Albie was diagnosed with a tumour in his lung in June, and was preparing for treatment to start. Very recently he developed an infection, which initially seemed to be responding well to antibiotics; unfortunately complications overwhelmed his lungs. He fought so hard, but very sadly passed away, peacefully, with family by his side, on Tuesday, 28th July 2009. He leaves his devastated family – his wife, Sue, and children; Iggy, 14; Theo, 13; and Millie, 6 – who live in London, the city he loved.
Albie cycled everywhere, even when ill (with support provided by a portable oxygen tank). He knew streets, history and markets; in fact, the best places to buy anything – especially food! The kids all have had seats on the bikes, and he was a well recognised figure around Bloomsbury; Camden; Clerkenwell and Soho. There he was with his bike and a black bag bulging with purchases and things to eat. Albie was the family ‘cook’ and provided delicious food every night.
He was a great supporter and fundraiser for the nurseries and schools the children attended. Albie had children later in life, having had so many other people’s children always around him. They may now have their own children but remember his flat clearly, where they played on old penny slot machines; they remember the way he treated them as equals.
Albie was a dedicated father to Iggy, Theo and Millie. He was always on hand to help, as he worked from home. They have thought it normal to have a father who can make models, and he not only threw himself into their endeavours but matched their enthusiasm. Theo and Iggy remember having fun when they think of Dad, his long silly jokes, his quirky sense of humour and word play. We still have the prototype shark fin ready to test in the water for the remake of ‘Jaws’ for which Theo was writing the screenplay and designing a DVD cover for. They had already completed one version of a film shot at Kew inspired by ‘LOST’ starring the family, and at Albie’s suggestion, was called ‘MISLAID.’
Albie had infinite patience to play their games and was incredibly inventive. Millie’s favourite memory is of playing a board game with Daddy using an imaginary dice. She always threw a six and her player would scoot round the board. Albie on the other hand, made great play of rolling the die and with great mock disappointment, would cry, ‘Oh no! I’ve got a 1, AGAIN’!
Albie composed puzzles, crosswords, did research for comic book stories, as well as solving and writing books for Rubix games. He was a solver of anything, from puzzles to problems on the computer. He still had so much to teach; he had learnt wisdom from research, but also was wise counsel and morally fair. No wonder he wrote, ‘On The Spot’, a book about moral dilemmas. People respected him and would ask for his opinion.
Albie loved entertaining and the childrens’ parties gained a reputation as a renowned event for children and their parents, which carried on sometimes into the early hours!
There are so many memories that people have of Albie, and have started to share. It won’t be possible to speak to you all but this blog will enable us to start to celebrate this amazing man, and to keep his memory alive. It will also be thoughts and memories for his children. Please share your memories of Albie here.