Ritchie; Alan (Al) Harker
Passed away peacefully on Saturday, May 20th, 2023, in his 88th year at his home in Markdale, Ontario. Al leaves behind his beloved wife of 60 years, Nancy (nee Davis), his daughter Lisa (Bill Meek), of Ottawa, his son Glenn, of Kitchener, his two grandchildren Liam and Emma Meek of Ottawa, his sister-in-law Lorraine and a number of nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brothers Bill and Ted and his sister-in-law Lorrie.
Al was born in the family home on Caledonia Road in Toronto, Ontario, on August 21, 1935, to Lillian (nee Harker) and Bill Ritchie. He spent his formative years in York Township at FH Miller Public School and York Memorial Collegiate Institute. After graduating from high school, he attended Toronto Teacher’s College and began his teaching career in Scarborough, where he taught for eleven years, apart from a two-year period teaching at the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Base in Baden-Soellingen, Germany. While teaching in Scarborough, Al completed his Bachelor of Arts (BA) at McMaster University and his Masters of Education (M.Ed) at the University of Toronto.
In 1967, Al, Nancy and family moved to Grey County, where he spent the next 24 years as a principal with the Grey County Board of Education at schools in Flesherton and Durham, Ontario. He retired from education in 1990, and for the next 30+ years, he and Nancy spent their winters in Pt. Charlotte, Florida.
Al was an avid traveller, and with Nancy visited the British Isles, Europe, China and Canada, as well as several other unique places across the globe. His favourite place of all was the Black Forest region of Germany.
Al was an active member of the Markdale Country Club for many years, where he spent his time honing his impressive golfing and curling skills on the links and on the ice in the curling club. While wintering in Florida, Al was the master of the bocce court. As a member of the Flesherton Kinsmen Club, Al played a significant role in the development of plans for and the building of the local arena.
Al loved sports of all kinds and could often be found watching golf, football, hockey and his beloved Blue Jays (sometimes all at the same time). He was an avid reader, solved millions of crossword puzzles, was a renowned history buff and enjoyed nothing more than to share a tall tale with his grandchildren.
Al made friends wherever he went. He maintained close contact with friends from his youth, his teaching days and from Florida. He was happiest at the Thanksgiving table surrounded by family, friends and neighbours. Those unable to join Al and family at the table were frequently treated to a meal (including dessert).
The family will receive friends at the Fawcett Funeral Cremation Reception on Monday, May 29 from 1:00-3:00pm with memories shared at 2:00pm. Cremation has taken place with interment at Markdale Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to the Centre Grey Health Services Foundation or the WarAmps Foundation would be greatly appreciated. Online donations and condolences at www.fawcettfuneralhome.ca 888-924-2810
Whenever Al looked back on his life, he frequently said: ”It’s been a marvelous ride. I’ve been so lucky to have had a successful career, great parents, a wife I adored and dearly loved, two super children, two special grandchildren and a host of unforgettable friends. Thank you, Lord!”