Al at 90

Photo: Al McCleery

From Ottawa Citizen: McCleery Al 1929 - 2022
Obituary Overview
In Loving Memory
Peacefully, surrounded by the love of his family on July 1, 2022 at 93 years of age. Beloved husband of the late Joan (2008) and proud father of Gail Gilbert (Bruce), Colleen, Colin (Wilma) and Shawn (Kim). Grandfather of Jenna, Eric, Brad, Shawn, Kyle and Kevin, and great grandfather of Brooklyn, Aleigha and Brady.
Born in Montreal, Alan was happily married to Joan for 57 years. He took great pride in all of his children's achievements and had a great passion for outdoor sports.
He was a member of the 1960 Canadian Olympic team, competing in Sprint Kayak. Alan will be missed by his and Joan's large extended family and friends.
Arrangements in care of the Kelly Funeral Home Walkley Chapel, 1255 Walkley Road, Ottawa, K1V 6P9, 613-731-1255.
In Memoriam donations to the Canadian Cancer Society are appreciated by the family.
Published on July 6, 2022

1960 Kayak Team

Photo: K-2: AL MCCLEERY and Lou Lukanovich: K-1 Mike Brown

AL started paddling for Grand Trunk in the late 40's thru early 50's before joining Cartierville for several years.
Al won over 20 medals at the National championships, 6 gold; he also coxed war canoes and coached at both clubs. He also won 6 medals in K-2 and K-4 at the North American Canoe Championships.
Al teamed up with Lou Lukanovich to represent Canada in Kayak Doubles at the 1960 Olympics in Rome. Al and Lou also won the Canadian Olympic trials 4 years earlier in 1956 only to find out later Lou lacked a week (or so) Canadian residency and thus both missed the trip to the 1956 Olympics in Australia.
Al was a fierce competitor giving his-all in every race and occasionally getting involved with on-water altercations.
He inspired his crews with his intensity and his expertise gained from his many years racing.
He was a great role model for the young Grand Trunk/Cartierville paddlers both on and off the water.
While coaching at Cartierville Al kept in shape, paddling some, and managed to come 3rd at Nationals in C-4 in 1969, he was 40!
After moving family to Ottawa, Al continued paddling for many years, winning medals in the World Masters Games in Portland; but, mostly paddling at Mooney's Bay as part of his rigorous daily exercise program which gained the admiration of all who knew Al
He did all this despite suffering nearly 30 years from CMT, a disease that severely compromises the peripheral nerves (arms, feet, legs and hands)

Al at 90

Photo: Al prepares for daily paddle at Mooney's Bay 2019, at age 90