It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Al Van Ierland on June 8, 2020 at the age of 84. Al passed away with his Son Harry (Harald), Daughter in-law Shelly and grandson Jayden at his side.
Al was born in Osterwijk Holland on February 2, 1936. He worked in a shoe factory when he was 15 and helped his neighbors (The Senior Wolf family) with the farm.
He left home at an early age and immigrated to Canada in July, 1954. He first went to Alberta north of Rocky Fort to work as a farm hand. Al stayed with the Harry and Tinnie Wolf family, who were well established immigrants and neighbors from his home town in Holland. He stayed there for 3 years before changing jobs working on a bridge gang which took him to various locations in Alberta.
He returned home for a visit in 1958 and upon his return Al again worked on a neighboring farm seeding crops and hauling grain to feedlots in Calgary.
Summer of 1959 Al came to BC looking for work and landed a paving job for North West Paving, paving runways at the PG Airport. Late fall Al went back to Rocky Fort to his previous job hauling grain again to feedlots in Calgary for the winter. He returned to complete the same cycle in 1960.
While on a holiday in fall of 1964 to visit family in Holland, Al met Kathe Offizier his future wife to be.
Late in 1966 he moved to Fort St. John and 1967 Al started working at the WAC Bennett Dam with good friends John Vermeer and Bill Eberle.
Al and Kathe got married 12 March 1971 in Julich Germany. He took his new family, Kathe and Harald (Harry) back to Canada May 7, 1971. Upon his return, Al worked on various projects over the years the Tumbler Ridge Highway, Bull Moose Mine, Alaska highway mile 147 and Sikanni hill reroute, Logan Lake Mine, Kemano powerplant and the Peace Canyon Dam to name a few.
All was known for his humor, story telling, his caring, and his strong love of family both here and in Germany and Holland.
August 1, 2019 Al returned to Holland to see his Family whom he had not seen for 17 years.
Al struggled with various bouts of cancer since diagnosis in 2003.
He lost his final battle with lung cancer June 8, 2020.
He will be dearly missed by those whose life he touched.
Service details to follow once restrictions will allow for large gatherings.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Alphonsus Bernardus Van Ierland, please visit our floral store.