Beloved husband, father, brother and friend, Arthur Karl Albright, passed away peacefully at home in Vancouver, WA on March 16, 2022. He was 56 years old when he finished his great race, having lived his last four years as a warrior battling Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS). Art was born on November 30, 1965 in Arcata, California to Robert and Roberta Albright, the youngest of eight children. He spent his early years in Trinidad, California and later in Longview, Washington, where he graduated from R.A. Long High School in 1985. In 1991 he graduated from Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Missions and Bible. He treasured his time at college and the lifelong friendships that were formed there.
After graduating from bible college, Art returned to Longview, WA and served as an associate pastor for seven years at Longview Bible Baptist Church. There he was loved by the many kids who he taught. He was quite a storyteller and they loved the “Billy and Bonnie” stories that he would create and tell. These stories were filled with adventure and great endings to learn from. He loved the kids as much as they loved him. While serving in the ministry Art also worked at Ross Simmons Hardwood of Longview. He later returned to school at Portland Community College in 1999 to advance his training in computer information systems and thereafter spent the next sixteen years in information technology. He retired from Legacy Hospitals in 2018.
Art loved his family. On September 17, 2000, he married the love of his life Angela Griffin. Together they were blessed to become parents to their son Andre, who he loved with all of his heart. Art enjoyed spending time with family and friends, attending church, visiting the ocean, going to fish hatcheries, building things, going on long road trips, camping, cooking, and watching anything science fiction. Very much an outdoors person, regardless of weather, he loved hiking the trails at Mount Adams, Mount Hood, Cape Lookout, Multnomah Falls, Silver Falls, and going to Montana. His most cherished spots were Ecola State Park and Cape Kiwanda where he would climb the sand dunes and sit and gaze out at the ocean. He enjoyed collecting coins, action figures, tools and he had quite the Lego collection. He could sit for hours listening to music, podcasts and audiobooks, and he loved shooting the breeze with good friends. He enjoyed a good garage sale and became a master at selling things himself. He gave of his heart and home as a foster parent, caring for and encouraging children who were in transition. He loved his church family and doing what he could to serve the Lord.
It was during the summer of 2017 that he began to notice weakness in his arms and shoulder. That following spring he received the devastating diagnosis of Lou Gehrig's disease, also known as “ALS”. Although this disease had slowed him down and removed all physical function, he refused to allow it to define him. He remained strong in spirit, very interested and interactive with others, no matter how difficult the terrain. He never complained and instead would often say, “Today is the best day that I am going to have.” He lived his life to its very fullest. Art smiled his beautiful smile just hours before he went home to be with Jesus on March 16, 2022.
Among those who knew and loved him, Art will be remembered as being one of a kind and a gentle giant. He loved his family very much. Very patient. A good friend. He was genuine and sincere, a gentle soul who had much to give, always there to lend a helping hand, and had a great sense of humor. He carried a tenderness of heart and positivity toward life that he shared with others. His favorite scripture was, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast; unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58. This verse describes Art’s heart and character, as he was strong, steady and committed in his faith and relationships with others and all that he set out to do.
Shortly before Art passed away, he wrote this special letter for all.
Dear Family and Friends,
There is so much that I want to share with you. I wish that there was more time that I could talk with you, to laugh together and share a meal. However, that time has passed. I want you to know that I love you.
As I look back on my life and the people I’ve met, I think about my friends while growing up. After moving to Longview from Arcata, California when I was thirteen years old, I went back to California one summer to visit my friend Dan. We were both fifteen years old at the time. It was then that my friend Dan and his family first shared with me about Jesus Christ. His mom had been praying for me. I had no idea how much Jesus would mean to me at the time.
I went back home to Longview and began reading the bible. It did not make any sense to me. I asked God to show me that He was for real. A few weeks later I met Pastor Lydick, while visiting my brother Matt at his apartment. Pastor Lydick invited me to church when Longview Bible Baptist Church had just started and was meeting in a VFW hall. I started attending the church and thought that I was a Christian. But, I had not yet accepted Christ into my life. Because my faith was not real, I soon stopped going to church and my life had fallen apart. After a series of bad decisions, my life was a mess. I knew that I needed to return to church, and after listening to many sermons on salvation and repentance, I doubted if I was going to heaven. I was in my bedroom in our apartment on Dover Street, and I read a gospel tract, “God’s Simple Plan of Salvation”. It shared with me what is called the “Romans Road”, showing scripture from the book of Romans. Point one, all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Point two, the wages of sin is death, separation from God. Point three, the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ. Point four, whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. At the end of the tract, there was a simple request to accept Jesus Christ and ask Him to come into your heart and forgive you of your sins. So, there in my bedroom while sitting on my bed, I prayed and accepted Jesus Christ and I asked Him to forgive me and to come into my heart. From that day forward, I found confidence that Christ saved me. I often think of John 10:29 where it says, “My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” Because of this, I felt secure in God’s grace.
I have a hope and peace that I will go to Heaven. I’ve had many ideas of what Heaven will be like. But I’m sure that it will be more than I can even imagine. As I have been going through ALS, I have had a peace about what God has for me. I have accepted His love and grace and a home in Heaven. I accept the path that I must walk. If it was not ALS, it would be something else, as we all must deal with our mortality. I have this strange peace and sometimes it doesn’t seem natural. I should be really scared. But I have this peace that I will soon be with Jesus. There in heaven I will have things explained and will meet old friends who have gone before me, and I will wait for my loved ones to join me there. I have always wondered if there are classes that you can take in Heaven, like, astrophysics, How does that really work? and history, How were the pyramids really built! What did the burning bush really look like? What did Solomon’s temple look like?
A part of having ALS, it has allowed me the time to think about the people who are in my life and to think about my own wishes. I picked out the songs for my funeral service, the location and who will help officiate. I want people to know that I care for them deeply and want the best for them. I want to tell them about Jesus and how much He means to me. I want to tell people that I will be waiting for them in Heaven. I want to tell people about the peace in my heart that God has given to me.
There is so much more that I have wanted to do. But I am thankful for all that I have been given. We have learned to love and we have learned to mourn. May God give you the peace that He has given to me.
Art will be greatly missed. We rejoice in knowing that he is now free and resting in the loving arms of his Lord and Savior.
He was preceded in death by his parents Robert and Roberta Albright, and is survived by his wife, Angie and son Andre, as well as his siblings Nancy Plum (John), Craig Albright (Teresa), Matt Albright, Karla Vaughn, Richard Albright (Keli), Alene Wilkinson (Skip), Vanessa Wormdahl (Randy), in-laws Richard and Gwyne Griffin, Michael Griffin, and many nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Life service was held on Saturday, April 9, 2022 at Steele Chapel, Longview Memorial Park, officiated by Pastor Daniel Lydick of Rocky Mountain Baptist Church, Kalispell, Montana.