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Outline

  • Rural to city
  • Canada to US
  • Farmer to seller to farmer
  • From father of 8 to lonely man

Memorial Author 

  • Michael
  • Montreal, Quebec, CA

Date

  • Fri, 17 Mar 2023November 2016
  • Edited: January 2023
Author

Victor Richard Ehlert: Handsome, Distorted, Human

Community

Education

  • Magrath Public School
  • GED Diploma 1960s

Career

  • Military, 1941-194? (WW2)
  • Irrigation farmer, cattle rancher
  • Farm implement sales
  • Real estate agent

Memorials

  • Family, 2016 Dec 5, Lethbridge, Alberta

Public Obituary

Links

Family

Life

Born

  • 1920 December 6
  • Raymond, Alberta, CA

Lived

  • Alberta & British Columbia
  • Washington State

Died

  • 2016 November 30
  • Fort MacLeod, Alberta, CA

Father

  • Paul Ehlert
  • 189x-1976?
  • East Prussia

Mother

  • Winnifred Reed
  • 188x-1982?
  • Alberta, Canada

4 siblings

Elodie Ada Gibb

  • 1941-1978
  • Married, Cardston
  • Divorced, Spokane

6 sons, 2 daughters

Lonabel

  • 198x-200x
  • Married, Quincy
  • Divorced, Quincy

No children

Activities:

He fled the German-disciplined home at 16, was his own man ever since; defended his birth country against his ancestral Fatherland; always a farmer who had a way with animals yet loved his horses most; could operate and repair his farm equipment and fabricate most any needed part; quick to tears and bluster with family and animal; viewed everyone as a friend especially a traveler in need while seemingly being unable or unwilling to nurture his personal relationships.

Photo Credit

Michael

“Handsome,” my businesswoman wife noted when she saw [the Calgary] picture.  I trust her judgement more than my sisters’.  She expertly deflected his suggestive pleasantries.  He had aged 14 years by the time his 40-year old self met me 55 years ago.  Taken in Calgary shortly after his return from WWII, he used the picture to request work.  Eventually, he returned to a Magrath farm to build a house for his wife and growing family.


Early in the previous century, his father’s family joined the Mormons farming Alberta’s fertile lands.  The farmlands and schools of Magrath, Glenwood, and Hillspring, took his youth, before he fled the German-disciplined home at 16 to herd cattle through Montana’s wilds.  When the Royal Canadian Army called, Private Ehlert marched toward the Fatherland with the MotorcycleProvincialCorps collecting dead bodies.


Eventually, Washington’s newly irrigated Columbia Basin farmland beckoned.  He hired out his tractor and brawn for a decade around Moses Lake, until a loan secured 250 acres along the Eastern Low Canal near Warden.


Another daughter and three sons mirrored his four Canadian-born children, and fostered boasts of equal patriotism to both countries.  The Ehlert boys competed well in sports, only after completing the milking and irrigating the crops; while the girls earned royalty crowns, to the chagrin of the town’s heirs apparent.  Two immigrant sons were conscripted, with one serving during Vietnam.


As his youngest, I never saw this sharply-dressed youthfully striding man.  Farming and ranching weathered his face; dragging strong-willed sons into the fields and from the jails furrowed his brow; while providing for 10 souls tattered his clothes.  The need for Church welfare when the sugar beet prices bottomed crippled his pronounced independence, even shattered his faith.  Or maybe it was the subsequent low-yielding farm auction, the 36-year marriage dissolution, or the recovered memory abuse accusations.  Whatever the reason, the confidently striding man had been ground down like a tine on his harrow.


The ready smile remained through it all, even as his gait slowed under the patient care of staff at Fort MacLeod's Extended Care facility.  He took his last breath during a morning rest; and five days later, by a tender press on the worn red button, I ignited the flame that turned his remains to dust.  After the springthaw,he will fertilizeMagrath's soil once again when we return his dust to whence it came.

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