ForeverMissed
Al was born Jan. 22, 1929, in Windsor, Canada, to his late parents, Lewis and Gertrude Hyams. After several years of elementary school, in Canada, the family, which included his late brother, David; and sisters, Sue and Charlotte, moved to Detroit. Al, his brother, and his sisters all attended and graduated from Cooley High School.

In 1951, during the Korean War, Al was drafted and sent to Fort Riley, Kansas for basic training. This was followed by a position at Ladd Air Force Base, now Fort Wainwright, outside of Fairbanks, Alaska. In a recon platoon of the fourth regiment, he helped monitor Russian plane flights during the Korean War.He served his country with great honor and valor.

In 1955 Geraldine met Al while working at American Youth Hostiles running the office.  Al was looking for activities to participate in.  Gerry and Al quickly became attached at the hip.  They were partners for many activities, and fell in love.  In 1957 they eloped in Angola, Indiana.  Later that year, they were given a party to celebrate and were married in the synagogue.

After his military service, Al attended Wayne University where he received a Bachelors of Science focused in Education. After college, Al decide to share his love of science by becoming a science teacher for Oak Park School.He spent the next 26 years educating and sharing his passion for science with his students. 

Al also loved the outdoors.He, along with his sons, Roger (Travis) and Eric (Stacey); and granddaughters, Stephanie and Rachel; enjoyed camping, canoing, cycling, skiing, and hiking throughout the country.

Al was a very talented photographer and had a passion for photographing beautiful scenic locations from his many adventures.He loved nature, and shared his love through his photography work, which he generously shared with others.  His website, http://capturedmomentsphotography.com/, showcases many of his wonderful works.

Al was also very fond of music and was a valuable member of “The Hoboes.”He dazzled the many privileged to see him perform, playing the harmonic and concertina together at the same time. He greatly enjoyed being able to make music with “The Melody Makers” and “The Betsie Bay Minstrels.”

Al had a passion for life and family, and will be forever in our hearts as the gentle, loving, kindhearted soul that we all fell in love with. He will be greatly missed.
Posted by R. Hyams on May 6, 2022
I miss my father every day. Dad was an amazing man, who taught me to love science and knowledge. I thank him for all his wise words and thoughts. I felt the severe loss today, more than usual, and wanted share all that was great about my father. I was so lucky to have had him as my Dad. I could not picked a better man for the job. 

Love you always,
Your son.
Posted by Jim Stamm on April 5, 2022
I was fortunate enough to have Al choose me, 22 years ago now, to do the Web site for his photographs. And for now, it's still available at http://www.capturedmomentsphotography.com, I hope you will take a look. Al loved the outdoors and it comes through in his photos. He was always so kind to me, and would share tips with me on photography and places to explore. It was also fun hearing about his adventures in the service and canoeing northern Michigan. He was one of the most generous people I've ever known, if one did not stop him, he'd give you the shirt off his back if he thought you could use it. A great, kind soul, he seemed to appreciate life to the fullest.
Posted by Ethel Fischer on February 4, 2022
Al was a very genuinely good person: thoughtful and kind, intelligent and talented but delightfully humble. I wish I had known Al and Gerry and their children in earlier years, but I was happy to meet them at Michigan Shores and will always treasure the memory. He was a brief member of our writing group, making interesting contributions, but he was too modest to spend much time writing his memoirs and preferred to concentrate on his photography, music, family and helping others. Gerry has managed remarkably well with her loss and we continue to admire her, as we always have, and as Al would have wanted. My best to all his dear ones......Kay Fischer
Posted by Laura George on January 30, 2022
I remember Cousin Alfred from when I was a little girl. He always had a smile and I remember how much he and Gerry were in love with each other. Ava Shalom!   //PS. If you can track me down, I'm reviving the Ruda Club through the photos and have one of Gerry and Alfred from my parent's wedding.
Posted by Gerry Hyams on January 23, 2022
Happy 93rd birthday to my dear husband, Al. We miss you every day, and wish you were here to celebrate with us. We love you so much and think of you often. Love you.
Posted by Laurie Rappeport on January 23, 2022
My love and thoughts are with my Uncle Al and Aunt Gerry's family......he was a special man, always easy to speak to, always in a good mood, always on an even keel. 
Posted by R. Hyams on January 22, 2022
Dad-

Today would have been your birthday, but we didn't get the opportunity to celebrate with you once more. You are in are hearts as always, but today especially. You are were the best Father, I could have ever wished to have. I love you, Always.
Posted by Eric Hyams on November 19, 2021
It has come to the first anniversary of the passing of the greatest man I have known. I know this may seem overdue but it has been tough to acknowledge the finality of my Dad's passing. It is hard to summarize what he meant to me, as he meant so much. He taught me how to be smart, kind, giving, fair, un-biased, a critical thinker and I could go on for days. In short he taught me to be everything he was. The ironic part is that didn't end at eighteen that was a lifetime for him. I learned so much from my Dad. I still think of something everyday that ties to one of the millions of examples he set forth for me to follow. In a strange way i am still being taught by my dad. One of my favorite attributes of my father was his willingness to help others. He gave of himself without regard for the personal outcome totally selfless. I know i have fallen short of the bar he set, but i never stop trying. My Dad was creative a photographer and musician, Intellectual a teacher and a student of life, a leader fearless and motivated. In so many ways he has left and indelible mark not only on me but everyone he touched. My dad is forever in my heart and mind he is loved and thought of daily. I miss you Dad I love you Dad.
Posted by Stacey Hyams on November 19, 2021
 When I think of Al, I think of his kind personality and his encouraging teacher's heart.
 I had never seen anyone play the concertina before. He was always playing with a big smile on his face, HAPPY!
 I remember how he invented some straps that he attached to his legs by his knees so he could play the symbols with his legs while at the same time he played the concertina or harmonica.
 He and Gerry always welcomed everyone who came to their home and Gerry always ha some refreshments for us after we played.
 Al started the Hobo Harmonica group some years ago and I had the opportunity of playing with them these last few years.
 I remember Al for his teachers heart. He always had some harmonicas in his bag to give children if they came to watch us play.
 The Hobo Harmonicas will never be the same without Al. We will all miss him and remember him for the person that he always was.
 Every year he gave each one of us a calendar of the new year with the most beautiful pictures on it. I will always save a couple of those. He also had pictures of our group taken and passed out to each of us. This is a great way to remember the group.
 Thank You Al and Gerry
 Nellie Thomas
Posted by TJs gma on October 16, 2021
We miss our friend Mr. Al Hyams. We believe Mr. Al always tried to make the a better place. We received encouragement from Mr Al many times. We watched him give harmonicas to children in the crowds as we all played music together. He gave many gifts, beautiful pictures and other things (including my engineer hat) to friends. Mr Al also donated sound equipment to help others starting in the music world. He always sought to include others. He helped so many to get started in their music journey. His music cheered both young and old. He and Gerry organized many events for the pleasure of so many. Mr Al was a great listener and a wonderful friend. We are sad that he is gone but his memory lives on in our hearts. He was a blessing to all who had the honor of knowing him. Connie and Oscar Jaquish
Posted by Diane Goodson on September 14, 2021
I didn’t have much opportunity to meet with Al, but when I did, we had a great time talking. We talked about our old stomping grounds in Wayne County, mostly. What I appreciated even more was his work with The Harmonica Hobos. I loved having them here at Michigan Shores and singing those old songs along with them. I want them back.
Posted by Duane Nugent on July 7, 2021
My dad, Chet Nugent, enjoyed playing in The Harmonica Hobos with Al
for several years.  When Chet was unable to drive, due to his failing eyesight, Al kindly picked him up to assure that he could continue to play with the group.  I know that their music entertained many.
My wife, Irene, sold many of Al's note cards with his beautiful photography in the Paul Oliver Hospital Gift Shop. Al certainly was very talented.
Posted by Chris and Bill Dowd on June 28, 2021
Three years ago when we moved to Michigan Shores Gerry and Al were were among the first residents we met, and we discovered they were our neighbors just down the hall. It was so nice to be welcomed by such a warm and friendly couple. We were amazed to learn that Al was the photographer of the dozens of beautiful photographs displayed along the hallways of the building showing the beauty of the area surrounding us and the wildlife that is so abundant. Al was so talented. Our friendship grew and we enjoyed getting to know each other better. It has been an honor to know Al for his sharp intellect, warmth and humor. We dearly miss him.
Posted by Stephanie Hyams on June 28, 2021
Grandpa

To put it simply, there are never going to be enough characters in this passage and words in the universe to describe the impact you left on so many, myself included. You were the most humble, easy going, fun, and loving family man, musician, and teacher. By far, the best story teller (with quite the bank of memories that would drum up input and conversation by anyone present) and ultimately, the absolute best grandfather I could have ever hoped for. As many have stated before I, the world is a lesser place without your presence, but I know in my heart of hearts your memory will live on forever. I miss you. Gone, but most certainly never forgotten!
Posted by Karen Williams on June 26, 2021
My parents, Muriel and Ralph Williams, lived at MI Shores and we used to visit them at Christmas. The first year that our baby granddaughter came to MI Shores for Christmas, Al saw us all downstairs by the elevator and asked if we'd like him to take photos of Mia. It was so very thoughtful of him. The photos (of course!) turned out wonderfully. Al and Gerry were part of the reason we always felt welcomed at MI Shores. Am sure someone was standing at the door to welcome him into the "Good Place"...
Posted by Amy Ferris on June 26, 2021
I cannot recall when exactly I met Al, but no doubt it was in close proximity to Gerry. The two of them were such a wonderfully matched team; one cannot mention Al without his relationship to his beautiful wife. I've read these other tributes about Al, and they capture the spirit perfectly of a man who was the essence of a life well lived, full of kindness, curiosity and action, all while maintaining a gentle, forthright and deliberate character. He was caring, talented, full of goodwill. What an honor to have known him and to call him a friend.
Posted by Mary Armstrong on June 24, 2021
Al will always have a place in Jon's and my heart. He was a wonderful, gentle, kind, generous man. It was always a treat to run into him and Gerry---what a pair! His photograhs became a light into the wonders of Nature. Our world will be a poorer place now that he has slipped away from all of us who loved him and will always honor his memory.
Posted by Shirley Robert on June 22, 2021
Al will always be loved and remembered by everyone that has ever been affiliated with Michigan Shores. He loved this place and it showed in his tremendous contributions to this community. He holds a special place in our hearts, and we will miss his positive attitude, kind heart and genuine, caring personality. We love & miss you Al. Remembered forever. ~ Shirley Robert, RCM Cooperative Manager, Michigan Shores Cooperative.
Posted by Barbara Johnson on June 22, 2021
The first time I met Mr. Hyams (Al) was when he visited my third grade classroom in Frankfort, to perform science experiments. He was great, and the children enjoyed him. Some years later, when my father was a resident at The Maples, I enjoyed listening to him perform his music with The Hoboes.
Posted by R. Hyams on June 20, 2021
My Father

The world is a lesser place without my Father in it.

A little less good, a little less smart, and a little less kind.

This is what I miss the most, all the great things I felt he contributed to my life.

His sense of humor
His intellect
His wisdom
His love of science
His thirst for knowledge
His resourcefulness
His even handedness
And last but not at all least, his love and caring he showed toward all

No matter how much I miss him, I do know he is in a better place now, no longer bothered by the infirmities of age and heart.

That being said, the love I have for him will last forever.

I could and will share many stories of Dad, and will on this page from time to time. Please join me in doing so.

Dad, I miss and think of you every day!
Posted by The Hyams Family on June 5, 2021
From Al's loving sister, Charlotte Dubin:

"Al meant so much to me— from my childhood and into my adulthood.

My father passed away when I was very young. Al became an important part of my life, and I never stopped learning from him. 

His knowledge of the way the world worked
— from the mysteries of science to the wonders of nature — amazed me. Al’s travels, his photography skills and his sheer joy of music making were beyond anything I’d ever experienced. It’s no wonder that he had so many friends.

Of all his achievements though, Al (and Gerry of course) was proudest of their sons, my nephews Roger and Eric.

I could add so much more but I’ll just send my love to Gerry, Rog and Eric as they mourn the loss that we share."
Posted by Laurie Rappeport on May 31, 2021
Uncle Al and Aunt Gerry were the family adventurers and challenged all of us to push outselves. Much missed

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by R. Hyams on May 6, 2022
I miss my father every day. Dad was an amazing man, who taught me to love science and knowledge. I thank him for all his wise words and thoughts. I felt the severe loss today, more than usual, and wanted share all that was great about my father. I was so lucky to have had him as my Dad. I could not picked a better man for the job. 

Love you always,
Your son.
Posted by Jim Stamm on April 5, 2022
I was fortunate enough to have Al choose me, 22 years ago now, to do the Web site for his photographs. And for now, it's still available at http://www.capturedmomentsphotography.com, I hope you will take a look. Al loved the outdoors and it comes through in his photos. He was always so kind to me, and would share tips with me on photography and places to explore. It was also fun hearing about his adventures in the service and canoeing northern Michigan. He was one of the most generous people I've ever known, if one did not stop him, he'd give you the shirt off his back if he thought you could use it. A great, kind soul, he seemed to appreciate life to the fullest.
Posted by Ethel Fischer on February 4, 2022
Al was a very genuinely good person: thoughtful and kind, intelligent and talented but delightfully humble. I wish I had known Al and Gerry and their children in earlier years, but I was happy to meet them at Michigan Shores and will always treasure the memory. He was a brief member of our writing group, making interesting contributions, but he was too modest to spend much time writing his memoirs and preferred to concentrate on his photography, music, family and helping others. Gerry has managed remarkably well with her loss and we continue to admire her, as we always have, and as Al would have wanted. My best to all his dear ones......Kay Fischer
his Life

Chapter 1: The Walk to the Ambassador Bridge

The Walk to the Ambassador Bridge
By Alfred Hyams
I was born in Windsor, Ontario on Jan. 22nd, 1929.  It was at the height of the Depression and according to the news, people were jumping out of Windows in high buildings---For years I thought they did this because they had heard of my birth.

My father was a newspaper man for several newspapers including the Windsor Star and while he wrote well, it was not an easy time for such an occupation.  When time permitted, my dad and my mother would walk my older brother, Dave, and I to the park underneath the Ambassador Bridge.  On the way down Sandwich Street West, we passed a grocery that sold candy.  For a penny, the amount of money given each of us, one could buy a Holloway sucker which would last for the entire trip if it was sucked slowly.

Chapter 2: The General Brock School

The General Brock School
By Alfred Hyams
Not far from our house in Windsor was the General Brock School---An elementary with grades K-6.  It was here that I learned a painful lesson.  It happened in the 3rd grade.  One day late in the afternoon my teacher, whose last name began with an "m", told the class that after completing a handwriting assignment we could go outside for recess.  Hearing this good news, I wrote as fast as I could and went up to her desk for a grade.  Mrs. "M" looked at my paper and remarked, "Alfred, is this your best work?"  I replied in a low and shaky voice, "No, Mrs. 'M', it is not."  Picking up her wooden ruler she said, "Hold out your hand!"  I did this very slowly because I knew what was coming.  With no hesitation she gave me three hard 'whacks' on my palm that brought tears to my eyes.  She then said, "In the future, Alfred, always do your best work.  Now go sit down and do the lesson over.  There will be no recess for you today."

I thought that she was very unfair because if she hadn't mentioned 'recess' there would have been no problem, as my handwriting was quite good.  I should mention that back in the '30s corporal punishment was allowed in the Canadian public schools.

Chapter 3: Across the Bridge to Detroit

Across the Bridge to Detroit
By Alfred Hyams
Anyone who happens to read this will probably find it unbelievable, but on my Boy Scouts' honor it's true.  In 1937 my parents decided for financial reasons to relocate to Detroit and live with my grandparents Annie and Harry Ruda in a two story apartment on Euclid Avenue.  We had no car so we walked across the Ambassador Bridge, pushing a baby carriage in which my sister, Sue, slept unaware that she was an accomplice to a minor crime.  For under her blanket was a "Sparkey," our small Fox Terrier dog.  Sparkey would have been denied entry into the U. S. for we had no proof of rabies shots. It amazed us to this day that "Sparkey" was not discovered at the border.  Since my mother had been born in the U. S., we were allowed entry.
Recent stories

Al and Gerry's  Anniversary Book (1957 to 2020) - November 2nd, 1957 - Our Wedding Day (We Eloped)

Shared by The Hyams Family on June 22, 2021
Alfred, the hopeless romantic we all knew and loved, kept a book documenting every anniversary Gerry and Al celebrated.  This book is a collection of details for each anniversary they had and is a lovely testament to their love throughout the years.  Gerry is sending these stories to me to post for her, and we will be posting more stories from this book as time progresses.  Enjoy!

From Al and Gerry's Anniversary Book (1957-2020)
November 2nd, 1957 - Our Wedding Day (We Eloped)
By Al and Gerry Hyams
We left Southfield on a bright and sunny morning on November 2nd, 1957.  At that time, Al was living with his mother and his brother, David.  Al was 28 years old.

We decided to elope, and Al left a note to his mother indicating that she would soon have a new daughter-in-law...Me!  At the time, only two people knew that we were getting married.  One of our mutual friends from the American Youth Hostels and the secretary, Sheila Mahoney, were the only people that knew we were headed off to get married.  We were all on the staff of the American Youth Hostels and decided it wasn't necessary to share with everyone else there.

We drove to Angola, Indiana to perform the ceremony.  We found the Secretary of State's office upstairs over the local drug store.  Al asked her what the cost would be to get married.  She answered saying that it was either $5 or $10.  He asked what the difference was, and she didn't have an answer, so, Al said "I'll take the $5 fee then!"  We all had a good laugh!

We spent our wedding night at the Pokagon State Park in the Potawatomi Inn.  It was lovely and very romantic.  When we began our journey to return home the following day.  We decided to stop at a Wyn Schulers restaurant in Marshall, MI for dinner.  I had delicious lobster tails,, and Al had a great big steak.  It was a great way to start our marriage of 63 years!

Upon our return, Al and I decided to live together in my apartment in Lincoln Park, MI.  It was a nice duplex that I had lived previously in with my sister before she was married.

Al and I continued to work for American Youth Hostels until 1960 when Al finished college and started teaching in the Detroit school system.

Our families supported our marriage even though we eloped.  We had many celebrations after our marriage with family and friends to celebrate our union.  We had a wonderful 63 years full of love and laughs.  More anniversary adventure stories to come!!

Al's Favorite Coleslaw Recipe (9-Day Slaw)

Shared by The Hyams Family on June 10, 2021
This recipe was one of Al's favorite coleslaws.
It is easy to prepare, and lasts a long time in the fridge.  Enjoy!!

9-Day Slaw
Given to Gerry Hyams by Fran Shook
Ingredients:

Salad
1 head cabbage, shredded
4 ribs of celery, chopped fine
2 medium or 1 large red onion, chopped fine
1 green bell pepper, chopped
½ red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup of sugar
Dressing
½ cup of vegetable or salad oil
½ cup of cider vinegar (any vinegar will work, but apple cider vinegar is best)
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
Directions:
  1. Combine cabbage, celery, onions, bell peppers, and sugar in a large container and mix well so the sugar coats all the vegetables.  Set aside.
  2. Combine dressing ingredients in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar/salt.
  3. Immediately pour hot dressing over cabbage mixture, allow to cool and mix well.
  4. Cover and store in the refrigerator at least a day before serving.
  5. Coleslaw will stay crisp and fresh for 9 days or more if there is any left!
**Note you can add more spices/vegetables if you would like.  I personally add a bit more bell peppers (red, yellow, orange), chopped carrots, fresh cracked pepper and a tablespoon of dried celery seed.

Alfred

Shared by Eleanor Yastik on June 6, 2021
Al has been part of my life since my sister Gerry married Al.  I do not even remember the year that took place.  Not only did I acquire a new family member, along with Al came Mom Gertrude, the driving force of the Hyams family.  David, Sue & Simpson, and Charlotte.  Each one an additional interesting personality.  The addition of their own children, Roger and Eric, opened another chapter in their life.  

There are so many wonderful memories.  Metzger family/Hyams family gatherings in the Woodburn back yard, at the Yastik's, the Tony Metzger Sr. home, Eric & Stacey's home and at the campsite in Frankfort. 

Al was a busy person,  He always had some sort of interesting project he invested much of his spare time in.  I remember him doing a science show that he took on the road.  It was very popular in the schools and in much demand.  Pictures were a large part of his time well spent.  We never tired of watching slides taken from the latest travels he and Gerry and boys took.   The camera was always along with them.

After their move to Frankfort, our visits there always included a "mystery" trip to the many interesting places in the area.  Usually with a stop at an ice cream shop as a happy ending.  Al knew where all the good shops were.

Gerry and Al had a wonderful life together.  Not many couples are given the years they were able to spend together.  I consider them lucky to have met and made their life so successful.
They were truly blessed.