Obituary of Alan Dixon McAninch
ALAN DIXON MCANINCH
September 12, 1922-June 26, 2023
It is with very great sadness that we announce the passing of Alan McAninch in 100 Mile House just short of his 101st birthday. Alan was an ageless wonder who said at his 100th birthday party, “I’ve been there, done that and plan to do more.” It is so true. His life was filled with so many stories and adventures that it is very difficult to summarize 100 years in a few words. He truly led a vibrant full life.
Parts of Alan’s life were hard but he said he would do it all the same again. He was the fifth of six children born and raised in Loreburn and Ethelton, Saskatchewan during the Great Depression and Dust Bowl that hit hard in the 1930’s. From the age of 15 he worked on the largest and most modern grain farm in his area. He worked from sunup to sundown using horses to plow, cultivate, plant and harvest the grain crops and in the winter to haul grain, ice, feed and logs.
In 1939 Alan, at age 17 (the only one with a driver’s license) and three friends drove to BC in his 1928 car. His first job was on the Esquimalt-Nanaimo Railroad on Vancouver Island where he earned 95 cents an hour--a huge increase in wages from his winter farm wage of $20 a month. When that job ended at Christmas he began working at various logging camps, some of them floating camps, along the coast of the mainland and Vancouver Island using the union steam ships to move around. His longest camp stay was at Sproat Lake near Port Alberni. When he left logging he worked at a Richmond dairy, potato and peat farm until he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II. After the war he worked on a cement crew in Burnaby then built dikes and roads, cut hydro lines and hauled gravel, fuel, and milk in Agassiz as well as having jobs in Prince George, Williams Lake and Harrison Hot Springs.
After a hunting trip to Bridge Lake in 1950 Alan decided that was where he wanted to settle. He worked at various mills in several capacities in 100 Mile, Lac La Hache and Lone Butte. He then installed equipment in mills in Lillooet and Clearwater where he stayed as a millwright for several years. He married Rita King; raised a family and built two homes. All the while he was ranching.
Horses, winning ribbons for his Limousin cattle, 4-H and yearly Great Cariboo rides were a big part of Alan’s ranching life. He loved his community and would help where ever he could—like driving his tractor six miles to Bridge Lake School to plow out the ice rink, refereeing hockey and filling in for Santa. He could always be depended on to be supporting and socializing at all the rodeos, dances and fairs. In 2017 Alan was awarded a Canada 150 medal for his lifetime service in helping to develop Canada in so many places and ways.
Alan was always active, curious about everything, spontaneous and ready to go anywhere for an adventure. He LOVED TO DANCE and was known as “The Dancer” in 100 Mile, and also where he often wintered, Maple Ridge and Yuma, Arizona. Alan also LOVED TO TRAVEL. For 17 years, until Covid put a stop to it, Alan and Joanne would go on cruises to see new places, dance, learn, and socialize. With his charm, humor, twinkling eyes, great wit and joyful playfulness Alan won friends worldwide—Canada, Alaska, mainland USA, Mexico, Panama, Colombia (in South America), Jamaica, Guatemala, Costa Rica, England, Ireland, Scotland and elsewhere.
Alan was predeceased by parents Nealson and Mary Ellen, wife Rita, siblings Helen, Frances (Bill) Theriault, Fiona (Cliff) Crouch, Nealson and John. He is survived by son Stuart (Sally), daughters Meridee (John) Faessler, Joan (Ron) Reid, sister-in-law Evelyn McAninch (now 103) long-time friend Joanne Montgomery, grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and many, many good friends who all miss the fun-loving, fun-to-be-with, cheerful, full of energy, amazing “Cruising Dancer” who always looked, acted and thought far younger than his years.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, September 16, 2023 at Creekside Seniors Center, 501 Cedar Avenue, in 100 Mile House at 2 pm. Please come and celebrate Alan’s remarkable spirit and life. We would love to hear any “Al stories” you would like to share. You could also send your stories and thoughts to Garden Hill Funeral Services at www.gardenhill.ca
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In Loving Memory
1922 - 2023
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