DELBERT ALAWAYS With an impossible attempt to successfully summarize 85 years of an incredible man’s life in a few paragraphs, our family regretfully announces the passing of Del Alaways on January 2, 2016. A memorial service will be held this Thursday, January 14, 2016, at 1:00 pm at Butte Bible Fellowship, 2255 Pillsbury Rd. Chico, CA. Delbert Roland was born on July 21, 1930, to Onias and Clara Alaways at his aunt’s house in New Kamilchi, Washington. He lived with 3 sisters and 2 brothers in a home located on his father’s cedar shake/shingle mill on the banks of the Skagit River in Sedro Wooley, Washington. Literally raised in the timber industry, he and his siblings started working on the family mill as soon as they were able. Later, Del worked on a tug boat on the Skagit River and the Puget Sound running rafts of logs to mill sites. He also worked in several mills and earned a reputation of being the fastest shingle packer around. Eventually, for a while, he owned his own sawmill that specialized in producing railroad ties. In high school Del was a standout quarterback and All-Section pitcher. He went on to pitch for three years for a semipro club, never giving up a home run. It was during this time that he met the love of his life, Joy Butterfield and 55 days after they met, they married. This past October they celebrated 65 years together. After the births of their first two children, Del moved his young family to California where he worked in sales for more than 50 years. He and Joy raised 7 children relocating numerous times until they settled in the Durham and Chico area 50 years ago. Del spent his whole life living for others and he gave away whatever he had if he thought somebody else was in greater need. In a way that was also a gift to his children, they wouldn’t need to fight over the “stuff of Earth” he could have left behind.. He stored his treasures in Heaven and declared 3 John 4 as one of his favorite verses. Del was a selfless, devoted man of faith, a follower of Jesus for which he was unashamed. His large study Bible is old, worn, torn, and tattered. The margins and the chapter breaks are filled with his notes, leaving testimony of his love and generosity. Del is also affectionately known for his sense of humor. He received a huge kick out of making people laugh, always ready with a joke or two or more. He loved sports, especially baseball, football, fishing, track and field, and bowling. He also was an avid San Francisco Giant’s fan. He pitched slow pitch softball well into his 70’s, held a bowling average of over 200 into his 80’s, and won over 100 gold medals in the Senior Games. Most of these medals were won throwing the javelin, a sport he had only pursued in his later years. He’d say, “I got scads or oodles of other colored medals, but they don’t count!” While in his eighties, he still had a remarkable arm. He could throw, as baseball enthusiasts say, “junk” with a hardball that was just plain wicked. Del is survived by the two ladies he loved the most in his life, his bride, Joy, and his “special” daughter, April Joy. Dad carried and cared for April’s needs with unwavering devotion until he became ill. He is also survived by his six other children, Greg (Dianne), Mimi Lambeth (John), May Amator (Roy), Jeff (Lori), David (Cheryl), LeRoy (Stephanie), as well as his 13 grandchildren and 19 great- grandchildren and his brother, Andy, two sisters Jeanne and Pat and nieces and nephews too numerous to list. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to “Joe McGie Center” 2812 Hegan Lane, Chico, CA, in Del’s name. Arrangements are under the direction of Hooper & Weaver Mortuary.
Published in Chico Enterprise-Record on Jan. 12, 2016