Albert F. Albertini
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GREAT FALLS —Albert F. Albertini, 93, of Great Falls, passed away peacefully Sunday, December 15, 2013 with his sons and wife, Maxine at his side.
Consistent with his humble personality, Albert requested only a private graveside memorial service attended by his family and friends.
Albert was a remarkable man, kind, generous, and modest. He led a life of service to his country, family, and students, always putting the needs of others before his own.
He was born in the coal mining town of Stockett, MT on April 28, 1920 to Demetrio and Erminia Albertini, the 6th of their 7 children. Growing up during the depression in a large family, in a small house, Albert acquired the traits of sharing, thriftiness, hard work, and perseverance. He worked a variety of jobs to help his family during those years. Albert's parents stressed the importance of an education despite a very limited formal education themselves. He was the only boy in his 8th grade class from Stockett who went on to high school in Centerville. After graduating from high school he gained employment at the Columbus Hospital in Great Falls.
Albert had a vivid memory of being at the Liberty Theatre in Great Falls when the screen went dark and a message appeared saying the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. He soon joined the Army, serving from early 1942 until the end of hostilities in Europe and beyond. He was assigned to head the survey team of Battery A of the 268th Field Artillery. Albert's unit landed on Utah Beach in Normandy shortly after D-Day, and was involved in combat until the end of the war in Europe. Highlights included his receiving a battlefield commission on Christmas Eve 1944 in the midst of the Battle of the Bulge and combat actions near the Remagen Bridge.
After the war, Albert used the GI Bill to attend college. While a student at the College of Great Falls, he met Maxine Bergstrom who was finishing nurses training in 1949. They were married on January 2, 1950 in Glasgow, MT on a brisk -36 degree day. Returning to Great Falls, he continued college and she worked as a nurse at the Columbus Hospital. Their oldest son, Michael was born in 1951 and Edward in 1953.
Albert graduated from college with a major in mathematics and a minor in physical science. In 1954, he began his long teaching career at Medicine Lake High School. Albert taught all the high school math classes, physics, and chemistry. Later in his teaching career, he taught Drivers Education in the summers. Albert's sons heard numerous times from his former students the impact "Mr. Albertini" made on their lives, often referring to him as their favorite teacher. During this time, a third son, Alan was born in 1965.
After retiring from teaching in 1983, Albert and Maxine moved back to Great Falls. Albert pursued other interests, golf, his vegetable garden, a daily crossword puzzle, solitaire, and reading one of his many favorite Western novels. He and Maxine spent considerable time with various relatives in and around Great Falls and elsewhere. He also enjoyed the reunions with his old army unit, the 268th Field Artillery.
Given his gentle humor and genuine regard for others, Albert was held dear as a brother, "Uncle Skip," an in-law, and a friend. Mostly he was loved as a husband, father, and grandfather. He especially treasured his time spent with his grandchildren; Alex who was his cribbage partner, Laurel, and Mystelle, always lavishing attention and affection upon them, doing whatever he could to assist them with their lives.
Perhaps defining Albert the most was his extraordinarily close relationship with Maxine. "Max" and "Skip" were always together for nearly 64 years, and were wholly devoted to each other's wellbeing. Simply put, they enjoyed life together.
Albert is survived by his wife, Maxine of Great Falls; sons Michael of Richland, WA, Ed of Madison, WI, and Alan of Bozeman, MT; grandchildren, Alex (Britt Gordon-McKeon) Albertini of Washington, DC, Laurel (Ryan) Lyytinen of Duluth, MN, Mystelle (Lee) Butterfield of Anchorage, AK; great-granddaughters, Jade, Bella, and Lily Butterfield; sisters Emma Hildebrand of North Andover, MA, Henrietta Blumfield of Billings, MT, and Virginia Albertini of Great Falls; and numerous in-laws, nephews, and nieces.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Victor and Joseph; sister Ida; and daughter-in-law Judy.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Angel Fund, PO Box 7008, Great Falls, MT 59406, Peace Hospice, 1101 26th St. S., Great Falls, MT 59405, Special Olympics, Box 3507, Great Falls, MT 59403, or the Medicine Lake Honker Foundation, C/O Medicine Lake School, Box 265, Medicine Lake, MT 59247.
Condolences for the family may be posted online at www.schniderfuneralhome.com
Schnider Funeral Home
1510 13th Street South
Great Falls, MT 59405-4501
Published in Great Falls Tribune on Dec. 18, 2013