Albert Benjamin Medel Sr., 92, was welcomed into the Kingdom of Heaven on the beautiful morning of Friday, May 30, 2014. He passed in the comfort of his home, surrounded by his loving family.
Albert was born on April 8, 1922, to Refugio and Jesusita (Saragosa) Medel. When he was just 16 years old, his mother passed away, and Albert began working full time in the Foothill ranches of Carpinteria to help support his five siblings.
After Pearl Harbor, Albert was one of the first in his family to enlist, and he served during World War II from 1942 to 1945 with the U.S. Navy Armed Guard. Albert was a petty officer, second-class gunners mate manning 3-, 4- and 5-inch cannons. His crew helped to defend U.S. and allied merchant ships from enemy attack. He was extremely proud of his service to his country.
Upon his return from the war, Albert began working in the Mutual Lemon Packing House in Carpinteria. It was there he met his wife-to-be, Carmen Curiel. They married on June 22, 1947, and would have been celebrating their 67th wedding anniversary this month.
Albert had a passion for cultivating his garden and a gift for nurturing his ever-growing family. He and Carmen raised their seven children among the avocado and lemon orchards of Gale Ranch for 48 years, where he worked as the head foreman. In that time, the ranch and his family flourished. Albert taught his family the meaning of hard work, loyalty and generosity by example.
He dedicated 34 years of service to the Kiwanis Club of Carpinteria and looked forward to spending time with his fellow Kiwanis members every Wednesday night. He enjoyed sharing fresh vegetables from his garden, and delivering them in his little red Chevy Luv truck, often “taking a break” at the ranch with his buddies to “watch the garden grow,” and visiting with extended family and friends that he loved so dearly.
Most know Albert as “Papa” and will never forget his genuine laugh and loving nature. If you had the pleasure of meeting Papa, he probably called you “Mijo” (son) or “Mija” (daughter) and instantly made you feel like family.
Our family is comforted by knowing that Albert was welcomed into heaven by his siblings Amalia, Lucio, Carmen (Olivares), Henry and many other loved ones. He is survived by his wife, Carmen; sister, Josephine Holland; and his children, Sylvia (Ronn) Sturgis; Albert Benjamin Jr. (Heidi); Leonard; Katheryn (Kent) Boisen; Gloria “Gogi” (Tony) Burquez; Theresa (Marty) Medel-Martinez; and Andrea “Andi” (Mike) Duffield. Albert was also blessed with 17 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Services will be held at 11:30 a.m. Friday, June 13 at St. Joseph’s Church, on El Carro Lane at Linden Avenue in Carpinteria.
The family wishes to express their sincere thanks to the loving care provided by the nurses of Hospice of Santa Barbara and all who have offered their condolences to the family at this difficult time. Vaya con Dios, Papa … “It was a wonderful life.”