Al Vercoutere passed away at his home on Nov. 19, 2013. Al was born from French/ Belgian immigrants, Marcel and Augusta, in Grosse Pointe, Mich. on Oct. 28, 1922.
He served in the armed forces in Burma during World War II and was awarded two Bronze Medals. He graduated from University of Southern California in 1954 as an occupational therapist with post graduate work at USC and University of California Davis.
Al was a pioneer in opening up Atascadero State Hospital in 1954, where he was an occupational therapist and assistant supervisor of rehabilitation.
In 1960, he assumed the position of chief of rehabilitation services, program director and community liaison officer.
He was a faculty member of Ventura, Oxnard and San Fernando (Northridge) colleges, teaching supervision and management classes.
Al served on numerous boards, including Achievement House, Association of Mental Health and the Governor’s Advisory Board, Atascadero State Hospital. He was published in numerous college psychology text books with his collection of ‘pre-psychotropic’ drug artwork.
This collection was a result of treatments of patients during the 1950s.
Al met his wife Janice during a volunteer program at Camarillo Hospital. They married in December of 1973.
Al is survived by his wife, Janice; son, Phillip Vercoutere; daughter, Christine Scheurn (Ron); son, Jerry Scheurn; and granddaughters, Mackenzie Gromek and Cheyenne Scheurn. Extended family includes Rob Curtis (Karen), Charles Sawyer, foster daughter Sue Johnson, sister-in-law Carolyn Vercoutere, nephews and a niece.
Al was preceded in death by his son, David; daughter, Deborah and brother Marcel. Services will be at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 5318 Palma, Atascadero at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 27.
Service is under the direction of Chapel of the Roses, Atascadero.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the San Luis Symphony or St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.
For the complete article see the 11-22-2013 issue.
Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 11-22-2013 paper.