In Memory of

Alan

Julin

Obituary for Alan Julin

It is with heavy hearts that in Calgary, on January 10, 2024, we said an unexpected and forever good-bye to Alan; a beloved Husband, Dad, Brother, Uncle, Brother-in-Law, Cousin, team manager and friend.

Alan was born in Ashcroft, British Columbia to Viola Rose Nelson of Central Butte, Saskatchewan and William Anders of Finland. After school and first jobs in B.C., he met his lifelong friend Maarten Visser when he was hired at a fabrication facility just after moving to Calgary. Later he lended his talents to Alberta Auto Electrics as well as a locksmith company. But it was his qualities of being genuine, caring about people and having the gift of gab that eventually helped him become regional manager of Battery One Stop. Those talents continued to serve him when he played a significant role in establishing Battery Plus, heading up it’s flagship store and regionally managing locations in western Canada, again when becoming a rep for TalkTyme Technologies and once more when ultimately landing in outside sales with Spalding Hardware Systems. His job description was famously described by his young son as being to “ drive around, drink coffee and talk to people”.

It was at Battery One stop in 1993 where he first met Cathy. Having graduated as a teacher but waiting for a school, she managed the Lethbridge store. After the company closed its doors, they each managed different locations of Battery Plus. Although initially relating over the joys and frustrations of store and staff management and sharing an interest in high levels of customer service, they eventually connected over delicious pizza, good movies and books, enjoyable music, board and card games, frisbee, fun with Justin and Kristin and scintillating conversation. Despite a 3 year long-distance relationship when Cathy’s first teaching job took her out of Calgary, their connection and love continued to grow, until they could share the city once again in 1999. From then on they were constant companions, and married in an intimate ceremony in the backyard of Cathy’s parents, surrounded by their closest friends and family.

Alan enjoyed many past times over the years including candle- making, camping, playing games with friends and family, summer and winter fishing in various Alberta locations and salmon fishing off the coasts of Vancouver Island. He also enjoyed cheerleading as his children participated in their activities; reading novels of a variety of genres (most notably mystery and espionage); wine making; being Cathy’s sous chef and dance partner in the kitchen; eating a delicious meal; unabashedly expelling various noises in appreciation of said meal; sharing a knee-slapping joke; having a satisfying but loud nap of any duration; singing his famous 2 songs : “I don’t care if it rains or freezes…..” and “I was born under a wandering star…”; reciting the naughty but nice poem about 3 Irishmen sitting in a ditch; telling and retelling his dad jokes in the face of eye rolls and groans and skillfully designing and building wood furniture. While throughout the years he took pleasure in live CFL and University football, live hockey from the NHL, WHL and Max Midgets, he was ultimately captured by the speed and skill levels of the Roughnecks lacrosse athletes. That first game led him to becoming a huge advocate and lover of professional lacrosse and the skills seen on every team in the league, believing it to be a superior sport.

To say that lacrosse became a huge passion of Alan’s would be an understatement. He would become engrossed in the game, encouraging Justin to play and later to coach. Alan loved running the gate, scouting or taking on any role for the team. He became part of Chill team management and and enjoyed many post game hours strategizing, ultimately devoting about 15 years to involvement in the sport with a never-ending love of it. He fostered profound connections with many new friends through the love of the game and will be remembered by many as Papa Jules.

Alan was dealt a tough hand when he was diagnosed in 2015 with a very rare disease, Inclusion Body Myositis, which affected all of his muscles, including his heart. Although daily tasks grew more challenging as his muscles deteriorated and he gradually lost strength and mobility in his legs, arms and hands, he retained so much: trength of character, a warm smile, disarming charm, quick humour, that resonant and genuine laugh, his desire to fiercely debate the latest political or social issue happening in the world (much to the chagrin of younger family members) and the simple joy of sharing time and a chat over a coffee or a pint with a loved one or friend. He was always willing to lend an ear, offer advice, educate and inform about goings on and to provide support, encouragement and unconditional love to anyone who needed it, and whether they knew it or not.

Alan will forever be lovingly remembered by the people whose lives he touched and made indelibly better: his friends and sizeable lacrosse family; his nieces Nicole Reid (upon whose birth he began folding and unfolding paper clips or played with elastic bands to help him quit smoking cold turkey), Kate and Sarah; his brother Gordon; his daughter in law Dani, son Justin and daughter Kristin and their mother Dennell Griffith and his wife, Cathy. Despite Alan’s gradually declining health and increasingly challenging times in recent years, they remained a solid team who fully supported and loved one another. Cathy held Alan’s hand through his final breaths until his last, saying goodbye to her steadfast and loyal love and companion of nearly three decades.

Knowing how much Alan loved a get-together at the pub, please join us as we raise a glass (or two) to toast the memory of a fun-loving person. Family and friends will be meeting Saturday, January 20th, at Dixon’s Public House (#24 15425 Bannister Road SE, Calgary) from 3pm - 7pm. We welcome anyone who would like to have a pint or other “tippy” in honour of him. Alan hated pretentiousness and stuffiness. He was happiest in his shorts and a T shirt. He would really be ticked if you showed up in a suit so dress comfortably.

Everyone has an Alan story and we would love to hear them all. Come when you choose, stay as long as you like and go when you need, or, as he used to laugh to his pub stool mates, when the wife calls.

To view and share photos, condolences and memories of Alan with the family, please visit www.choicememorial.com.