Alexander Daniel McLean Matheson, 91 years of age, passed away peacefully in his sleep at his residence at Hillcrest Personal Care Home on May 16, 2016.
Alex was born and raised in Vancouver, BC. He was very active in sports in his youth excelling in swimming, diving, soccer and lacrosse. Alex served in the armed forces for 33 years, enlisting in July 1943. During his service, he was a pilot, a parachute instructor, and an officer in the Royal Canadian Dragoons, an Armoured Corps Regiment. His military service took him to many places including Korea, Cyprus, Laos and South Vietnam. Alex retired in 1975 with the rank of Colonel as Base Commander of CFB Shilo.
Alex married the love of his life, Margaret (Peggy) Clark, on May 31, 1947. They were very happily married for 68 amazing years and raised four terrific boys.
Following his retirement from the military, Alex was employed as an illustrator at Assiniboine Community College in Brandon - a job he thoroughly enjoyed for ten years.
Alex was very active in his community. He was president of the 1979 Canada Winter Games. He was a long serving member of the Brandon Rotary Club and member of the Royal Canadian Legion #3. He enjoyed playing the bagpipes, public speaking, painting and making wonderful personalized cards for family and friends and was an active member of the local calligraphy club.
Alex is survived by his wife, Peggy, four sons - Dan (Judy), Bruce (Sheila), Gordon (Marie), and Murray (Karen). Grandchildren - Sarah (Mike), Rob, Kelsey (Tim) and Brittany (Patrick), Scott (Amanda), Graeme, Kristine (Paul), Stuart (Sandra), Andrew (Amanda) and great-grandchildren: Abaigeal, Calum, Annabelle, Jolene, and Connor. He is also survived by his sisters-in-law Jean Thomson and Doreen Matheson and numerous nieces and nephews.
Alex is preceded in death by his only brother Brum, his parents Murdock and Catherine (Moore) Matheson, sister-in-law Ina Morson and her husband Mike, brother-in-law Lloyd Thomson, brother-in-law Burt Clark, brother-in-law Norman Clark (and wife Sheila).
We've appeared on the stage of the Brandon Centennial Auditorium many times for a great variety of events. I've even sat on that stage with my fellow Brandon University professors overseeing grad and initiation ceremonies. But the most unusual gig was probably during the time when Johnny Carson was still hosting television's Tonight Show.
Bill and Sue-On Hillman: A 50-Year Musical Odyssey
Gig Notes Excerpts: www.hillmanweb.com/book/gigs
As a bit of a lark and fundraiser, an imitation of this popular show was staged in Brandon. The retired base commander of CFB Shilo, Col. Alex Matheson, took on the role of Carson. The Ed McMahon second banana seat was taken by broadcaster Ron Arnst who opened the show with a "Heeeere's Alex" intro.
Alex followed a short monologue by bringing on guest performers. We did a musical number and then moved to the couch where we engaged in typical talk-show chatter with Alex and Ron. A real fun experience.
Throughout the '60s to '80s we regularly played all the mess clubs at the nearby military base, CFB Shilo: Jr. Ranks, Sgts/WO, Officers, etc. Since we were quite popular at base functions we were hired as the first band to open the new expanded Junior Ranks Club.
Rock 'n' Roll Bagpipes - Command Performance
Camp Commander, Colonel Matheson, came in with his bagpipes and we did a whole set of songs featuring rock and roll bagpipes. After the show, while taking out equipment, the overactive new glass door sprang back on me and the long Shure Vocal Master speaker columns I was carrying shattered the glass. Interesting way to Christen the fancy new club.
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