Albert John Salkus, retired Royal Canadian Engineer, on October 14, 2004, at age 89, in Nanaimo Hospital.
Predeceased by parents Charles John and Annie (McNeil) of Bedford, N.S.; brother Johnny and sister Loretta Denault of Halifax, N.S.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Gladys (Colling) of Parksville, B.C.; sons Neil of North Vancouver and Roy of Calgary; sister Joan Descoteaux (husband Bill) of Ottawa, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Born in Halifax on September 10, 1915, Al was an outstanding athlete known as “Butch” to his teammates. Prior to World War II, he played baseball and hockey for the Halifax Maroons. He was still catching for elite Armed Forces softball teams during his forties. Subsequently he coached numerous youth baseball teams at Vedder Crossing, B.C. Other passions included fishing, gardening, bowling and cribbage.
Al joined the First Field Company of the Royal Canadian Engineers in 1937. He served two tours of duty in Europe during World War II. Pursuing a career with the army after the war, Al was an electronics instructor at Camp Chilliwack, B.C., throughout the 1950s. During the 1960s, he was the military electrical engineer overseeing construction of the first two Diefenbunkers (Carp, Ont., and Nanaimo, B.C.). He retired from the armed forces in 1967, moving to Parksville where he and Gladys resided until his death.
A funeral mass will be celebrated at the Church of the Ascension, 837 Wembley Rd., Parksville, on Thursday, October 21 at 11 a.m. followed by a reception in the church hall.
In lieu of flowers, donations to B.C. Cancer Foundation are suggested.