and a tough older brother to Bud, who remembers Al not even flinching when he once mistook potato water for lemonade. Al’s strength lasted to the end of his life, carrying him through two difficult surgeries and two long years in the hospital.

As children, Al and his siblings rode in a horse-drawn cutter to school, leaving the horses at their grandparents’ stable in Shaunavon each day. They kept pet badgers — at least until the badgers killed all the chickens one day. Al’s bike had wooden rims that would warp in the rain. He’d often reminisce about memories like these.

Al played hockey and softball. As shortstop for the Powermine All-Stars in Shaunavon, he wore a Babe Ruth-style mitt that resembled a big pancake. Al met his wife Jacqueline Bailleul in 1956 at a dance. They married the next year and had their first four children on the family farm, which they sold before moving in 1963 to Denzil. There, Al helped his parents run the local hotel.

From his very first car — a 1949 Mercury — Al kept his vehicles sound and clean. His last car, a Ford Fusion, was a more conservative choice than the 1987 cherry red Mustang he and Jackie drove to California. Al’s favourite chocolate bar was a Cuban Lunch, or anything else with peanuts. On road trips, he was a no-nonsense snack provider: O’Henry bars and Cokes for all of the kids. The options were expanded for his grandchildren, with Licorice Allsorts and other treats always in the candy drawer.

Al worked a variety of jobs before finding his calling. He spent 30 years as a salesman, first with Electrolux in Prince Albert and Regina, then with Almi (Red Carpet) Coffee. Youngest son Shawn remembers hitting the highway with dad during summer vacation and getting to steer the truck. Al was an excellent salesman, winning holidays to Portugal, Hawaii, and elsewhere in Canada for being a top seller.

When he finished at Red Carpet, it wasn’t for long. Al went back on the road to drive a school bus for 10 years. After finally retiring for real, he enjoyed growing tomatoes in his backyard, reading Westerns, watching Turner Classic Movies, and having bacon and eggs for breakfast at Western Pizza on Avonhurst. In his younger days, Al curled; in his older age, curling was always on TV. He also played Cribbage, and wouldn’t miss a chance to steal points — even from an eight-year-old granddaughter. Whether it was 40 degrees above or below, Al would drink black coffee, or tea with milk and sugar: On a hot day, you’ve got to drink something hot, he’d say. When he’d visit his kids, he’d come with slippers in tow to their houses. Al loved visiting with people.

Al was predeceased by his parents Awald and Bertha; brother Milton; and brother-in-law/best friend Irvin Bymoen. Alvin is survived by his wife Jacqueline; brother Bud (Lynne); sisters Elaine Bymoen and Carolyn (Richard) Evans; sister-in-law Karen Martin; and many nieces and nephews. “Big Al” always said proudly that he didn’t raise any bandits. Left to mourn their dad and grandfather are: son Brad (Deborah) and granddaughters Ashley (Judd), Justine (Dan) and Alexandra (Mat); son Barry (Candice), granddaughters MacKenzie (Braiden) and MacKayla, and great-grandson Jaxton; daughter Michelle and grandchildren Jordan (Kyle) and Kolby Keens; sons Kelly and Trevor; son Shawn (Andrea) and grandsons Nathan and Emrey.

Al’s family would like to thank the staff on 4A Accountable Care Unit at Pasqua Hospital and units M6 and 3-6 at Wascana Rehabilitation Centre for their care over the past two years. At Alvin’s request, there will be no service, and his ashes will be scattered on the old family farm in Shaunavon. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Diabetes Canada, 919B Albert St, Regina, SK S4R 2P6. 

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