“The harder I work, the luckier I get”. This was one of the quotes that Alf lived by.
Alfred Stanley King was born on March 31st, 1925 on Sec 19, Tp4, Rge11, W3rd, south of Val Marie, Saskatchewan, to a young farming couple, Stanley and Molly King, he had one older brother, Gordon and two younger sisters, Lily and Betty.
Even as a boy, Alf was very ambitious. He caught gophers with his dog, trapped weasels and muskrats and sold the gopher tails and pelts. He saved up to buy a violin from Eaton’s and taught himself to play. His family was happy he practiced in the barn. Alf played for many dances in and around Hazel Dell and Preeceville, Sask. He was proud of his dog team that he trained to pull a sled.
At 15 years of age, Alf walked to the White Spruce Lumber camp in Northern Sask. There began his career in logging. During the war, and not being old enough to go, he was one of the few young men left behind and helped many neighbours and friends on their farms.
In 1945 he married Florence Gowan in Preeceville. In 1948 his first son, Kenneth was born.
In the early 50’s, while working in Broadview, Sask. clearing land, he met Audrey Ostlund. He moved to Quesnel, B.C. with Audrey’s brother, Lockie Ostlund and they began logging. Alf and Audrey were married in 1955. He moved her to Quesnel where four more children, Kelly, Candace, Kevin and Colleen were born.
In 1962, Alf was in a serious accident where he almost lost his life. He always gave credit to Doc Holley for saving him and was very proud of his seven ‘belly buttons’ he had as a result of surgeries.
A.S. King Logging Ltd. was one of the largest logging operations in B.C. due to the great crew of men he employed. All his company’s Ford vehicles were very identifiable as they were all ordered in bright orange and black colours.
In 1967 he built a house in Johnston Subdivision. He had 2 lots on Ten Mile Lake, which he received from Stan Bjornson in trade for putting in the road to the lake. There he had a family cabin built. Many weekends and summers were spent boating, swimming, fishing, water skiing, snowmobiling and sharing time with family and friends. Many will remember Alf wearing his bright Hawaiian shirts and big straw hat.
Alf and his mechanic redesigned an International Harvester machine to get more airflow to the engine. The IH team from the U.S. flew to Quesnel in their private plane to learn how to redesign their machine for future production.
Alf enjoyed travelling. There were many family vacations out to the country, annual summer road trips to Sask., trips with friends to southern Alberta for geese and duck hunting, and vacations in Hawaii.
As one of the Pioneer logging and road construction contractors in the area, he also partnered with Hank Dressler and Cy Patchett in a sawmill that was located at the current Rona site. The mill was later sold to West Fraser Mills.
In 1978, Alf found and purchased his dream ranch. He raised registered polled Hereford and commercial cattle. Grain and hay production kept him busy between cattle shows where he won many awards. In 1985 he moved to the ranch and became a full time rancher. He returned to the peaceful farm life that he enjoyed as a young man.
In 1988 he married Maureen Wertz and together they operated the MK Ranch. Times were lean, but he was always confident they would get better with hard work, and he was right. He has taught us all about survival in hard times.
Alf also taught himself to play the mandolin and continued to play his instruments almost every morning. Occasionally Alf, Maureen and friends played at Dunrovin, to entertain the residents. He enjoyed picking wild berries and could fix and repair just about anything. His measurements would sometimes be length of grass, of perhaps the size of a finger, but most cases, always exact, to the surprise of many.
He enjoyed his family and loved spending time with children. He leaves behind his wife, Maureen, sister Betty; children, Ken (Wendy), Kelly (Teresa), Candace (Gerald), Kevin (Rosemary) Colleen (Rick); stepchildren Al (Brigid), Sheryl (Barry), 18 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Alf was committed to hard work and never really retired. In the past he belonged to many community organizations and was respected by those who worked for him, those he did business with, friends and family. He touched many people in his 84 years. Alf’s life ended suddenly in a violent storm called a microburst on Monday, July 13th, 2009. Only something of this magnitude could have taken him from us. His ashes remain on the farm he loved.
Thank you to all our Friends and Family for their support during this difficult time.
Lovingly Remembered, Sadly Missed.