Apr 21, 1931 – Mar 23, 2018
Alan was born at Lac La Hache, British Columbia on April 21, 1931. He was raised in the Cariboo region of central B.C. with his youth spent working the family ranch with his brother Roger and his father Julian. Alan had many grand outdoor adventures throughout his years living in the Yukon and B.C. However, he wasn’t to be found idling his time away and so found himself employed in a variety of vocations. Alan returned to the Yukon for the second and final time in 1979. His special place was the property at Shallow Bay. Alan continued to live in Whitehorse until his death on March 23, 2018.
Alan was a competent person with skills spanning most of a century. He was a wizard with an axe or a chainsaw or a skill saw or a treadle sewing machine or a wood cook stove or cooking on cast iron over an open fire. Family and friends were often treated to Alan’s delicious outdoor cook out favourite, his famous “buckskin bread”.
Alan made things better, built things better and baked things better. He built two beautiful log homes, one on Quadra Island, B.C. and one at Shallow Bay in the Yukon. Alan also introduced and built Russell fence around rural Whitehorse which was locally dubbed “Fry fence”. Alan dedicated many hours experimenting with new bread recipes, always in pursuit of the perfect loaf of bread. This recently included using a custom made stainless steel bread pan.
He had two families. His first wife Sylvia was a wonderful mother to their children Margery and Lydia. His second wife, Eileen, blessed with determination and a great sense of humour, had two children, Kenneth and Carolyn Frankish, who both graciously loved and accepted Alan as he did them. Eileen’s love of travel took Alan and her around the world.
Alan had a long and well developed stubborn streak and was frequently unwilling to let the facts get in the way of his chosen path. These traits notwithstanding, he was affable, loving and generous. Alan, though lacking a university education, performed at a professional level in a variety of fields. Alan worked for Indian Affairs for 20 years, developing a deep respect for the First Nations people.
He was warmly accepted by the Cape Mudge people who gave him among other gifts a superb carving
of the legendary “Junoqua” who roamed the forest at night frightening little boys and girls to their beds where their mothers had told them to stay. He was named “MeGwat” after the harbour seal because the harbour seal was so playful.
Alan received an “In appreciation” gold pan in May, 1996 from the Klondike Placer Miners Association which stated “A better man for a more difficult task could not be found”. He was also inducted into the B.C. Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2008 for his artistic achievement. Alan wrote and had published seven
book “Ranch on the Cariboo” has been generating royalties for over 56 years.
He lived frequently in the bush in bush lean-tos, wall tents and tepees which he sewed with treadle sewing machines. Alan also sewed denim and fleece clothing such as shirts, jackets and jeans for the grandchildren.
Alan is survived by Eileen, his loving wife of 37 years, daughters Margery Kay (George) and Lydia Piper (David), brother Roger (Lois), sister Joan (Christine), two stepchildren, Kenneth (Alison) and Carolyn Frankish, grandchildren Andrew (Jessie), Sylvia (Kyler), Julian, Joseph (Amy), Sean (Jenn), Maria-Dulce (Grant), Marion-Rose and Mary-May and great grandchildren Sarah, Laura, Christina, Rebecca, Avalyn, Luke and Melody. Alan is predeceased by his first wife, Sylvia, his parents Julian and Eva Fry and stepmother, Dulce Fry.
The family would like to acknowledge the wonderful support Alan received from Dr. Koltun, Dr. Storey, the staff at Whitehorse General Hospital, particularly the surgical ward, the Yukon Home Care Program, the Thomson Centre and Whitehorse Ambulance Services. Your care, dedication and contribution is sincerely appreciated.
Thank you to our families and friends for the visits, phone calls, cards, flowers and generous support over the past weeks. A celebration of Alan’s life will be held at the Shallow Bay property on Saturday July 7, 2018. Further details will be announced in June.
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