May 01, 1931 - December 30, 2016
May 01, 1931 - December 30, 2016
Albert James Fenrick
A LIFE CELEBRATED
Albert James Fenrick passed peacefully in his home in Peoria, Arizona on December 30, 2016 at the age of 85. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio on May 1, 1931. He was one of four boys, (Gerald, Albert and Alfred (twins) and Calvin) born to William and Leola Fenrick. Albert was called “Little Al” due to his size compared to his younger twin brother, “Big Al”.
When Al was an infant, the Fenrick family moved to Chicago, Illinois. As a young teen he enjoyed roller skating with his brothers nearly every weekend. The boys would pack their roller skates in metal cases and get set to breeze across the wooden floors of the neighborhood roller rink. They were all expert “precision skaters”- gliding smoothly, performing difficult maneuvers and dancing to the live music of an electric Hammond organ. He also enjoyed bowling which led him to one of his first jobs as a pin setter at a bowling alley.
Al worked and lived in Chicago until he joined the U.S. Air Force in 1949 earning the rank of Master Sergeant (E-7). While on active duty he worked as a Radar Technician and served at several air force bases (AFB) in the U.S.A and overseas including; Fairbanks, Alaska (Eielson AFB); Duluth, Minnesota (343rd Fighter Group- Duluth AFB); Valparaiso, Florida (Eaglin AFB); Great Falls, Montana (Malstrom AFB); Rome, New York (Griffiss AFB); Kaiserslautern, Germany (Ramstein Base) and countless temporary duty assignments all over the world. Al received numerous accolades and awards during his military career.
While assigned to Griffiss AFB in New York, when off duty he also worked as an independent Electronic Technician repairing radios, televisions and juke boxes. Al was very popular and greatly appreciated by the many workers in the nearby migrant camps because he repaired the juke boxes which they depended on for their weekend entertainment. A little-known fact is that while serving in Alaska, Al started a radio station for the base. He served as the disc jockey and concealed his identity by speaking with a Jamaican accent.
While in Duluth, Minnesota Al married Dorothy Summers in 1952, where they were later blessed with their daughter, Shirley. After retiring honorably from the military in 1969, Al and his family moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota where he worked at Control Data Corporation, Inc. as an Administrative Manager. Al and Dorothy later divorced. Al remarried in 1980 to Joy and became step-father to Angela and Erik. In 1996 Joy and Al moved to Arizona, where Al first worked as a guard for “Sheriff Joe” in the local prison system until he landed his final job working in the electronics department of Walmart.
Al enjoyed quiet activities at home including reading professional magazines and manuals to keep up with the trends of the computer industry. He also enjoyed programming on his computer while listening to classical music. He had a deep appreciation for music, and in earlier years enjoyed playing the family piano. He was an avid chess player and won numerous local chess championships. As he got older, Al kept young by boldly venturing out trying new activities such as horseback riding, river tubing down the Apple River, and traveling.
In May 2010, family members planned a very special celebration for Al’s 80th birthday. His children and their spouses and some of his grandchildren flew from Minnesota, Maryland and Florida to California for a surprise dinner. This gave Al the opportunity to meet his three-year-old great grandson, Braylon Bowens for the first time. The following day, Al, Joy, Shirley & Michael, Angela & Rob, Erik and his daughter, Amanda, departed for a five day Mexican Rivera cruise. In spite of his reluctance about being on the ocean, Al truly enjoyed his birthday cruise.
Al was an ideal husband, father, grandfather and friend. He had an unwavering faith in God and was known for his quiet, calm mannerism, and words of wisdom. He also had a great sense of humor with an infectious laugh.
Albert is survived by his loving wife of 36 years, Joy Fenrick and by his daughter, Captain (Ret. US Navy) Shirley Fenrick Bowens (Michael), stepchildren Angela Schuller (Rob) and Erik Rekdal (Jill). He had 12 grandchildren, Michelle Bowens, Alesha Bowens, Dr. Michael J. Bowens (Melonne), Brandon Bowens, Shannielle Herrera (Roberto), Isaac Thole, Kimbrey Thole, Cory Schuller, Alec Schuller, Xander Mooney (deceased), Derik Rekdal (London), Amanda Ames (Dan), Dominique Byrd, Travia Fenrick, and two great grandchildren Braylon and Mariah Bowens. He is also survived by his brother, Calvin Fenrick (Cornelia “Pete”) who resides in North Carolina and by numerous nieces and nephews across the country. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Gerald and Alfred Fenrick (Vinnie) of Tucson, Arizona.
Al will be greatly missed by family and friends.
“For you have rescued me from death; you have kept my feet from slipping.
So now I can walk in your presence, O God, in your life-giving light.”
In the event that there is an error in the information presented, please contact the funeral home by clicking here.