Alfred Eugene Partridge
Alfred Eugene Partridge, an 80-year-old Palm Harbor, Florida resident passed away at his home on June 26, 2013. Al, also known as Buddy to family and friends, was born in Bishop on June 5, 1933 to John (Jack)and Zelma Partridge.
Al’s earliest memories were of the Nevada mining camps where Jack worked. After his mother passed away, Jack remarried (Helen Hazel) and moved his family to Crowley Lake where he developed Happy Jacks Cabins. Al attended elementary schools in Bishop and Hot Creek and graduated from Bishop High School along with his two sisters, Elizabeth (Betty) and Marthalena (Cookie). Two other brothers, Jack and Fred, eventually arrived to torment their older brother.
Al served in the Army where he learned to operate tanks at Fort Lewis, Wash. After the Army, Al returned to the Bishop area and started to work for the California Highway Department (Caltrans). He worked his way up from a maintenance man at Deep Springs to a Regional Safety Superintendent in San Bernardino on some of the nation’s busiest highways.
While in Bishop, Al enjoyed going square dancing. There he met PansyWilliams Dean. When Al married Pansy, he joined her large extended family of siblings, children and nieces and nephews. Al and Pansy adopted a baby girl, Martha Elizabeth in 1965,who quickly grew into the beautiful Liza. Al and Pansy were married for 25 years when she passed away on their 25th anniversary in San Bernardino.
After Pansy passed away Al married Diana Martin and they moved to Florida and eventually the Bay Aire Trailer Park in Palm Harbor. Although the marriage did not last long, eventually ending in divorce, Al liked Florida and the friends he made there. He became an active member of a local Moose Lodge and joined the Commodore Club where he came known as Big Al. He enjoyed Karaoke singing and especially enjoyed playing Santa Claus at the club’s Christmas party for local children. Al enjoyed working on developing his skills as an artist doing leather carving, painting, cutting rocks, making jewelry and lastly learning silver work and rock carving.
Al was preceded in death by his mother, Zelma; wife, Pansy; brother, Jack; father, Jack; stepmother, Helen; and sister, Betty.
He is survived by daughter, Liza (Marco) Garcia and their five daughters; sister, Cookie (Larry) Callahan; and brother, Fred (Kathy) Partridge.
As Karen Mercier, a Florida friend wrote, “Al Partridge was a BIG man with a very BIG Heart. Depending on your perspective … he had been a son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, veteran, artist, craftsman and mistaken for Santa Claus by lots of children – including my own grand kids – a friend and much more. Big Al was very kind, generous and sharing. He would give you the shirt off his back if that’s what you needed. It was very easy to take advantage of him because of his big heart. I know because I watched it happen. Sometimes he just couldn’t be reasoned with. But that was Big Al and there was no way to change his mind. He was his own man.”