News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Allen J Ver Bouwens Passed January 31, 2022

Allen J Ver Bouwens, Big Al, Al VB, Husband, Dad, Pop-pop, Grandpa Al, Son, Uncle, and Friend left his human body on Monday, January 31 at home surrounded in a cuddle puddle of love.

What a lot of people didn’t know about Big Al, with his pale skin, bright blue eyes, and flaming red hair, is that he was a direct descendent of the Cheyanne Sioux Tribe of Eagle Butte, South Dakota. His amazing forever-young long red locks told of his native heritage and had us all convinced that he knew magic.

Allen was a creative, always working on hobbies and the next big idea. To the dismay of his children, Al VB does not leave behind generational wealth or hidden Swiss bank accounts, but instead many great times were had in Allen’s company. Countless dinner tabs paid on his way to the bathroom, drinks for everyone, not a friend or stranger excluded. Al’s generosity was shared with whoever needed it and he happily took in all the stray teenagers, dogs, friends, and family members that needed nurturing.

Allen enjoyed travel, road trips, boating, fishing, and camping adventures with his family and friends. Seafood boils and BBQs —the more the merrier!

Allen J Ver Bouwens was loved by those who knew him well and by those that just passed through his life. He had a roll-with-the-punches attitude. Life wasn’t always easy, but he kept his glass half full. “Life Is Good” was Al’s signature quote.

He was brave and punching until his last breath.

He was adored by babies, senior citizens, and all members of the animal kingdom. Pop-pop could party with the best of them, and in the years before he gave up the hangover, he never met a tequila bottle that didn’t assist him in getting the party started.

Allen worked until the end with one of his best friends, John Anderson, never complaining, always wanting to produce his best works.

Allen is preceded in death by his oldest son, the most bad-ass biker that there ever was, Micheal Yankish; and his older sister, Mary, the South Dakota beauty queen.

Allen is survived by the Bonnie to his Clyde, wife Jan Ver Bouwens of Sisters (along with all the sister wives he drove home from book club); twin sister, Judy Palmer and her husband, Greg “F-You” Palmer, of South Dakota; siblings, Mike and Patty; and a handful of distant dysfunctional family members; his trash-talking son, John Yankish of Santa Cruz, California; his superstar hairdresser daughter and her husband, Shonna and Steve Pease of Sisters (Shonna always kept Al’s long locks shiny and trimmed.

Al, always the salesman, approved his death for a free plug: Shonna works at Metamorphosis in Sisters.

Book now!); his fiery red-headed twin spirit daughter, Tana Ver Bouwens of Portland — she never married but is passionate about writing an obituary that captures her dad’s endless wit and love; his two puppies, Aggie the terrorizing Jack Russell, and Ruby the posh poodle; many deeply loved grandkids, nieces, nephews; best friends; as well as all the dogs, birds, raccoons, African elephants, and chickens he adopted along the way.

Special shout-out from our hearts to the Johnson, Needham, Wortinger, and Garvey families: You were his family too!

To quote the great folk singer Steve Poltz, “I just want all my friends to be happy,” and so did Allen. His family and friends were his greatest accomplishment. The last full sentence Grandpa spoke, after being read all his text messages, was “What a way to go. I was loved!” Reach out to your loved ones today and raise a glass for Allen and for the love we are all capable of. You are loved!


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