On Monday, August 24, 2020, while in the Red Deer Hospital, the final chapter in Arleigh’s 76 year life history came to an unforeseen close.
Arleigh was born in Wetaskiwin, Alberta on September 6, 1943 to Christopher and Bernice Cook. He grew up on the family farm located in the Bobtail district east of Ponoka, the same farm he continued to live, love and work on throughout his life’s journey.
He married the love of his life, Berna (Pears) on November 23, 1968. Their family began in 1971 with the proud announcement of the birth of their son Greg, followed four years later with their beautiful daughter Tracy completing their family. The love for his family was evident, and his happiness grew even brighter as he transitioned to the proud title of Grandpa, with the births of his grandchildren Caleigh and Jacob.
Simply stated, the farm and everything relative to it, was his life. He was born into the lifestyle, and by choice, stayed committed to it throughout his lifetime. The value of home, of family and of lending a hand to a neighbor or friend in need were morals that Arleigh built his life around. His commitment and dedication to these morals will never be forgotten by those who were privileged to know and be near to him.
He loved and cared for creatures’ great and small throughout his life, from cattle, pigs and chickens to barn cats and dogs. And yes, even an owl fallen from the nest – that he fed and befriended – and whom would return to the farm and come to him when called by name.
His sense of humor, enhanced by his wit and knowledge, was rivaled by few. As his family and friends, we can attest to the amount of fun he would willingly partake in, and often conspire in the creation of.
Arleigh is lovingly remembered and missed by his wife Berna, son Greg, daughter Tracy (Mike), grandchildren Caleigh and Jacob; his sister Carole; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law Peter (Betty) Pears, Ron Pears, Hazel (Gerald) Matichuk, Jim (Linda) Pears, Mike (Laura) Pears, Charlie (Brenda) Pears, John Spezowka, and Mae Pears; and numerous nephews and nieces.
He was predeceased by his parents Christopher and Bernice; in-laws Ben and Betty Pears; sisters-in-law Laura Pears and Carol Spezowka; brothers-in-law Earnie Johnson, Lorne Meyer, Bill Kelly and Gerry Pears; and niece Debbie Johnson.
A gathering to celebrate Arleigh’s life in a way he would have liked will be announced at a later date by the family. Memorial donations may be made to Old MacDonald Kennels at www.oldmacdonaldkennels.com or to a charity of your choice.
You will be forever missed Arleigh… by everyone who knew and loved you. You have left an imprint that will not be filled by another, but we are content in knowing how blessed we are to have had you in our lives. It is an honor to have had you shape and build pieces of so many of us. Thank you.
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