Our Dad and Grandpa went to be with the Lord on Monday, October 26, 2020. Dad was blessed with 84 wonderful years. He is survived by his loving wife, Tanis. He is adored and remembered by his children, Scott Garden (wife Judy, granddaughters Savannah and Sierra) of Camas, Washington; Dana Bykowski (husband John, granddaughters Elani and Janelle) of Lethbridge, Alberta; and Krista Bartman (husband Troy and grandson Truman and granddaughter Amaly) of Medicine Hat. Dad is also remembered and cherished by his sister, Linda Garden of White Rock, British Columbia. Dad was born on July 30, 1936 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to his parents, Bill and Dorothy Garden. As the only son of hard working farmers, Dad’s first two years of life were on a farm in Surbiton, Saskatchewan, before moving to a new family farm in Rolling HIlls, Alberta. As a youngster he was keen to dig ditches or haul potatoes for extra spending money, but farming was not to be his calling. Although he would describe himself as a mischievous student, schooling for him was a wonderful rural experience. He played hard and learned enough to move on to Olds College, Alberta, at the tender age of 16, to complete a dual certificate program at the Olds College School of Agriculture. He was so excited last summer to celebrate a 65 year reunion with many of his former classmates. For Dad, school was easier than working on the farm and so he continued his studies and completed his grade 12 at the Red Deer Composite High School before qualifying for entrance into the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Alberta. Dad applied to the Army to help pay for dental school and complete his degree. As part of his program, he spent four years at university summer training in Camp Borden, Ontario. Upon graduation as an Army Captain in 1961, he was posted to Currie Barrack in Calgary for two years and then another year at R.C.A.F Station in Penhold, Alberta. During his time in Calgary he met and married his lifelong partner, Tanis. After his Army commitment was complete, Dad and Mom moved to Medicine Hat where Dad accepted a position with the dental practice of ‘Slack, Snedden and Gray.’ At that time, the practice was located in a little white building on Second Street. In 1979, Snedden, Gray and Garden moved their clinic to its current location at River Center Dental Clinic. Dad was proud of this new location and enjoyed looking over the South Saskatchewan RIver to view the seasonal changes each day. His dedication to his work was reflected in his long work day and by only taking the same two weeks of holidays each year- at the time of his birthday! Over his 43 year career in dentistry, he was dedicated to doing his best for people and considered it a privilege to serve the people who chose him as their dentist. Dad also served his community as an active volunteer and member of the Community Foundation, the Rotary Club and Music Festival, the YMCA, the Kinsmen, as well as many other organizations. Dad and Mom enjoyed supporting local music and theatre at the Esplanade and the Medicine Hat College. This year, Dad was so pleased to become an Honorary Member of the Rotary Club for his dedicated lifetime service. Mom and Dad were most proud of their relationship with St. John’s Presbyterian Church, where they served as elders for many years. Faith and service were an integral part of life for both of them. Upon retirement, Dad continued to be a member of the YMCA and Connaught Golf Club and followed a healthy routine and active lifestyle. He enjoyed travelling to Montana with his family and golfing at Connaught golf course - still enjoying a few rounds this summer! He loved how golf connected him with friends and family. Dad was deeply proud of all of his family and never missed an opportunity to share that with them or with anyone who would listen! Dad lived a wonderful life and recognized how fortunate he was. To quote our dad, “To live at this time, in God’s world with all the blessings I have received, my cup overflows with thankfulness.”
A celebration of life will be held on October 31st, 2020 at 3:00 pm at ST. JOHN’S PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, 504 2nd Street SE. Due to current restrictions there will be limited seating at the service. Please R.S.V.P to SAAMIS MEMORIAL FUNERAL CHAPEL at 403-528-2599. Live streaming of the service can be found on the Saamis Memorial Site on the day of the funeral starting at 2:55 p.m. Graveside interment will be a private moment for the family. Those who wish to honour Al’s memory may send a donation to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. 200, 119 – 14th Street NW, Calgary, AB T1A 7L5. Condolences may be sent through www.saamis.com or to email@example.com subject heading Al Garden.