Eric Burton McAlary, died peacefully at Ponderosa Lodge on June 14, 2017 holding hands with his wife of 32 years. He had endured a long struggle with Mixed Dementia.
The son of Burton Marter McAlary and Kathleen Kilgour Kirk, Eric was born on June 22, 1935 in Sussex, NB where he was very involved with school and community sports activities and cadets. A degree from the University of New Brunswick in Bus. Admin led him to be scouted by the Hudson’s Bay Company and upon graduation he began his training program in Calgary, AB. There he met and married Muriel Frances Beyer. They had two sons, Michael born in Calgary and Todd, in Red Deer. Promotion took the family to BC where the next ten years saw them in Victoria, Vancouver, Coquitlam, and Prince George prior to another promotion to head office in Toronto. As Principal Buyer for Sporting Goods he traveled extensively in Europe and Asia to attend sporting goods shows and to explore factories, choosing the merchandise for the giant outfit to sell across Canada and in the Northern Stores. For several years he was a board member of the Canadian Sporting Goods Association.
After the death of Muriel, Eric married Lois Machum Campbell in 1984 and moved to Kamloops, BC where for many years they enjoyed an active life together exploring the outdoors. A keen bird watcher, Eric led many Naturalist Club field trips around Kamloops and he and Lois took part in guided birding trips around the continent. Eric was president of the Naturalist Club, a volunteer Warden for Tranquille Ecological Reserve for 20 years, counted spring migrating ducks for Ducks Unlimited, was a member of the board of the Elizabeth Fry Society, and of the B.C. Wildlife Park.
Predeceased by his first wife Muriel, his older brother James McAlary and his wife Shirley, nephew Christopher McAlary, grandniece Sarah McAlary, he is survived by his loving wife Lois, sons Michael McAlary (Colomba) and Todd McAlary, four grandchildren, Nicole, Taylor, Sean and Mason all of Mississauga; nephews Hugh McAlary (Nancy), and Albert Beyer, Edmonton; nieces Nancy McAlary (John Mark Lyons) of Mississauga, and Alane Beyer (Glen Cook) of Edmonton; step-children, Andrew Campbell, Montreal, Graham Campbell (Kristen), Newark, OH and Sarah Campbell Besso and her two sons Nicolas and Charles of Laguna Beach, CA.
Eric was honest and hard-working, kind and respectful to others and enjoyed most sports, as well as Chardonay, sushi, jazz music, and a good laugh.
No flowers by request. Memorials could be made to the Kamloops Naturalist Club or the Alzheimer’s Society. In Eric’s memory please perform an act of kindness towards someone in need.
A Celebration of Life will be held at the Kamloops Funeral Home chapel, on Tuesday July 4 at 11:00 am.