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Al Tufford | 1954 - 2016

Stratford Festival News Item, July 5, 2016

All Staff and Company:

We’re very sorry to share with you the news that Al Tufford passed away on June 30, after a brief battle with cancer.

Al first joined the Festival in 1999 and served as a stationary engineer with us for the past 18 seasons, supporting the installation and maintenance of our heating and cooling systems, and taking great care to manage the conditions in our facilities. Rarely missing a day of work, he often went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the comfort of our staff, company and patrons. We were very lucky to have him as part of our team, and he’ll be sadly missed at the Festival.

Attached is an obituary of Al, together with an illustration by his friend and colleague Richard Arnold. A memorial in honour of Al is planned for Sunday, July 10; a second attachment provides all the details.

Please join us in expressing our condolences to Al’s family, friends and fellow employees.

Anita and Antoni

Obituary at W. G. Young Funeral Home

TUFFORD, John Alexander, known as Al, died suddenly on June 30, 2016 at the Stratford General Hospital of aggressive cancer in his 62nd year. Son of the late Marion and Noble Tufford and beloved brother of Ruth Ann of Toronto (Bob Omidi), Janice of Toronto (John Ford), Karen of Brantford (Robert Brehn), Owen of St Thomas (Margaret, nee Grant) and Stanley of Dutton (Laura nee McIntyre). He is survived by his nieces and nephews Curtis and Cameron (Brehn), Adele, Frances and Alex (Tufford), Kirsten, Hillary and Derek (Tufford), Taryn, Mackenzie and Teagan (Tufford) as well as his maternal aunt Hazel Bonner of Kitchener-Waterloo and his paternal aunt Beth Vince (Stanley Vince) of London. Al was a resident of Stratford, employed for the past 17 years as a stationary engineer with the Stratford Festival. An independent spirit, he ventured off the beaten path in pursuit of a wide range of interests. Keenly interested in Native and early pioneer settlements, he walked the grounds of southwestern Ontario tracing lost histories. He explored different cultures around the world, travelling in over 50 countries, on all continents. He was fascinated by all things from the earth – artifacts, gems, old coins – and knew a great deal about them. He was knowledgeable about indigenous and heritage fruit trees, and planted many of them. He grew up on a farm outside of St Thomas, leaving the area after high school to work on lakers on the St. Lawrence Seaway. He completed apprenticeship training as a cook at Conestoga College and earned his stationary engineer’s licence working first in Toronto then Stratford. Al lived life on his own terms as a strong, independent individual, comfortable in his own company. He will be sorely missed by his friends, his community on Kemp Crescent and his family. Cremation has taken place. A private service will follow at a later date. Memorial donations may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society through the W.G. Young Funeral Home, 430 Huron Street, Stratford. 519.271.7411

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