A cattleman, rancher, barrister and solicitor, Alan was born in Camrose, Alberta to Albert Strathcona Hodgson of Bracebridge, Ontario and Elizabeth Dugan Hodgson (nee Whitla) of Staney Brae, Ballyaltikilligan, near Comber, County Down, Ireland. He attended University High School, Edmonton, where he met his future wife, Audrey Willson. After graduating from the University of Alberta with a BSc in Agriculture in 1950, he was granted a King’s Commission in the Royal Canadian Infantry Corps. Following Army service, he began a successful career as a livestock commission agent and cattle buyer initially Saskatoon, later in Edmonton, for Weiller and Williams, Limited, then the largest marketer of cattle in western Canada. At ease with farmers, ranchers and those in the industry whether buying or selling on their behalf a few head or a thousand, his dealings evinced fairness, respect, honesty and unfailing integrity and good humour.
Acquiring the family ranch from his late father’s estate at Lac Ste. Anne in 1963, he took ownership of a property that would have such a formative influence on his wife, their children and, ultimately, on their families. It was while he was engaged in this successful business that he took the decision to return to the University of Alberta to read law. With a young family and a challenging ranching operation, this achievement was a remarkable example of his depth of character, determination and perseverance. Subsequently, he articled and practised with Corbett, Field and Company. His contributions to the profession of law were recognised by his appointment as a Queen’s Counsel in 1996.
Active in his community, he was president of the Edmonton Club and on the board of Canterbury Court in its early years. A mentor to newly joined members of the Bar in wills and estates, he was for many years, an active Warden and Vestryman at Christ Church (Anglican) where he remained a parishioner until his death. In the simple expression of his faith he was quiet, devoted and firm as he was in the love he gave to his wife and family.
Possessed of a thoughtful and engaging nature buttressed by a keen intellect, a wise, wry but carefully considered wit, he was, to the end, a man of catholic interest in people, literature, history, and nature.
Predeceased by a daughter, Nancy, and a brother Kenneth, he is survived by his loving wife Audrey, and by their children Brian (Bonny), Sheelagh Anderson (Bob), Ian (Lynne), Jim (Jane), John (Janine) and his sister and brother Jane and Douglas. Also mourning his passing are sixteen grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
A Funeral Service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at Christ Church, 12116 – 102 Avenue, Edmonton. A private family interment will follow at Edmonton City Cemetery.
In memory of Alan, donations may be made to the Edmonton Community Foundation, Nancy Fairley Scholarship, 9910 – 103 Street NW, Edmonton, AB, T5K 2V7 or to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, 10985 – 124 Street, Edmonton, AB, T5M 0H9.