Albert Wirdzek was a resident of Moss Beach for over 50 years. On June 7, 2021, he died peacefully, at the age of 94, with his devoted wife, Eilene, by his side, in the home he built.
Albert was born in Utah to parents who had emigrated from Czechoslovakia. Shortly after, he and his family moved to San Francisco when he was still a young boy. After graduating from Balboa High School, Al enlisted in the Navy. He served on the Battleship USS Idaho, which participated in the Battle of Iwo Jima, the invasion of Okinawa, and the liberation of the Philippines. His ship was present in Tokyo Bay for the signing ceremony of the surrender of Japan on Sept. 2, 1945. After the war, Al went to work for a prominent commercial sign and painting company in San Francisco. He later inherited the company and continued to operate it into the 1990s. During this time, Al joined the San Francisco Fire Department. He was on the first SFFD scuba diving team. They used specialized equipment invented by an SFFD battalion chief to fight fires under the waterfront piers, the only such equipment in the U.S. Most of his career was in downtown San Francisco at Engine 4. Al had the position of San Francisco fire inspector, for which he was highly honored. Al ended his SFFD career as the deputy fire marshal at the San Francisco International Airport.
Albert was a lover of the outdoors, from gathering abalone in his backyard to backpacking with friends in the High Sierras. Al and Eilene enjoyed cruising, especially on Queen Mary II. In 2011, they bought a cabin in Idaho. They spent every summer there enjoying the lake view from rocking chairs on the porch, the forest, the campfire, and homemade huckleberry pies. Al so loved his property on the Vallemar Bluffs. He would look down from his favorite chair and watch the people on the Coastal Trail, along with the dogs, birds, ships, and whales passing by.
Albert was a spiritual man. He and his wife became Jehovah’s Witnesses in the 1970s. They had a strong faith in the Bible’s promise of God’s Kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth. Albert is survived by his devoted wife, Eilene, married for 57 years; his children, Cynthia (Paul), Saundra (Todd), Michelle (Louie), Christopher (Christine), and Todd (Monica); as well as his adored 14 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.