I was visiting the room of a fellow freshman who had graduated from the same high school as I did and for some reason which is now lost to history I chose to recite to him the longest geographic place name in America, a fact which some years previously I had encountered, probably in one of Ripley's Believe It Or Not! cartoons, and had taken considerable pains to memorize. My friend said, 'I know a guy who's gotta hear this!' He took me next door. There was Bellairs, and the first word I ever spoke to him was 'Chargoggagoggmanchaugagoggchaubunagungamaug.'Al and John were best friends during their four years in South Bend, both graduating in 1959 and both continuing their studies at the University of Chicago with Myers eventually earning an MBA. Al went on to serve in the Navy as a supply officer and later toured the globe as an Overseas Corporation auditor for General Motors.
We're extremely sad to report that Al passed away June 2 from complications from Parkinson's disease.
He is survived by Laota, his wife of 45 years, and will be greatly missed by his all his friends and family - including all of us here at Bellairsia. Indeed, in our early years, his sharing of Bellairsian stories, anecdotes, photographs, contacts, cartoons - everything! - as well as good advice helped get us on our way. Many of his comments on this and that are still sprinkled throughout the site. Thus Al:
It makes one lonely to lose a life-long friend; one with whom a conversation interrupted a generation ago could be resumed without missing a beat; To this day I check out bookstores to see if they carry John's titles. While many do not, it is gratifying to note that his popularity seems to be holding steady and may even be increasing with the passing years.
Thanks, Al. We wouldn't be here without you.