Al died peacefully after a year long struggle with pancreatic cancer. He was born in Sacramento, CA and at age ten, moved to San Francisco and graduated from Washington High School. For the next two years he was a rancher and logger in the Hat Creek, CA area, before attending Westminster College in Salt Lake City, UT on a football scholarship. After graduation, Al attended San Francisco Theological Seminary and went on to obtain his Masters of Divinity. While in Seminary, he married Karen, his wife of 57 years. Al served Presbyterian churches in Green River UT, Napa CA, Hawthorne CA, Hayward CA, Turlock First Presbyterian Church for 21 years, Moses Lake WA, and San Jose CA. After retiring in 1998, Al worked in the Volunteer In Patrol program and was a Chaplain, both with the Turlock Police Department, as well as serving as a guest preacher in numerous churches in the area.
Throughout Al’s life, one of his most favorite places was the Sierra Nevada mountains where he backpacked with his family, by himself, and with his many church groups. He loved dogs and classic swing and big band music.
Al leaves his wife Karen, three children, Stacy Smith, Kelli Garcia (Gilbert), Scott Opdyke, son-in-law Randy Smith, six grandchildren, Allison Combs (Tyler), Stephanie Smith (Andre), Michael Smith, Daniel Garcia, Leah Garcia (Adrian), Rachel Garcia, two great grandchildren, Joshua and Halle Combs and loving dog, Sophie. A celebration of life will be held Saturday, March 4th, 11:00 AM, at the First United Methodist Church, 1660 Arbor Way, Turlock. In lieu of flowers the family requests remembrances go to HEIFER Project International, TPD Widows and Orphans or Westside Ministries.