We Remember

SALLOUM, Abraham “Al”

June 13, 1924 — April 14, 2019

Abraham “Al” Salloum passed away unexpectedly, but peacefully, at Kelowna General Hospital on Sunday, April 14, 2019. He is survived by his loving wife Helen, sister Violet, his daughters Brenda and Kelly (Richard), sons Trevor, Greg (Terry), and Jayce (Karine), grandchildren Jason, Ciara, Savana, Zachary, Mackenzie, Gabriel and Dalia, great-grandchildren Cohen and Aysia.

Al was born into a large Lebanese family on June 13th, 1924 in Rush Lake, Saskatchewan. Growing up, he helped out on his family’s farm, but at the age of 17, he struck out on his own working on the C.P.R. Telegraph Crew in Northern Saskatchewan and followed that with a stint as a traveling salesman. When he discovered Kelowna, he thought he’d found a little piece of heaven. He convinced his Mother and Father, and several siblings to leave the prairies and move to BC. Realizing his knack for business, he opened his own school supply store in Kelowna, a 5-to-a-dollar store in Quesnel, and a bowling alley in Summerland. These first three businesses set the stage for his successful career in Real Estate, which would continue for over 35 years. During that time, he thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of real estate in the Okanagan Valley.

With his uncanny ability to talk to anyone, a light-hearted temperament, and an easy smile, Al excelled at his work. In 1961, he created Okanagan Realty Ltd., with many outstanding salespeople, and won several awards for outstanding achievements in his field. Kind and generous, he engaged in charity work through his involvement in the local Shriners and Masons. He was also very active in the United Church.

An enthusiastic singer, and dancer, Al liked to stay active, and was always up for discovering the latest trend in healthy living. His retirement offered more time for globetrotting to over 38 countries, tennis, golf, square dancing, and 39 winters in the Arizona desert with his wife. One of the highlights of those days came when he made a “hole-in-one” during a golf tournament at the Kelowna Golf and Country Club!

A true lover of all that life had to offer, Al was always ready with a joke to tell, or a story to share. He loved his family, the Okanagan, and touched the hearts of so many over the years. He was much loved, and his memories will live on with all those who knew him. A Celebration of Life will take place in Kelowna in June. In lieu of flowers, please consider honoring Al with a donation to the Shriners of BC www.bcshriners.com/donate-now.

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In lieu of flowers, please consider honoring Al with a donation to the Shriners of BC Link: www.bcshriners.com/donate-now




  • Wilf Petkau says:

    I extend my deepest condolences to Helen and family. I met Al at the Kelowna Golf and C..C.,, where I had the opportunity to golf with him, especially on Monday Senior Men’s Day. It was during this time I found we had one thing in common, we were both born in Rush Lake, Sask.

  • Roxanne Lemarchant (Raymer) says:

    So sorry to hear of your dad’s passing I remember growing up just down the street and coming over to your house he was always happy to have your friends come over and was always very kind again my heart is thinking of you all sincerely Roxanne Raymer (Lemarchant)

  • Joseph Salloum and Family says:

    So sorry for your the loss. Deepest sympathies and condolences. He was well respected by all who knew him. He loved and cared about anyone that was a Salloum. He touched the hearts of our family with his hospitality when visited Him and Helen in Kelowna. May his soul rest in peace. Memory eternal.

  • Claudia Ng says:

    My deepest condolence to Al’s passing. I could still remember chatting with him at Karine and Jayce’s wedding banquet. He truly had an “uncanny ability to talk to anyone, a light-hearted temperament, and an easy smile”. His energy was infectious and his love of life serves as a great example for us to embrace life even as we age.
    Claudia (Karine’s sister)

  • David Thomson says:

    I’m sad to learn that Al Salloum has passed away. He will be missed by a good deal more than just family.
    Personally, I have mixed feelings about the unexpected nature of his passing.
    Al’s life has been blessed, not only by his longevity, but by the fullness by which he has lived it: successfully by every standard. For all of it, he deserves to be celebrated.
    But equally as important, his passing was not a lingering debilitating event. That would be so contrary to the way he lived his entire life.

  • Linda Berger says:

    To the Salloum family,
    I am sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you during this difficult time.

  • Sue Pendray says:

    My mother, Nora Turnbull really enjoyed getting to know Al and Helen these last years at Missionwood. She considered them dear friends. My condolences to Helen and the family on your loss.

  • Marie Sperling says:

    I was surprised to hear of Al’s passing. He was always happy and had stories, news or jokes to tell. I always enjoyed seeing Al and supporting him with his health. He will be missed and remembered fondly by myself and I’m sure many. I send you all much love at this time of your loss.

  • SAMI SALLOUM says:


  • regina kouri says:

    My Deepest Sympathy to Helen and all the family. May He Rest In Peace.

  • Hilda, Fernando and Isabella Alvarez says:

    Dear Jayce and Karine, We are sending you our sincere condolences to you and your family. We are sorry for the loss of your beloved father. and father-in-law. Es siempre triste decir adios!!! We hope memories and his long good life brings you comfort and warmth. Much love to you! Hilda, Fer and Isa. Here’s to your Dad!

  • Mary-Lou Gates says:

    Auntie Helen and Family,
    I am so sorry to hear of Uncle Al’s passing. It is never easy losing a loved one no matter what age they are.Take the time to reflect on all the positive memories. Hugs and kisses to all!

  • Brandon McCallum says:

    My condolences to the immediate Salloum family. It was so great knowing Great Uncle Al and having the pleasure of spending time chatting and picking your brain on certain business-minded decisions of mine over the years. Rest In Peace. What a great man.

  • Dr. Maurice Malin says:

    My deepest condolence to the family. I met Al 27 years ago when I came to Kelowna. What a fantastic man.

  • Gordon & Annette McInnes says:

    Dear Helen, and family. How sorry we were to hear of Al’s passing.. He was a Joy to know, and he touched so many lives, all of which will miss him so much. Thinking of all of you at this time, Gordon & Annette McInnes

    • Claude & Anthonia (Karine's parents ) says:

      Dear Helen,Jayce, Greg, and all in your family,
      Sad to hear from Karine last Sunday of Al’s passing on that very day. Our deepest condolences to you all. We remember Al for his pioneering
      and enterprising spirit, modesty and friendliness that shine through his whole life. Undoubtedly these qualties are being inherited by many in the family.

  • Andy & Loraine McCallum says:

    Helen and your family – we are saddened to hear of your husband Al’s passing – we always loved our visits with you – either in Kelowna – or at the farm at Saltcoats. May you be comforted by all the wonderfrul memories and great times shared!. May God Bless you and give you His peace! With our Love and Prayers

  • Barb Joustra says:

    My condolences to the Salloum family. I enjoyed my time working for the family all those years ago. I have memories of Al coming to the hotel daily.

  • Brian McWhirter says:

    my sincerest condolences to Aunt Helen and my cousins in Kelowna. I have the most fond memories of our visits to Kelowna over the years and the great hospitality you showed us. My last meeting with Al was during the Salloum reunion in Winnipeg in 2006 and i super enjoyed that chance to catch up with Uncle Al.

  • STACY LOVELL says:

    Thinking of you and your family. His memory will live on forever in your hearts.

  • Ellen Churchill says:

    My thoughts and warm wishes go out to all of you… Trevor, Kelly, Brenda & children… I saw Al a few months ago and he looked great… I’ve always loved the finn of being with you all… he will always be fondly remembered… my deepest condiolences…

  • Steve and karen shoranick says:

    It is with sadness we learned the passing of Al. I met Al through my in-laws, Hass and MazaHossian, they were good friends. He always was kind and nice and treated us like family whenever we saw him and Helen.. it was always nice to see them and have that warm feeling after visiting with them. He will be missed. Please accept our sympathy and condolences.
    Steve and Karen Shoranick

  • Wayne Nelson says:

    My deepest condolence to the entire Salloum family. Al and Helen should be extremely proud for raising such
    extraordinary and unique family. It puts a smile on my face thinking of the days spent at the Abbott St. house. Rest in piece Al.

  • Kym Melissen and the Uhl Family says:

    Thoughts of the Salloum Family can fill many pages.
    His children made him proud and his family was his essence.
    Through his many aptitudes, he touched so many families without ever knowing.
    With a smile on my face, I think of Mr Salloum

  • Dave and Marion Humphreys says:

    Our deepest condolences to Helen and the entire Salloum Family. Al and Helen were great neighbours in Sandstone. Al always had a smile and a story and was generous with sharing fresh fruits from his orchards in the summers. He will be fondly remembered.

  • Doug Dean says:

    I remember Al Salloum as one of the most involved leaders of our Cub Pack, the 7th Kelowna 1st United Church Cubs. Despite demands on his time from his property business, Al would always be present at weekend rambles and weekend Cub camps. He was a cheerful positive man who never hesitated to get involved in the fun with us kids. Al never shouted or threatened punishment to get unruly groups of energetic little boys to do what they were supposed to do – we all just respected his quiet and firm manner. I have everlasting memories of Al not hesitating to dress up in some silly costume, or to allow himself to be the focus of a joke to get a laugh out of the kids. I think the last time I saw Al was sometime in the ’90s when I was living in Europe and passing through Kelowna. I bumped into him in Orchard Park – he recognised me instantly, and insisted that we sit down for a coffee so he could get the latest news on what I had been up to for the past 25 years. What a guy. I have already shared these photos with Trevor and Brenda, they are the only two photos of Al that I can find now. Both are from a weekend Cub camp in the Winfield area probably around 1964-66.

  • Doug Dean says:

    The second photo. Deepest sympathies and condolences to Brenda, Trevor and the entire Salloum family. Your Dad was quite a guy.

  • Muna Salloum says:

    I still can’t believe that my beloved Uncle Al has passed. A man of true honour and compassion for his family, Uncle Al knew no bounds in his love for life surrounded by all those who love him. He was (is) a great man. He strived, struggled, and with his ability to learn and practise with his abilities, and with his inexhaustible talent of working hard, Uncle Al is a self-made man. I loved his humour, his joie de vivre, his story-telling, and his loyalty to his family. I will miss our chats with him over Skype and of course, seeing him at the Salloum Reunions. My admiration and love for him runs deep. الله يرحمو

  • Therese Hernandez Cano says:

    Please accept my humble condolences Kelly. I only know your family from your too brief performances that my friends enjoyed so much. No doubt your father was special and you carry that energy in your spirit. I send you much love and peace.

  • Georges SALLOUM says:

    en union de prière

  • Susila (nee Gai)- Gendgirl of Najeeb & Masadi Mussallem) Bryant says:

    Dear Salloum Family: As a descendant of Najeeb and Masadi Mussallem, I send a heartfelt sentiment of sorrow and the loss of your beloved husband, father, and grandfather. I pray that you will each find understanding and courage and that you can be with those who love you at this important time. I hope that the time might be able for the memorial service will be announced and that I may be able to attend. May Almighty God Bless you and keep you until we meet again.

  • Myles and Dana Rippenhagen says:

    Dear Aunt Helen and family,
    We are so sorry for your loss of Uncle Al. I will alway remember our trips to Kelowna and the visits with all of you. He will be greatly missed at our reunions! I will cherish my fond memories of him!

  • Doug & Maureen Wiebe says:

    Sorry to hear of Al’s passing, we have many fond memories of Al & Helen, from our Viewpoint days.
    Our deepest sympathy Helen & family.

  • Ghassan Salloum & family (Ottawa) says:

    Deepest condolences to Al’s friends and family. He will be fondly remembered as a generous and humble man. May his memory be eternal. God bless.

  • Trevor Salloum says:

    I have many fond memories or our father, but probably the most enduring would be his focus on the family and family unity. He used his keen skills in business to build financial security, but more importantly to establish a company where family members were encouraged to contribute their ideas and learn to work together.

    In his early adult life he studied the works of Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People), Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich) and body builder Charles Atlas (The Dynamic Tension Program) towards achieving self-improvement. Although he only had a Grade 10 education, he strived to learn lessons that would help him be successful in life.

    He was a very social person and loved interacting with people. I recall him striking up conversations with people everywhere, which often led to deep friendships- he might start a conversation while standing at a red light or stop sign. Of course this ability also helped him in business, where he excelled.

    I remember travelling with him in Lebanon where we met a travel agent. After some discussion about the best sites to see in Lebanon, the agent invited us to his daughters wedding in the mountains, complete with trays of delicious traditional foods, dancing and fireworks.

    Along with his love of people he enjoyed mischievous antics, jokes, tricks, dancing, singing, acting and performing. He was a clown (Checkers) with the Shriners and a leader with the Cub/Scouts (Bagheera-Black panther from Jungle book).


    One day, him and some friends placed green hay in the school basement furnace because they disliked the teacher. This created heavy smoke throughout the school and the school was closed for a half a day.

    On another day he arrived early to school. Noticing how shiny the new polished floor looked, he removed his slingshot and fired a pebble along the floor until it hit the wall and shot up breaking a half inch hole in the window. When all the kids arrived they thought that someone had shot a bullet hole into the school. He helped fuel their imagination with recollections of detective Dick Tracey.

    I remember once as a child visiting our grandparents in Swift Current, Sask. We were getting cleaned up before breakfast and my grandfather was shaving with his electric shaver. All of a sudden the razor stopped working and my grandfather couldn’t figure out why. It turned out my father had unplugged the razor as a joke, infuriating my grandfather.

    Our father was a generous man-donating his time and money to various causes including United Church, Shriners, Masons, Cubs and the RCA where the Salloum Rehearsal Hall bears his name.

    Numerous times I recall him giving advice to young adults purchasing their first property and starting a new business venture.

    He found most of my siblings their first jobs. For me it was digging holes for percolation test at Glenrosa, one of several subdivisions he developed.

    Dad helped me learn many skills including driving both a powerboat and car with standard shift. He was a skilled hunter and marksman. He taught me to how shoot a rifle. He took me out on my first and only deer-hunting trip. I say “first and only” deer-hunting trip, because our family soon shifted towards a plant based diet after that. Not that the deer didn’t taste great… it did, but both Mom and Dad were early adapters (or ahead of the curve) on the benefits of a plant-based diet.

    I will always cherish these memories and feel blessed that I had a special mentor in my life.

  • Greg Salloum says:

    The following was my eulogy to my father spoken at the Celebration of Life:
    I am grateful to everyone who made the effort to come celebrate the life of my father, some who have travel far and some with difficult challenges of their own.

    My connection with my father was good as a child and got better when I started working closely with him in the family business.  When he first phone me up to work in the family business in 1985, I was flattered, and thought ‘ya, I can do that.’  But then I asked him what does it pay and what’s the job description.  He gave me a figure that was a less what I was earning as a research scientist, so I asked him to reconsider and that I went to uni for many years and love my work.  Then the following year, he phoned me up again in the spring and ( still no job description).  Then I had to break it to him, that I had just received a 20% pay increase again.   Same the following year.  Finally in the 4th year when he called me, I told him I was going to leave my job, so make this offer a good one.   I was trying to decide between doing a PHD or coming back to Kelowna.  We finally agreed on a salary, after a four year negotiation and the rest is history.   I guess I learned how to negotiate from him.  To negotiate is now in my blood but dad made it seem like a game.  He had an uncanny ability to pick winning stocks just like his prowess in real estate.   I think we made a good team and I will miss bouncing ideas off him and getting his insights. I will be forever grateful for having him as my rudder as I sailed off into life.

    He too was a lucky guy. He always said you make your own luck. He Married a lovely lady, had 5 kids and was successful beyond imagination. What more can be said except that I hope we can all look back on our lives, with as much satisfaction as Dad.

  • Douglas Trites and family says:

    Dear Helen and Salloum family, our deepest condolences in the passing of your husband and father. Al and Helen befriended my parents, Ernest and Ida Trites, when they retired to Kelowna in the 1980s.My parents were always thankful for Al and Helen’s friendship and in helping re-kindle relationships with other members of the Salloum family in Kelowna.
    God bless and take care,

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