In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made in Al’s memory to: Lahey Health Behavioral Services, http://www.nebhealth.org/donate/. Or checks can be made out to:Lahey Health Behavioral Services Development Office, 199 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923.
Alfred Augustus Preston, 91, of Danvers, died peacefully on Wednesday, April 13, 2016 at the Kaplan Family Hospice House. Born in Lowell in 1924, Al was the son of Edmund and Irene (Handley) Preston.
Al enlisted in the United States Navy during World War II, and trained as a pilot. Following his service, Al attended Boston University and majored in Business Management. He graduated in 1949, and was employed by the General Electric Jet Engine Division in Lynn for over 35 years.
Al was deeply committed to his own recovery, and the recovery of others through his involvement in Alcoholics Anonymous.A longtime resident of Danvers, Al enjoyed many interests. He earned his license as a private pilot, making his first solo flight in February, 1976. In 1983, at age 58, Al and his close friend Frank Brachanow competed in the Michael A. Preston Memorial Four Ball Rally, a “Cannonball Run” style cross-country road race that began in Boston and ended in San Diego. Out of 60 entrants, Al and Frank finished 29th, in 47 hours and 30 minutes. Al clarified that their time would have been better had they not been arrested three times! See Al and Frank on the NBC Nightly News: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFw33D0kB0U
Al and his wife Mavis loved England and Scotland, and had the time of their lives during several trips, enjoying the countryside and touring castles. Additionally, Al was a passionate competitive Bridge player, achieving Life Master status during his retirement years. Throughout his adult life, Al often lost all track of time, as he loved exploring auctions, yard sales and Building 19 in search of treasures that caught his eye. His family would worry when he was late, but worry dissolved into fascination as Al unveiled his new finds, such as a life-sized suit of armor, or a classroom-sized blackboard that was hung on the kitchen wall for years.
Al, “Bubba”, loved the opportunity to spend time with his 14 grandchildren whenever he could.
Al was predeceased by his wife Mavis in January 2012, after 62 years of marriage.
He is survived by his 6 children; Edmund Preston and his wife Lynne of Chelmsford, Constance Scanlon and her husband Patrick of Andover, Virginia Preston of Danvers, Alfred Preston and his wife Charlene of Petersham, Elizabeth Stevens and her husband Walter of Danvers, and Janis LaPierre and her husband Michael of Bradford. He also leaves behind 14 grandchildren, and 9 great grandchildren. Besides his parents, Al was predeceased by his sister Virginia O’Sullivan, and his brother Edmund Preston.