Alfred “Al” Leo Kiemele, 90, a local farmer, passed away peacefully on Sunday evening, May 17, 2009, at Northern Montana Hospital.
His funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Thursday, May 21, 2009, at the 5th Avenue Christian Church, with Rowlie Hutton officiating. Burial will follow at the Highland Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to the 5th Avenue Christian Church. Services have been entrusted to Holland & Bonine Funeral Home. Al was born to Fred and Margaret (Schweigert) Kiemele in Box Elder on Nov. 28, 1918. He grew up on the family farm and ranch five miles west of Laredo. Not only did Al and his family farm and ranch, but they also owned and operated the Bear Paw Hotel and Bar in Box Elder. Al graduated from Box Elder High School and traveled to Washington to be a welder on the U.S. Naval ships. He later returned to the farm and met the love of his life, Martha. Al married Martha Pester on Feb. 3, 1949, at the 6th Ave Christian Church. Together they farmed and raised three children. The farm and his family were Alfred’s life. He was very proud to be German and instilled hardworking values on his family. He was also very proud to be part of his church, the 6th Avenue and now the 5th Avenue Christian Church. A devoted Christian, Al even had communion at his home until his passing. Alfred was quite the social type and could strike up a conversation with anyone. Retirement as most people imagine was not in Al’s vocabulary. Even when he could no longer physically farm, he still kept up to date of the weather, markets and farming operations. Al was a born entrepreneur. Aside from farming and ranching, he also was a Realtor and insurance agent. He finally gave up his Realtor’s license in his early ’80s. Al was a member of the 5th Avenue Christian Church, Elks, Eagles and a devout Republican. He was active in the Hill County Soil Conservation District. Al enjoyed fishing, dancing and traveling to other countries with his wife and many friends. In later years Al and Martha spent their winters in Mesa, Ariz. Al had a wonderful life and will be missed dearly by his many friends and family. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, William “Bill” Kiemele, and sister, Elma Bartlett. Al is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Martha Pester Kiemele; son, Ken (Linda) Kiemele of Havre; daughters, Diane (Mike) Rampelberg of Kuna, Idaho, and Colleen Kiemele (Tom Toman) of Missoula; a sister, Bertha Bitz of Big Sandy and Great Falls; grandchildren, Cathy (Brad) Gregoire and Cindy (Kelly) Brandon of Havre, Thomas Rampleberg of San Jose, Calif., Natalie Storey of the country Jordan, Stephanie Storey of New York and Matt Storey of Missoula. He is also survived by great-grandchildren, Nate, Mason, Macy and Tyson of Havre. He is also survived by his wonderful caregivers who made it possible for him to stay in his home for the last three years.