Al left us to be with his Lord and Savior the evening of February 9th with his loving family at his side. Al enjoyed life to its fullest and spread joy to everyone that was blessed enough to be in his life.
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Al was born on January 26th, 1930 to Lydia and Edwin Bechthold in Lodi.
Al is survived by Wanda Bechthold, loving wife of 37 years, sister, Dolores Formento, daughters Sandy (Nick) Sikeotis of Lodi and Brenda (Ross) Morgan of Quincy, CA, step daughter Joline (Joe) Harrington and step-son Greg (Suzie)Burns, both of Lodi, nine grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Al was preceded in death by his mother, Lydia Hofer who immigrated from Russia, and Edwin Bechthold of South Dakota. Al graduated from Lodi High School and attended Cal Poly State University. In 1951 he served gallantly in the Korean War and was wounded in battle.
After the war, Al returned home and began life as a cattle and sheep rancher where he was known to many as a true cowboy. Eventually, Al transitioned into farming – growing corn, alfalfa, and winegrapes. One of his pride and joys is the success of the acclaimed ancient vine Cinsault vineyard known as Bechthold Vineyard, planted in 1886 by Wanda's great-grandfather, Joseph Spenker.
Up until his final days on this earth, Al spent time on his "mule" (ATV) with his daughter, Sandy, teaching her how to mend leaky drip lines in the vineyards.
Al enjoyed, above all, time with his loving wife and family. The most treasured memories include many years spent at the Light House, their home in Shelter Cove. An avid sea-fisherman and abalone diver, Al brought home trophy salmon, abalone, muscles, and crab to share with his family and friends.
Al always had a kind word for everyone, sharing his love of life and sense of humor with all. He will always be remembered as the true picture of a great father and husband. "Oh boy, boy!" - - - We will miss him, but he will remain in our hearts forever.
A celebration of Al's life will be held on Friday, February 14th at 2:30 p.m. at Saint Peter's Lutheran Church, 2400 Oxford Way, Lodi. Reception at Saint Peters immediately following.
Visitation will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Thursday, February 13th at Donahue Funeral Home, 123 N. School Street, Lodi.
Published in Lodi News-Sentinel from Feb. 12 to Feb. 20, 2014
Donahue Funeral Home
123 North School Street Lodi, CA 95240