Alexander McLaren Matchett, ‘the Wee Scottie’, beloved dad, brother and friend, died on December 11th, 2015 at the age of 80 in the company of his children.
A true Scotsman to the end, he never left the house without his characteristic Scottish tam, and was most offended if anyone dared to ask, “What part of England are you from?” He was a simple man, with simple tastes – a hot cup of tea (and with typical Scottish thrift, the teabag was sure to be used several times), a digestive biscuit and hockey on the TV and he was content. A perennial prankster with a twinkle in his green eyes, the family album is full of pictures of him happily acting the fool. He was instantly liked by all who met him, and his sweet, kind, gentle nature was apparent to everyone he crossed paths with. He wasn’t accomplished in the traditional sense, with years of education or degrees behind him — but if ‘accomplished’ means a life well-lived, with dignity, and compassion, and empathy, hard-work, and a generous, loving heart towards all, then he succeeded with flying colours.
Born in Glasgow, Scotland on April 22nd, 1935 he spent his childhood and early adulthood in the highlands near Inverness — walking the hills with his beloved dog Sambo was time well spent. In 1962, he met Christine at the Royal Ballrooms in Bournemouth, England, and by November of that same year, they were happily married. A son, Alan, was born in 1964. Struck by an irresistible sense of wanderlust, the family moved from England to Australia in 1967. After several years, homesickness for the misty isles brought them back to England in 1971 — a few months later, having suffered through a bout of the ‘worst flu in history’ coupled with a miserable, damp English winter, they came to their senses and promptly boarded a ship back to sunny, warm Australia where their daughter Julie was born in early 1972. It wasn’t long before wanderlust struck yet again, this time leading the growing family to the South Island of New Zealand, where David was born in 1973 and finally, to Canada, where they settled in Calgary in 1976…and the rest, as they say, is history. Knowing Dad, he would give a heartfelt “Ach…forget about it!” if he knew I had blabbed on and on in his obituary about things best forgotten, so I won’t. “Keep Smiling” was his motto and he lived it – smiled through it all, with that irrepressible twinkle in his green eyes and a grin on his face, even if he didn’t always feel like smiling on the inside.
And so we come to the end…The end of a life, but not the end of his spirit, which will live on in his children and grandchildren, friends and loves. He will be forever missed and lovingly remembered by his daughter Julie (Daniel), Cranbrook, BC, sons Alan (Anne-Marie), Calgary, AB and David (Iris), Kelowna, BC; grandchildren Laura, Patrick and Nigel; ex-wife (but friends to the end) Christine Simpson (Dale), his loving sister in Scotland, Maisie McKenzie, and his feisty-like-him orange cat, Felix. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to McPherson’s Funeral Services, Cranbrook, BC. Donations can be made in Alexander’s name to the Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division. A special thank-you and big hugs to the nurses and staff at Joseph Creek Care Village who took such gentle and loving care of dad. A family gathering will take place at a later date.
Daddy…we love you so very much, with all our hearts – Keep Smiling.