July 13, 1920 – September 12, 2015
Albert T. Sindel, Jr., 95 passed away peacefully on Sept. 12, 2015, in Canon City, his sense of humor still intact. He was born July 13, 1920, to Albert and Eleanor (French) Sindel, Sr., in La Grange, Illinois.
After graduating with a mining degree from The Missouri School of Mines at Rolla, Missouri, he worked in South America as a mining engineer before returning to the United States to participate in WWII by joining the Navy. Most of his service to his country was in China.
Prior to joining the Navy and being attached to the Seabees, Al met Lillian Young, the love of his life, and the two were married three months later..
“It was a put up job between our mothers,” Lil told The Chronicle in a 1999 interview. “They insisted we meet. Al came home from South America to go into the services. I was home from summer break between my junior and senior year at the University of Alabama. It was pretty quick. We met in September and married Christmas Day, 1944.”
Soon after their wedding, Al left to serve in the Navy during World War II.
“He ended up in China and was there when our first child was born,” Lil said.
The couple had four children.
After the war, Al worked as a petroleum engineer drilling wells wherever geologists could make a convincing case for oil reserves. He spent his career as a petroleum engineer, which took him and his family through numerous moves to oil producing areas in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Colorado, and Arizona. He became President of Honeymon Drilling Company in Oklahoma City until his retirement.
After his retirement he moved to Angel Fire in 1982, where he had time to enjoy his passion of woodworking by creating beautiful furniture pieces and unique woodwork.
The Sindel’s two passions — woodworking and music — converged, in a way, when they chose Angel Fire.
“I’ve always had a wood shop,” Al told The Chronicle, adding woodworking was a passion he discovered in high school.
Lil added, “Al was good at electrical work, plumbing work, building things for the house. He’s good at looking at things and thinking of ways to improve it. Wherever we lived he always was able to improve our home.”
Al and Lil became deeply in involved with the Music From Angel Fire Chamber Music Festival.
Music was Lil’s passion. Al kept involved in the festival in other ways: He designed and built, with help from others, the portable stage for the Angel Fire Community Center to be used by Music From Angel Fire.
“People would be surprised how much work is put in for that three weeks in August,” Al said.
Al also used his woodworking skills to help raise funds for the Music From Angel Fire Guild, a fundraising group for the festival.
He also enjoyed spending time with his family and exploring the various places they lived.
Asked what he’s most proud of in his life, however, Al joked, “That I made it this far,” then added, “One thing I’m proud of, but that I can’t take a lot of credit for, is that our kids turned out well.”
Al leaves to cherish his memory Lillian, his wife of 70 years; children, Sandra (Chip) Young of London, Arkansas; Sherry (Roger) Tuttle of Canon City, Colorado; Tim (Donna) Sindel of Phoenix, Arizona; Laurie (George) Norman of Salt Lake City, Utah; grandchildren, Steve Young, Matt Young, Heather Highsmith, Miles Tuttle, Betsy Green, Paul Tuttle, Brittany Lindberg, Amanda Hasl, Travis Sindel, Caleb Norman, Ruby Norman, Lucas Norman and 12 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings. A private family celebration of his life was held. Arrangements were entrusted to Harwood Funeral Home. Online condolences at Harwoodfunerals.com.
— Chronicle notes added by Ellen Miller-Goins