Richard Kenneth Tirrell was born July 12, 1943 in Northampton, England. At six years of age, he moved to Canada with his parents, Reginald and Nora Tirrell, to settle on a logging section west of Didsbury. The family soon grew to seven boys and kept busy with mixed farming.
Richard was invited to a local church youth group as a teenager and accepted Christ into his life there. This decision affected his approach to life and growth as a person as he sought to put Christ first in everything he did until the day he died.
He completed Grade 12 at Sundre High School and then attended Mountain View Bible College for two years. Further education earned him a degree in Elementary Education from the University of Calgary and a one-year certificate in Commerce from Red Deer College.
In 1972, he married the love of his life, Mary Hebert. They enjoyed working together as a team and celebrated 51 years of marriage this past August.
In 1975, Charlene was born followed quite closely by Crystal in 1976. In 1984 they were excited to add a son, Jonathan to the family.
Richard was always very supportive of his kids, ensuring they knew they were loved and prioritizing providing opportunities for them. He even learned to ski at 40 so they could go together to the Castor Valley Ski Hill.
They went on many family vacations, played lots of board games and enjoyed the company of visitors often. Grandkids were also a highlight for him and he enjoyed all his interactions with them and being involved in their lives as they grew.
Richard taught elementary school in Edmonton, Athabasca, Halkirk, Coronation and Castor for a total of 26 years.
After retiring from teaching, he worked as a bookkeeper and technician at Castor Sheet Metal for 17 years.
In his free time, he enjoyed leading and attending Bible studies, building with wood and doing a variety of handyman projects for his family and others.
Richard especially looked forward to the warm summer months when he could spend hours in his garden growing incredible flowers, fruits and vegetables. It brought him great joy to share these with friends and neighbours.
Some of his other favourite activities included swimming, skating, fishing, hiking, camping and travelling. Richard and Mary thoroughly enjoyed meeting new people and learning about different ways of living.
Richard is survived by his loving family: Mary Tirrell, Charlene (Ben) Briese, Crystal (Jerry) Valdez, Jonathan Tirrell, and six grandchildren – Joshua, Joel and Calah Valdez and Noah, Isaiah and Luke Briese.
He is also survived by five brothers – Thomas (Jacquie), Barry (Gloria), Bill, Marton (Cely) and Jeff (Sherri) Tirrell, numerous nieces, nephews and friends.
Richard passed away peacefully at Our Lady of the Rosary Hospital in Castor, Alta. on Sun. Oct. 29, 2023 at 80 years of age from an infection that his body could not fight due to his underlying MDS (myelodysplastic syndrome).
He will always be remembered for his kindness, gentleness and willingness to help others. We (and he would wholeheartedly agree) are incredibly grateful for the care he received through the years from Dr. Hanton, Dr. Marquart, Dr. Weighman and from all the staff at the hospital and the pharmacy at Castor Value Drug Mart.
His primary specialist, Dr. Geddes from Calgary, directed his care and he was always so impressed by her thoroughness and kindness. He had numerous other specialists involved in his care and he was always very thankful for their assistance.
Those wishing to send condolences to the Tirrell family may do so by visiting www.parkviewfuneralchapels.com.
Funeral services will be held on Fri. Nov. 10, 2023 at 1:30 p.m. in the Castor Evangelical Missionary Church, Castor, Alta. with Pastor Marty Hays officiating.
Parkview Funeral Chapels & Crematorium are entrusted with the care and funeral arrangements. For further information please call 403-882-3141.