March 17, 1931 – December 29, 2021
After celebrating Christmas with his family, Alan Vanderburgh died peacefully at home in Williams Lake at the age of 90.
Alan was predeceased by Shirley (Robins), his beloved wife of 61 years, in 2014. Alan cherished Shirley’s memory and would attribute every positive quality in any of his children to her influence.
Alan was a proud and loving father and Pa to his children Cathy (Peter), Barbara (Dick), David (Margaret), Eileen and Ken (Gwynneth), grandchildren Eric (Jenna), John (Angela), Garrett, Michael (Xiomara), Margarete (Rob), Emma, Elizabeth, Justin and William (Hannah) and to his great-grandsons Archer and Harvey.
Alan had the great gift of recognizing, in every member of the family, their own talents and idiosyncrasies and he delighted in each and every one of us. He was not only a father but also a friend, wise guide and mentor to us all.
Alan was born in Welland, Ontario. He was predeceased by his father Henry and mother Oread, his sisters Lois and Eileen and his brother Ken, and is survived by his brother Malcolm and the extended Robins and Vanderburgh families.
Alan attended Queen’s University and the University of Toronto before graduating from UBC Law School in 1957. He was called to the British Columbia bar in 1958 and began his law career in Vancouver. He took the opportunity to leave the rain of Vancouver and joined a law practice in Williams Lake, moving with Shirley and their young family to the Cariboo in 1961.
Alan and Shirley settled happily in Williams Lake. They developed a close circle of life-long friends and were active members of the community. Alan was a member of the Kiwanis Club and was a lifetime member of the Williams Lake Golf & Country Club. He was an avid reader and a student of politics and history, and loved to lend his books out far and wide.
In 1977, Alan and Shirley built their home west of Williams Lake on a ranch in Chimney Valley.
The doors of their home were always open: family weddings and holidays, great parties, and lazy pool-side weekends were filled with friends and friends-of-friends from far and wide. Their home was their grandchildren’s favourite holiday destination.
Alan practiced law in Williams Lake until his retirement in 2019 at the age of 88. Over his career he was a trusted advisor to his clients, many of whom became close friends, and was a mentor to many young lawyers. He valued his colleagues and appreciated the loyalty and friendship of his office family.
Alan was instrumental in creating the Cariboo Foundation and served as its President for 50 years. Alan was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1989. He was past President of the Cariboo Bar Association; he also served as a Bencher of the Law Society of BC and as a Governor of the British Columbia Law Foundation.
Details of a Memorial Service will be announced at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Cariboo Foundation or the BC Cancer Foundation in his memory.Obituary
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