July 18, 1926 Steinbach (Friedensfeld), MB, to December 8, 2016 Didsbury, AB.
Loving husband to wife Ida (nee Freier) and father to six children: Helga (Dan), Linda (Terry), David, Mark, Timothy (Tammy), and Ronald. Alfred also was grandfather to 12 grandchildren (one deceased) and he was great-grandfather to seven.
Alfred was born in the family farmhouse in the Friedensfeld District to Emil and Anna (Zelmer) Kihn. He was one of 11 children (seven boys, four girls) born to German immigrants who had arrived a decade earlier.
Alfred is survived by one brother: Walter, Emerson, MB; and three sisters: Pauline Marshall (Ernie), Binscarth, MB; Caroline Freier (Alvin), Binscarth; and Rosina Volkenant (David), Tolstoi, MB.
Alfred was pre-deceased by his parents, and brothers Martin, Joseph, Leopold, Theofield, Eduard, and a sister, Helena.
After grade school in Friedensfeld, Alfred worked on the family farm. He took extra duties helping out neighbours. In his later teens, he headed to northwest Ontario’s forests to labour in bush camps, cutting and hauling logs for the lumber and pulp and paper industries.
In spring1944, he answered the Draft Notice for WWII recruits, and made his way to Winnipeg for his medical exam. Since the war was almost over, he and many other farmboys were sent home immediately to plant the spring crops.
While working in Dryden, ON, Alfred met Ida on a Sunday morning at Our Saviour Lutheran Church. They married on April 22, 1955 and they began a family in Dryden. Alfred ran his trucking business hauling pulpwood for Dryden Paper. Six children and 12 years later in March, 1967, they moved to a Basswood, MB, grain and beef cattle farm.In 1978, they moved to Creston, BC, where Alfred again got involved in the lumber industry. In 1989, Alfred and Ida re-located to Didsbury for retirement and to be nearer to their children.
Alfred was always active in his Lutheran Church, whether as Sunday School trustee, serving on a church board, as elder or usher, or in his later years, as the most dedicated snow-blower and lawn-mower operator in Didsbury. He was always around Redeemer Lutheran Church.
His talents were hands-on skill and determination to fix a bulldozer in the harsh Ontario northwoods at -30C; instinct to seek out the best blueberry or saskatoon patches – and then have the patience to pick the wild fruit; and inventiveness plus a “can do” attitude to repair and upgrade heavy equipment and farm machinery.
Alfred enjoyed growing things: wheat on the Basswood farm, apples in Creston, and his huge Didsbury potato patch.
As a child, Alfred experienced the Great Depression and survived. Those 10 desperate years shaped his character: nothing wasted, always save for tomorrow, and work hard without hesitation. One of his favourite sayings was “Work is its own reward.”
Alfred’s last two years were lived out at the Bethany Care Centre where he struggled with dementia. After several falls and with the resulting pain, our good Lord chose to call him Home.
His funeral was held December 13, 2016 at Redeemer Lutheran Church, with Pastor Darren Dressler and Vicar Scott Brayall presiding.
Alfred was buried in the Didsbury Cemetery.
Memorial gifts (tax receiptable) may be made to Redeemer Lutheran Church, Box 487, Didsbury, Alberta T0M 0W0.