Nature 33

Sydney Alfred Hall

March 29, 1928 ~ December 27, 2021 (age 93)

Obituary

HALL, Sydney Alfred

1928 - 2021

    We are sad to announce that Syd passed away in hospital following a brief illness late on Monday December 27, 2021 at the age of 93.

    He is survived by his five children Don (Judi) Hall of Lethbridge, Joan (Gary) Dolynchuk of Cranbrook BC, Mitch of Lethbridge, David of Lethbridge, Jim (Lily) of Redcliff; his step-daughter Destiny (Tom) Svennes; as well as his sister-in-law Peggy (Ed) Zalesak. He had 8 grandchildren, 2 step-grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren.

    He was predeceased by his first wife, Phyllis (nee Hunt) in 1987 and his second wife, Sherry (nee Svennes) in 2019, as well as his brother, Nigel and sister, Myrtle.

    Syd was born March 29, 1928, the second son of Nigel Sr. and Eva Hall. He lived in Lethbridge his entire life.

    Syd entered the optical trade in 1944 at the age of 16, and was active in the field for the next six decades. In 1955, he opened the first stand alone optical dispensing business in Lethbridge, the Optical Prescription Company, and managed the business until his retirement.

    While Syd was involved in several local charities including the Soup Kitchen, hockey was an enduring passion in his life. He was a coach, referee, and manager. He started by coaching the Lethbridge Columbus Club Midgets in 1947. In 1954, he helped found the Lethbridge Minor Hockey Association. In the mid 1950’s he also refereed in the old Western Junior Hockey League, a forerunner of today’s WHL.

    In 1960, he started and managed a Junior B team, taking the team to the Junior A level as the Lethbridge Sugar Kings in 1964. After helping to found the Alberta Junior Hockey League in the mid 60s, Syd saw the Sugar Kings succeed in winning the AJHL championship in 1969 and making it to the Memorial Cup western finals. He had a real eye for young talent, with several of his finds going on to NHL careers, including an eager 16 year old by the name of Lanny McDonald.

    Syd was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 1984, and is also a member of the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame in several categories. In later life he was active in oldtimer's hockey, refereeing in the world championship in Scotland in 1981, and refereeing the local oldtimer's until age 83.

    Syd was a family man who enjoyed many weekend outings with his family hiking and picnicking in Waterton, Glacier Park, or the Crowsnest Pass. He enjoyed gardening, something taught to him by his father. He raised tomatoes, propped up by hockey sticks of course. He also spent hours renovating the family home. Once retired Syd met weekly with his Coffee Klatch, and had more time to be involved in his church. In the years before moving to St. Therese Villa, he enjoyed his daily walks, often rambling in the coulees with his whippet dog.

    Syd loved people, and will be sadly missed by all who knew him.

    Many thanks to the staff of St. Therese for their great care of Syd during his stay there. Funeral arrangements will be announced when completed.

    Flowers are gratefully declined. Those who wish are encouraged to make memorial donations to the charity of their choice or the Lethbridge Soup Kitchen.

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