May 4, 2020
George Allan (Al) Kenny, long-time resident of Abbotsford, passed away at Abbotsford Regional Hospital on May 4, 2020, at the age of 85 after a brief battle with cancer and accompanying complications.
Al was predeceased by his parents Albert in 1982 and Effie in 2005. He is survived by his wife Bertha; son Gregory (Danielle); daughters Suzanne (Warren), Katherine (Cam) and Lisa (Brent): and ten beloved grandchildren, Mark (Blaire); Amanda (Anthony), Emily, Matthew, Andrew, Jack, Ella, Paige, Burke and Quinn. His children and grandchildren reside across Canada in Abbotsford, BC, Yellowknife, N.T., Regina, SK and Toronto, Orangeville and Barrie, ON.
Given the risks and restrictions of the current pandemic, the only family member able to be at his side physically at the end was his son, Gregory; however, his remaining family members were grateful to be present virtually. His family felt very blessed to come together to visit and share memories with Al over his last two weeks in the hospital.
Al was born in Rosser, Manitoba in 1934 and moved to Abbotsford with his parents in 1949 at the age of 15. He attended and graduated from Philip Sheffield High School, and began his working career as a produce boy during this time, earning 35 cents per hour.
Following high school, he attended the University of British Columbia for a short time, after which he went to work on the pipeline, ending in a supervisory position. From here, he was introduced to aviation by an acquaintance and fell in love with flying. Al began his flying career as a flight instructor and charter pilot, doing a fair bit of flying out of the Chilliwack Airport. After gaining some flight time, he was hired by Canadian Pacific Air Lines (CP Air) in 1961. When he was subsequently laid off in the spring of 1964, he went to work at Pacific Western Airlines. In the fall of that year, he went back to CP Air which then eventually became Canadian Airlines.
He thoroughly enjoyed a 33-year-long career at the airlines flying the DC3, DC6, DC7, DC8 and the DC10. He also trained on the Bristol Britannia, although he never actually flew it. He retired in 1994 as a DC10 captain. One of his particular points of pride was that two of his children followed in his footsteps and also became commercial airline pilots; additionally, two of his children married commercial pilots and one married an aircraft maintenance engineer, so aviation became a family interest and point of connection.
Outside of aviation, Al was known for farming beef cattle and developing land. He truly loved land acquisition and development, and enjoyed doing visual research on residential and commercial construction trends, especially in the lower mainland and the western US. He was a perfectionist of great measure and read two newspapers nearly every day. Over the years, he completed two residential subdivision projects in Abbotsford: McMillan Highlands in the McMillan Road area and Creekstone on the Park near Clayburn Village. He also spent much time planning another development in the McKee Road area that is still in the planning stage and had dreams for a commercial project in Vancouver.
Al will be missed by his family, friends, long-time coffee and land development buddies and those he interacted with in the course of his development projects. Given the current pandemic and restrictions on public gatherings, a memorial service celebrating Al’s life will be held at a future date. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to Abbotsford Regional Hospital.
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