Alan (“Captain Al”) Spievak passed away peacefully in Santa Barbara on Jan. 13, 2018, with his loving and supportive wife, Nelly Spievak, by his side and holding his hand to the end. Al passed a year after suffering a debilitating stroke.
Al was born Aug. 14, 1942, in Los Angeles to Louis (“Red”) and Elsie Spievak and grew up in Cheviot Hills with his sisters, Marilyn and Sherry. He attended Santa Monica City College and San Fernando College of Law. Al was married to Danleigh Sarnoff in 1962, with whom he had two sons, Matthew and Jason. Al later married Nelly, the light and love of his life, in 1978. They built a wonderful life together and retired to Atascadero in 2007. They bought their dream home, planted an orchard of fruit trees for friends and grandkids, and enjoyed the perks of being out of the big city.
Al loved spending time with his family, fishing, walking his dogs Salty and Mako, helping his neighbors, and being out on the ocean. He was a great cook and a barbecue master. Al had a quick wit and a great sense of humor. He always had a joke, and he always knew how to make you laugh. He was a sweet and kind man who scooped you up in his hugs and made you feel like the most important person in the world. He preferred large gatherings with family and long-time friends to almost anything else. He enjoyed spending time with his sons and grandkids at his home in Atascadero watching football or basketball, BBQing, and long walks with the dogs on the beach.
Al was an entrepreneur in the truest sense of the word. His career spanned from the computer business to the clothing business to textiles to towing and trucking to restaurants to ship captain. He launched more than a dozen businesses and helped create many jobs over his career. Perhaps the most fun he had in business was as the founder of the Chicken Shack barbecue restaurant in West LA. He was an official ship captain for Ship Services out of Long Beach. Upon his “retirement” in Atascadero, he was still pouring wine, driving Uber wine tours in Paso Robles, and starting a charter fishing business in Morro Bay.
Al is survived by his wife, Nelly, his loyal dog Mako, sons, Matthew Spievak and Jason Spievak, and stepson, John Stanley, as well as his sister, Marilyn Brodwick, three daughters-in-law, several grandchildren whom he adored and who adored him, and many, many friends. Captain Al left a big wake in life, and we are already missing his laugh and his cooking!