A few months shy of his 81st birthday, it is with heavy hearts that we announce the death of Alton Cecil Fletcher of Riverview, NB. After a short stay at the Chaleur Regional Hospital in Bathurst, NB, Alton passed in the early hours of Tuesday, March 7, 2023.
He was predeceased by his parents Neil and Lois (Lord) Fletcher; beloved grandfather Cecil Lord of the pines in Tracy, NB, along with his three brothers Vincent, Eric and Wayne.
He is survived and is deeply missed by his loving and beloved partner Bonnie Maye of Beresford, NB; his children Dawn (Doug) Larsen of Cochrane, AB, Dean (Stella) Fletcher of Hanwell, NB, and Beth (Jake) Arsenault of Fredericton, NB; his five grandchildren, Emmett, Myra, Owen, Keith and Robbie; his adoptive family in Beresford and River Glade, NB, Kelly and JR Vienneau, Jake (Jessie) Vienneau, Ryan (Allyson) Vienneau, little Olivia, Sophie and Riley.
A licensed New Brunswick Land Surveyor since 1973 who loved spending time in NB’s various and diverse natural landscapes, Alton had the privilege of walking the majority of New Brunswick’s boundary lines. From Miscou Island to Grand Manan, and from Edmundston to Port Elgin, Alton saw more of the natural beauty his beloved home province than most. His name is stamped on numerous survey and subdivision plans that now are home to the Belledune Power Plant, Fredericton’s Doctor Everett Chalmers Hospital and Leo Hayes High School, to name but a few. He was also involved in the 1st and 2nd control surveys that established the NBGRID Survey Control Network, and was used by NB Land Surveyors prior to GPS. In recognition of his substantial contributions to the profession, Alton was honoured with a lifetime membership by the Association of New Brunswick Land Surveyors.
A master storyteller with an unparalleled memory, Alton could recall stories of his youth spent growing up in the woods of rural New Brunswick in the 40s and 50s in vivid detail. Friends, family and any others hoping for a glimpse into the past life of relatives or friends were able to rely on Alton’s memory to paint a picture of the person, their emotions and exact circumstances with a surveyor’s precision.
During retirement, Alton continued to spend time outdoors in his beloved New Brunswick. Rare was the lawn in southwestern Albert County that did not know the sing of his mower blades, or the fallen tree which had not heard the roar of his chainsaw. Whether collected for his own stove, for family or to make a few bucks of pocket money, Alton’s formidable collection of firewood was renown among friends and family. Though not much of a hunter is his later years, walks in the familiar territory around the camp his father and uncle built in Sunbury County’s Porcupine, NB, held a special place in his heart.
Despite some excursions outside of North America, Alton valued the importance of exploring one’s own country. In his later years, he and Bonnie followed in his Grampy Lord’s footsteps and took a drive across Canada one more time, visiting Yukon and Alaska. This and other trips were a frequent topic of conversation for Alton, emblematic of how he felt most alive experiencing Canada’s vast and diverse natural landscapes.
Prior to COVID, Alton regularly attended church services at St. John the Baptist Anglican Church, and enjoyed going to coffee at the McDonald’s in Riverview to chat with the folks who gathered on a daily basis.
Many thanks to the medical team overseeing his care, especially to the nurses in the ICU who offered him oranges “for Bonnie to peel” and enjoyed his quick wit.
A funeral service will be held at the J.A. McAdam Memorial Chapel on Tuesday, June 6, 2023, at 11 am, with the Ven. John Sharpe officiating. For those unable to attend, a live stream will be available at the following link, https://vimeo.com/event/3447023 . Interment will be held at St. Mary’s the Virgin Anglican Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Chaleur Regional Hospital Foundation, Diabetes Canada or Heart and Stroke Foundation.