Albert C. Angelo Sr., whose business and civic leadership during the past half-century helped shape the future of Vancouver, passed away March 23. He was 87.
Al is remembered as much for his friendship and good will as for his passion for business and civic affairs. He was a loving husband to Katheryn, his wife of nearly 60 years, and a loving father to their five children, 19 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
A man known for honesty and wisdom in both his business and personal life, Al was born on February 14, 1920, to Italian immigrant parents living in Skamania County. He attended school in Cape Horn and Washougal. He founded the Al Angelo Construction Co., in 1947, with an $8,000 loan from a real estate broker who advised him to build homes for the many shipyard workers who arrived in Vancouver during World War II. He took the advice to heart and began his construction business building homes, but quickly expanded into major multifamily projects and commercial developments.
In 1955, the year his company completed its first commercial project, Al was appointed to Vancouver's Building Code Board. In 1959 he was named to the Vancouver Planning Commission. From 1962 to 1969, Al served on the Vancouver City Council, the last four years as mayor.
Al is credited with pioneering efforts to revitalize Vancouver with numerous development projects that spurred a period of growth and expansion in Vancouver beginning in the 1950s, laying the foundation for what is today the fourth largest city in the state. Heritage Place, built by the Al Angelo Co. in 1999, spurred a renaissance of Vancouver's downtown core that continues today.
The Al Angelo Co. remains family-owned and headquartered in Vancouver. The firm currently has major real estate holdings in rental housing projects and commercial buildings in 22 West Coast cities and six states. The company is now moving into its third generation of ownership, with Al Angelo III now working in the business.
In addition to his love of his business, one of Al's greatest joys was driving around Clark County to see the fruits of his labor - the many buildings and developments his company had constructed over the years. He also enjoyed making the drive to the Columbia River Gorge back to his farm in Cape Horn where his siblings still own the 150 acres they were raised on. In later years, when his health prevented him from driving, family members took him on drives around Vancouver and to the farm. He also loved to fish and hunt, especially in Eastern Oregon. A 1942 University of Washington graduate, Al was a member of the Theta Xi Fraternity.
Al is survived by his wife, Katheryn; five children, Al "Corky" Angelo Jr., Craig E. Angelo, Gary A. Angelo, Larry A. Angelo and Kathy Angelo; 19 grandchildren, six great-grandchildren; and brothers, Lewis Angelo and Ted Angelo, all living in Vancouver. He was preceded in death by his sister, Mary Bailey.
A public viewing will be held Thurs., March 29, 2007, at Vancouver Funeral Chapel, from 12-7pm, 110 East 12th St., Vancouver. A funeral Mass for Al will be held at noon on Friday, March 30, 2007, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 400 S. Andersen Road. Burial services will be private. Vancouver Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements. In lieu of flowers, the Angelos have requested that friends honor Al's memory through donations to Hospice Southwest, 100 East 33rd St., Suite 201, Vancouver, WA 98663.
Published in The Columbian on Mar. 27, 2007