It is with deep sadness to announce the passing of Dr. Alfred “Al” Defalco, M.D, 84. Al died Thursday, June 27, 2019, among his beloved cocker spaniels on Yankee Creek Farm near Friday Harbor. Affectionately christened “Dog-Pa” by his children and grandchildren, many locals will recognize Al as the white-mustached senior driving a lumbering brown Suburban with his co-pilot dog, Danny, during trips to King’s Market, Harbor Laundry or to peruse the flower selection at Browne’s Home Center. Retiring from over 50 years in medical practice, research, teaching and innovation, Al spent many sunny and rainy days raising and training English field cockers for sport and competitive trial. During his last couple years, Al was a regular at the gravel pit “running the pack.” He also loved to gather friends and family around the dinner table and share his favorite meals that he mastered in cooking school in Italy.
Born in Hamden, Connecticut, in 1934, Al graduated from Trinity College in Hartford in 1956 and began a long and accomplished life in the field of medicine including pursuits in neuropharmacology, urology, pediatric reconstructive urology and urological oncology. He served in the U.S. Navy both on active duty and in the Naval Reserve, at one time serving at the Naval Medical Research Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. Al’s healing skills were employed at hospitals in Denver, Colorado, Seattle, Washington, and overseas in China, Australia and St. Vincent.
Al’s passion went beyond his skills as a physician and surgeon. His devotion to working with English springer and field cocker spaniels touched many other lives involved in the sport of field trialing. Al was a mentor and master trainer; garnering great respect in both the United States and Canada.
Above all of his professional and personal accomplishments, Al was a loving and devoted father and grandfather. His wisdom helped his children and grandchildren navigate their own lives, imparting a deep love of nature and the world around him, a love which infused the fabric of their lives, continuing on today through his lineage.
Al is survived by his wife Barbara, his children Jeffery, Jonathan, Susan, Lesley and Shaina Long; step-daughters Melissa Dubail and Hana Stevanović; daughters-in-law Renee and Melinda; sons-in-law Craig Grinde, Todd Esque and Jonathan Long; grandchildren Elizabeth, Madison, Seth, Justin, Morgan, Page, Mary Grace and Cormac; his brother Paul; and his former spouses Beverly Defalco (nee Deshefy), Ellen Seldin (nee Taylor), and Dominique Savoie as well as a pack of happy spaniels and kitties.
A time to celebrate Al’s life will be held for his family and closest friends on Aug. 9, 2019. In lieu of flowers, donations are appreciated in Al’s name for the Wounded Warrior Project (https://support.woundedwarriorproject.org/) or Mission K9 Rescue (https://missionk9rescue.org/donations-to-mission-k9-rescue/).