Traverse City Record-Eagle

Obituaries

May 18, 2014

Alvin Thorwald Lien

TRAVERSE CITY — Al Lien entered this world on March 22, 1943, the youngest of three children, and left it on April 21, 2014, due to a tragic accident.

He is survived by his son, Christian Eric; grandson, Spencer; and two sisters, Alouise and Bobbie.

From the beginning Al was a handful – intelligent, independent and always doing things his own way. His many interests led to him having had various careers and adventures throughout his life.

Al married, fathered a son, spent two years in college and divorced – all during the ‘60s.

He worked for a finance company in the Chicago area and then for a sign company. He once owned a florist shop and a typesetting business.

A Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) member for many years, he enjoyed racing cars.

Al attended Second City in Chicago for two years and then moved to Wilmington, N.C., where he became even more involved in acting and the arts, his true passion. He was always supporting “starving artists,” buying their work whenever he could to help them get by.

In the 1990s Al moved to Traverse City to live with his ex-wife, with whom he had maintained a good friendship. He immediately began volunteering with the Old Town Playhouse building sets and soon he was acting and directing. As a director Al was always willing to give the unknown “new kid” a chance to act. Recognizing the importance of community service, Al joined the Democratic Party and served on the Elmwood Township Board of Review as well as on the board of the Leelanau Players. He was also a member of the Leelanau Readers group.

Known as “Alien” (only half-jokingly), Al was ornery, irascible, opinionated and determined, yet his big heart, irresistible charm and desire to help out whenever he could made him well-loved.

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