The service will remain available to watch until December 29, 2021. Scroll to the bottom of the page for the link to view.
It is with great sadness that the family of Alan Richard Back of Humboldt, announce his passing on Sunday, December 12, 2021 at Humboldt District Hospital. He touched a lot of lives in his 74 years.
Alan was born in Humboldt on May 23, 1947, and attended Ive’s School for his elementary years. Following grade 8, Al left his school years behind and began working full time for a local farmer. Al was well known for his work ethic, and he later changed career paths into becoming a salesman at Aline Furniture. With a talent for furniture sales, Al became owner and operator of Craftsman Furniture Store, a passion he was nurturing at the time he met the love of his life, Debbie Weixl. The 2 were quickly engaged and married in Cudworth on August 28, 1976.
With “Kipper’s” support, Al again changed his career path, adding Manager of KFC and then the Gulf Gas Station to his resume. However, his last place of employment was where he made the most difference, Al became the beloved (and sometimes not beloved) custodian at Humboldt Collegiate Institute until his retirement. Al’s teasing nature and love for kids made him a natural in this environment, earning the respect from all, and the rating of a “tough old bird”. His no nonsense attitude also meant that he wasn’t afraid to make the high school kids toe the line when they needed to.
The acreage he shared with Debbie after their marriage was a favorite hangout for his many nieces and nephews. He loved horses almost as much as he loved his family, and would take the young kids for rides, he was a cowboy through and through. Rides in his Model A car was another highlight of the acreage, and a point of pride for Al who loved to show the car off.
In retirement, Al could often be found frequenting the many locations of coffee row. His big smile and boisterous laugh was well known all over town, and he was always quick with a hello and a teasing conversation for anyone he met. He loved people.
Even in retirement, Al couldn’t sit still, he needed to be working, and his yard became a celebrated focus point. He spent hours beautifying it with flowers - pansies being his favorite. Al was a perfectionist and very meticulous with his yard manicured perfectly every year, it was a known fact that if for some reason he couldn’t cut his own grass, he would be standing beside the volunteer making sure that each blade was manicured to the right length and cut at the right angle. The vegetable garden that he and Debbie worked together was another highlight, always bountiful, and the fruits of which were always shared with friends and family – whether in the form of fresh vegetables, or rhubarb pie, or a jar of pickles. He was very talented at cooking and baking, and loved sharing recipes and tips with anyone that would engage in a cooking conversation with him.
Al will always be remembered for his huge heart and willingness to help others – whether they were in the hospital and needed their grass cut, their house watched, their fence fixed he was there, often you didn’t even need to ask, and sometimes you didn’t ever find out that he was the sneaky angel that helped; he was a very humble man no matter what he did for someone he never wanted the credit. If he couldn’t do the job himself, he would research avenues to find someone who could do it for them for a really good price. If there was work being done that he wasn’t involved with, he always made sure to ‘stop by’ to inspect that it had been done properly, and occasionally offer his opinion on how you could have done it better.
Al’s hearty laugh, caring and giving personality will be missed by many friends.
Al will be sadly missed and lovingly remembered by his wife of 45 years Debbie Back of Humboldt; two brothers and one sister: Martin (Maureen) Back of Swift Current, Joe (Janet) Back of Humboldt, Marlene Lange of Muenster; brother-in-law Greg (Elaine Gudmundson) Marquis of Humboldt; sisters-in-law: Ann (Larry Buckle) Back of Humboldt, and Betty Hayes of Spruce Grove AB; numerous nieces and nephews and many good friends. Al was predeceased by his parents Martin and Hedwig Back, brother Ron Back and sister Ann Marquis.
A Celebration of Life was held on Wednesday, December 15, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. from Malinoski & Danyluik Funeral Home & Crematorium, Humboldt, presided by Jenny Irwin. Interment will take place at a later date. Memorial donations in Al’s memory may be directed to Humboldt District Hospital Foundation or Cancer Foundation of Saskatchewan.
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