Friday, November 6, 2015
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EST
9286 South 36th Street
Scotts, MI 49088
Saturday, November 7, 2015
11:00 AM EST
9286 South 36th Street
Scotts, MI 49088
Casual attire is encouraged by the family. Al was a jeans wearing kind of a guy.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Country Christian Youth Group
9286 South 36th Street
Scotts, MI 49088
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Larger than life, one would be hard pressed to find anyone more kind and friendly than Al Duckworth. Al was a charismatic man with a fun-loving and outgoing spirit. He could easily brighten the day of anyone, and he was sure to bring a smile to the faces of all even in the most difficult of circumstances. A loving and compassionate mentor with a servant’s heart, Al lived by his faith in all he said and did. For these things and so much more, he will be dearly missed.
Life as America knew it was forever changed in 1941 with the attack on Pearl Harbor. As countless young servicemen and women were sent overseas, women entered the work force in droves. World War II was news of the day, and those back home freed their minds from everyday worries as the entertainment industry made great strides. Yet the birth of Albert Duckworth in Hartford, Connecticut on April 3, 1941 was only the beginning of what God had in store for Al.
Born to Albert and Rosa (Bernstein) Duckworth, Sr., Al joined his older sister, Clara, and in time welcomed his younger brother, Joseph. When his parents could no longer care for young Al and his siblings, they were sent to live in an orphanage and foster care homes. Al’s childhood soon turned in a promising direction when he and his brother were lovingly taken in by Al and Marie Lotz. With a heart for Al and his brother Joe, the Lotz family made their home on Staten Island, New York where Al was raised. His father worked on the Moran tugboats while his mother remained at home as a homemaker. In addition to his sister and brother, Al gained two new siblings in the Lotz household, joining Sandy and Ron.
During his youth, Al enjoyed days filled with adventure and he experienced much. Once as a child, Al was pushed away from an oncoming car so he wouldn’t get hit, but the boy who pushed him to safety was sadly hit and died. Clearly, God had a plan for Al.
In his teen years, Al was a true “Jersey Boy”. Cool and hip with slicked back hair, he was certainly one of “the boys”. Yet with the love and guidance of his parents, they taught Al how to be a man and numerous life lessons. After graduating from Tottenville High School in 1959, Al enlisted in the U.S Air Force. He had the choice of being stationed in Marquette, Michigan or Greenland, and Al chose Michigan. Joining the Air Force gave Al the opportunity to make a life for himself. He went on to serve for four years prior to receiving his honorable discharge at Fort Custer in Augusta, Michigan.
While in Marquette, Al met Martha Plough who worked at a local soda shop. Al was quite a dancer, and together they enjoyed going to dances on the weekends. The couple was married in 1961, and following Al’s discharge from the service they moved to the Kalamazoo and Battle Creek areas of Michigan. Although their marriage came to an end after nine years, they shared the love of two children from their union with the births of Robin and Keith.
Al worked at Fuller’s Transmission, later known as the Eaton Corporation, and remained with the company until it closed. He then began working for Checker Motor, and before long he landed a job with National Waterlift, which became Parker-Hannifen. Al remained there until his eventual retirement in the late 1990s. However, life for Al turned in a new and exciting direction in his early years at Fuller’s where he made a profession of faith and became a Christian. As a faith filled man, Al was given a fresh start in life and vowed to turn his life over to Christ.
On Christmas Eve 1975, Al was attending the party of a mutual friend when he met Karen Bero. That very night he pulled his daughter aside and said he could marry that girl. Karen went home and told her mom that she met the man she was to marry. Al and Karen’s first date was on Valentine’s Day 1976, and having captured his heart, he proposed to Karen the very next week. Although Karen turned him down, the 29th was a leap year and Sadie Hawkins Day, so Karen turned things around and asked him. They were blessed in marriage on August 28, 1976. After living in Kalamazoo for a time, they moved to a lake in the country and lived there for 30 years. They would spend many hours enjoying the lake.
Al was a great cook and did most of the cooking in their home. He so enjoyed making pancakes for brunch on Christmas morning each year. He also made a wonderful three day spaghetti sauce, in addition to his scrumptious macaroni and cheese and other pasta dishes. Al was an active bowler and was a member of a league for a time. He truly appreciated the beauty found in nature, and he liked to paint. When it came to music, he liked Barbra Streisand, Billy Joel and Neil Diamond, and sometimes he’d even make up his own songs. Al loved animals and through the years he enjoyed his favorite canine companions, MoKi, Stubby, and his current dog, Buddy who never left Al’s side. Often predicting what the team managers would do even before they did it, Al was an avid New York Yankees fan. He also loved history, nature, Tai Kwan Do, and his love for dancing continued.
Along with his wife, Karen, Al was a founding member of their home church, Country Christian where Al gave of his time and talents. Al was a well respected mentor and unconditionally poured himself into helping young men. His mission was to give back and use some of his own life experiences for the benefit of others. He truly took to heart the lessons his parents taught him as a young man which paved the way for this endeavor. He was an especially poignant figure and mentor in the lives of his nephew, Matt, and his grandson, Stephen. Al’s compassion and giving ways knew no bounds. Just recently, he discovered he had eight additional siblings through his biological dad. Bert, Kelly, Robin, Faith, Mary Ellen, Peni, Richard, and Marcella were never a part of Al’s earlier life, but he was thankful to know he had this connection.
A man with a servant’s heart, Al was a friend of many and an enemy to none. With ways all his own, he forged on in life with faith, and counted his many blessings. His bigger than life demeanor and love of a good joke was a joy to all he encountered. For those who knew Al best, he will be remembered fondly and will be deeply missed.
Albert “Al” E. Duckworth passed away on Tuesday, November 3, 2015 at the age of 74. He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Karen; two children: Robin (Tim) Kueppers, of Kalamazoo, Keith (Shari) Duckworth, of Lansing; four grandchildren: Sarah, Stephen, Jordan and Jacob. He is also survived by his siblings: Clara Donello of NY, Joseph (Nancy) Duckworth of MI, Sandy Lotz of NY, Bert, Kelly, Robin, Faith, Peni, and Richard; and numerous nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents; brother, Ron Lotz and sisters, Mary Ellen and Marcella; brother-in-laws: Jim Decker and John Donello.
Al’s family will receive friends on Friday, November 6, 2015 from 4-7 PM at Country Christian, 9286 South 36th Street in Scotts and again one hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday, November 7, 2015 where his funeral service will be held at 11:00 AM. Al was a jeans wearing kind of a guy and casual attire is encouraged by his family. A private family burial will be at Riverside Cemetery, Kalamazoo. Please visit Al’s webpage at www.lifestorynet.com where you can sign his guestbook and share a favorite memory and/or photo. Those who wish may make contributions to the Country Christian Youth Group. Arrangements by Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren Life Story Funeral Homes–Kalamazoo.