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Obituary of Alan Dermot MARTIN

Alan Dermot Martin, 67, passed away suddenly after an unexpected return of prostate cancer, October 15th 2019 in Victoria Hospice with his wife by his side.

Alan was born April 9th 1952 in Vancouver to Daphne and Patrick Martin, the 3rd of 4 children.

His youth was spent in Kamloops, Victoria, Uganda, Prince George and boarding school in Enniskillen, Ireland.

He attended the University of Aberystwyth, Wales and UBC and had a lengthy career in fisheries, forests, wildlife management and habitat conservation.

He is survived by his wife Julie, Children Alex, Michael (Marlowe), Joanne (Ryan), Michelle (Matt), Christianne (Paul), Jessica and Lexi (Jamie)

Grandchildren Elise, Penny, Omri, Meyer, Lincoln, Beckett, Sawyer, Oliver and Hudson

Siblings Evan (Jan) and Sue, and his beloved dogs Georgia and Toby



Al, Dad and Grandpo (Yes, it was Grandpo)


Al was the very proud father of Alex, Michael and Joanne.  They recall with great love and affection how he nurtured in them a deep appreciation of the outdoors through camping, hiking and fishing with them during their childhoods. Al enthusiastically coached or spectated at every sport they participated in, from baseball, softball, basketball and rugby to judo and gymnastics (to name but a few). 


Al’s life was further enriched when he became a step dad to four girls: Michelle, Christianne, Jessica and Lexi.  As a father to all of these children Al was the epitome of kindness, bravery, selflessness, determination, loyalty, even-temperament, clear-thinking, intelligence, honesty and positivity. He let his children figure things out for themselves while guiding gently from the side and leading by example. And they could never have asked for a better example.


Al loved being a father and stepfather and frequently expressed how rich he felt his life was made by the unique presence of each one of his children. 


Al showed up for his children with an open-heart and generosity of spirit. His children agree that they do not need to look far to find reminders of his endless love and care all around them. He built woodsheds, furniture, planted gardens, washed cars, fixed what was broken and initiated all manner of general home improvement projects for his children, all often without being asked. He was guided by the desire to make life easier and more beautiful for those he loved the most because doing so brought him so much happiness. His random acts of kindness, including the thoughtful gifting of fish and meat, produce from his garden and garage sale treasures he had thoughtfully acquired for his kids and grandkids on one of his many weekend expeditions with Julie, were endless. He really loved to spoil his many grandchildren and took delight in looking for things that would be particularly wonderful for them or their parents. 


Al was really funny. His dry sense of humor and intelligent, quick wit, love of puns and the twinkle in his eye when engaging with his children and grandchildren in a joke or funny banter was pure delight.  All his children recall with full hearts his great love of music and how they were often surprised and impressed by his musical preferences, from Beck and Johnny Cash to the Arctic Monkeys and everything in between. Al would use his wonderful baritone voice to sing to his children when they were young, a practice he carried on with his grandchildren.


Finally, his children recall how he loved gathering everyone together to enjoy good food and good conversation. Al’s epic pancake breakfasts, backyard barbeques, Christmas dinners and really any meal that involved Al as head chef were eagerly anticipated and heartily enjoyed by everyone. Al was a man that consistently demonstrated through his words and actions the importance of creating family memories and looking after the ones you love at every opportunity.  



Al’s Career and Life’s Work


Al Martin was a giant in the conservation community. His clear thinking, vision and integrity commanded the respect of his colleagues, all conservationists and politicians and bureaucrats at all levels of government. His greatest strength, besides his sense of humour, was his ability to think strategically with insights into the future few of us could contemplate. 


Al worked as the Director of Strategic Initiatives for the BC Wildlife Federation after retiring from a 30-year career in the BC Public Service in 2010. Al is the former Director of the Watershed Restoration Program, the former Executive Director and Assistant Deputy Minister of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, as well as the former Director of the Fish and Wildlife Branch. 


Organizations such as the BCWF and the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, along with many leading conservation and research partners, are deeply grateful that Al chose to guide them. 


Al served on  many fish boards, in particular the Sport Fishing Advisory Board (SFAB) executive committee. He was well respected and well known by the fishing community, with many guest speaking appearances for the Sport Fishing Institute (SFI), the Lower Fraser Fishing Alliance (LFFA), and the Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF). Al also sat on the Board of Directors for the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF). 


At the time of his death he was actively engaged in many conservation projects he hoped to see come to fruition. He wanted to sustain fish and wildlife habitats and populations for the enjoyment of generations to come. 

Al’s work was not done.  Please click on this link to see the acknowledgement that was made to Al in the BC Legislature BC Leg - Weaver



Al, My Husband


We met in July 1999 on a blind date at Starbucks and although I've always said that he loved my dog first it became evident very quickly that we were well suited and a good match. We shared the same values of hard work, honesty, loyalty and love of family. Al shared my vision of making our house a home, where everyone is welcome and good food is served (he was a fabulous cook) and everyone comes to celebrate the holidays.


We shared a love of gardening, making a "secret" garden behind the playhouse and a fairy garden where fairies left treats for Grandchildren, and we loved to sit on the patio together looking out at our beautiful garden. 


He took me on many trips, our annual favourite being Palm Springs where he would patiently chauffeur me around to shop for clothes for our Grandchildren and then cook me a nice meal while I sipped wine by the pool. 


He shared my love of dogs, our dogs, our grand-dogs and dogs that just needed us, so we fostered.  We were a real team and a support to each other. 


I will miss him checking in with me midday just to see how I am doing, going for morning dog walks and talking by the fire at night. 


Al was my best friend, a supporter of my dreams and he lived to make me happy. I was so lucky he was mine. I will love him forever. 



A celebration of life will take place at his home this summer.

Details to follow


If you would like to recognize Al Martin, please donate to any conservation organization or the Victoria Humane Society at




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