Haldor Johannes (Hal)
Hal Bjornson passed away peacefully on March 7, 2014 at Foothills Hospital in Calgary, Alberta. Born February 10, 1920, in Crestview, Manitoba, the eldest of seven children of Helga (Egilson) and Johann Björnsson, Swan River Valley homesteaders of Icelandic ancestry. Typical of many growing up on Depression-era Prairie farms, he left school after grade 8 to help support his family. During WWII, Hal enlisted and served as a Light Anti- Aircraft Artillery Gunner, initially with Americans defending the Aleutians in Alaska, and then with Allies liberating France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. After WWII, Hal pursued a retail management career at Macleods hardware stores that spanned 38 years, starting in Swan River, Manitoba; then in Humbolt, Sk. and Stettler, AB; and finally retiring as store manager in Red Deer, Alberta. In Stettler, he met Minnie Rankin; they married in 1955 and celebrated 50 years of marriage before her passing in 2005. Hal and Minnie moved to Red Deer in 1963, where they raised their family. Hal was a successful businessman and generous volunteer, supportive of Gaetz Memorial United Church, the Masonic Lodge, the Waskasoo Kiwanis Club and the Salvation Army’s Red Shield Appeal in Red Deer. Hal’s love of being in front of people brought him back to retail management at Ben Moss Jewellery store and Eaton’s, and then at Red Deer General Hospital and later at Foothills Hospital. Predeceased by beloved wife, Minnie; sister, Dorothy; and brothers, Jonas, Kristin, Lawrence and John.Survived by son Bruce, his wife Alison, and their children Ian and Lindsay; daughter Brenda, her children Kayleigh and Jordan, and their father, Alvin Szott; and daughter Charlotte, her son, Justin and her fiancé Darcy Dunkle; brother, Elmer and his wife Ruby; several nieces and nephews and extended family. Also survived by “adopted family” Hugo and Sirley Moreno and their children Camilla, Valentina and Sarah, who became part of Dad`s life as “Grandpa”; caregivers and friends, Marineth Villostas, Raquel Otis and Hilmer Moreno, whose kind, gentle and loving care was deeply appreciated, enabling continued enjoyment of life in his Calgary condominium. We are deeply indebted for the kind, caring nurses on Unit 100 and 111 at Foothills Hospital. Our “Dad” and “Grandpa” was a wonderful, optimistic, loving man who had a sincere interest in everyone he met. His life represented the best in humanity, where everyone was important and valued. These words reflect Dad’s life: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Dad was a good man, who touched many lives and will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him. A memorial service will be held at Eventide Funeral Chapel, 4820-45 Street, Red Deer, Alberta on Saturday, March 15th, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, Hal requested donations in his name to the Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal, 2 Overlea Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario, M4H 1P4, or the Heart and Stroke Foundation, 202, 5913-50 Avenue, Red Deer, Alberta, T4N 4C4. Condolences may be forwarded to the family by visiting www.eventidefuneralchapels.com.