Al A. Avila(January 3, 1942 - January 10, 2013)

Al A. Avila

January 3, 1942 ~ January 10, 2013

MONTEREY - Al A. Avila passed on January 10, 2013 at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula with his family at his side. He had been battling cancer for six months.

Al was born at the old Carmel Hospital to Manuel and Irma Avila. He is survived by his elder brother, Will (Gloria); 15 nieces and nephews, 34 grand-nieces and nephews, and 13 great-grand-nieces and nephews. A sister, Lucille Avila-McElroy, a brother, Raymond Avila, a nephew and a grand- nephew pre-deceased him as did his parents.

Al was raised on dairy farms in Seaside and Marina, went to local primary schools and graduated from Monterey High in 1959. He traveled to the Azores Islands and Portugal in 1948 with his family. After high school, Al served in the National Guard, participated in the apprenticeship program and became an accomplished carpenter here on the Monterey Peninsula. After becoming a journeyman and a foreman at a young age, Al left construction to follow his passion of surfing, first on the Peninsula and later in Oahu, Hawaii where he also became a waterski instructor and one of the first barefoot water skiers in the islands.

Al wasn't a church-goer but was strong in his faith and wore a crucifix always. Set in his ways, whenever he needed a new cross he was sure to visit the Carmel Mission.

Al was very accomplished at and passionate about several activities during his life. These included hunting, surfing and water skiing. He left all of those behind however, for his real love, which was golf. A true student of the game, Al loved his yearly tournament in Silverado and made fantastic new and life-long friends (The Boys), spending many happy hours on courses in Arizona, Northern and Southern California, and Hawaii.

Al's other passion was the hospitality field, which he threw himself into 100% from the time he arrived in Hawaii (early 1960s) until illness wouldn't let him continue. He managed and owned restaurants and bars in Hawaii, Arizona, Southern California and the Central Coast. Al's last place of employment was the Hyatt Regency in Monterey; his dear friends there were very supportive during the final weeks.

Though he left the area for years at a time during the course of his life to pursue his dreams, the Monterey Peninsula was Al's home. We are so blessed that he returned and lived here for the past 20-plus years, thoroughly enjoying his extended family.

Al was a member of "Unite Here" and the Monterey Elks (BPOE).

Donations in his memory may be made to the .

A Celebration of Life will be held at a

future date.

Published in The Monterey Herald on Jan. 16, 2013