ARELIS, Algirdas

Posted: August 23rd, 2017


ALGIRDAS “AL” ARELIS of Medicine Hat, beloved husband of the late Lorene Arelis, passed away on August 9, 2017 at the age of 88 years. Al leaves to cherish his memory three daughters, Wendy Arelis, Deanna Arelis (Tom McLeay), and Cheryl Arelis (David Carpenter). He is also survived by his sister, Alduté Kozeniauskas, seven grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. Al was predeceased by his father, Liudvikas Arelis, mother Ona Rojus, step-father Petras Rojus, brothers Vytautas and Romualdas, and sister Juraté Smith.

Born in Lithuania, Al and his family emigrated to Canada in 1948 after surviving many hardships during World War II. They settled in Lethbridge, where Al met and married the love of his life, Lorene (née Morgan) and where their daughters were born. With Lorene’s help and his steely determination, both Al’s English and his career prospects in retail sales steadily improved. He accepted a managerial position in Medicine Hat, where Al moved the family and became involved in recreation, military, education, and community service.

A natural athlete, Al excelled at every sport including tennis, soccer, and figure skating, but the game he loved best was definitely golf, which he took up later in life and continued to play and enjoy well into his 80s. Al especially loved the camaraderie shared amongst his golf buddies, and had great times with them every week as well as on several California golf trips.

Al had wonderful memories of his homeland, but was first and foremost a proud Canadian, choosing to have inscribed on his headstone: “Lithuanian by birth; Canadian by choice”. Al served his country of choice by first joining the Royal Canadian Engineers in 1953, then the South Alberta Light Horse in 1955, where he excelled and moved quickly through the ranks. He retired in 1974 as CWO while serving as RSM. In 1967, Al was honoured to receive the Regimental Guidon from Princess Alexandra during Canada’s centennial year. He was also awarded the Canadian Forces Decoration and Bar, the Canadian Centennial Medal, the Alberta Centennial Medal, and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

A true lifelong learner, Al welcomed every opportunity to further his education, including working part-time for a year in 1967 to study Business Science at the Medicine Hat College. Al felt the most important thing he could do for his children was to instill in them his own love of learning, which lives on and inspires his family’s younger generations.

A strong advocate of community service, Al was a member of several local service clubs and volunteer committees, including serving on the Medicine Hat College Foundation Board of Directors from 1995-2006, acting as Chair for seven of those years. In 2004, Al was named Medicine Hat College Alumnus of the Year, in recognition of his volunteerism and family’s generous financial contributions to MHC.

Above all else, Al was devoted to and proud of his family. He took great interest in all family members’ accomplishments and could always be counted on to sing their praises to anyone who would listen! We love and miss him deeply.

The funeral service will be held at SAAMIS MEMORIAL FUNERAL CHAPEL, #1 Dunmore Road SE, Medicine Hat, on Saturday, August 26, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. Interment will take at Mountain View Cemetery in Lethbridge on Sunday, August 27, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. Memorial gifts in Al’s name may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, 340A Maple Avenue SE, Medicine Hat, AB T1A 7L5, to Parkinson Alberta, #101, 928 Allowance Avenue SE, Medicine Hat, AB T1A 3G7 or to the South Alberta Light Horse Regimental Association, c/o Patterson Armoury, 120 Cuyler Road SE, Medicine Hat, AB T1B 3M4. Condolences may be sent to subject heading Al Arelis.

Funeral arrangements are entrusted to


“The Chapel in the Park”, Medicine Hat, Alberta.

Should you wish any additional information, please telephone


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