Gerald Kinchen Gerald Herbert Kinchen was born on the SE 17-9-2 W3 north of Limerick, SK to parents Alex and Effie (Stratton) Kinchen. Gerald grew up with older brothers Elwood and Lorne and younger siblings Norman and Margaret. He attended Orinoco country school until Grade 9 at which time he started farming with his dad. In 1953 he bought a half section of land from Grandpa Joseph Percival Kinchen. This gave the family and in particular, Gerald, the great distinction in 2019 of receiving the Century Family Farm Award. In the mid 50’s Gerald met a young red-headed lass working at the Co-op grocery store. Shirley Annetts was an import from Nottingham, SK. They fell in love and were married on June 28, 1955, at the Assiniboia United Church. In 1955 Gerald bought a house and had it moved to NW 5-9-2 W3. It was a blank canvas of farmland waiting for an ambitious young couple to begin farm life. Sacred trees were planted, outbuildings added, and a garden planted. Alex Kinchen, the local well witcher, found the precious water. Pigs, cows, and chickens were added constituting a mixed farm. Gerald was a very involved community member: part of the group to put up the arch rib skating rink in 1967, a member of the Rink Board, Hall Board, 49ers Club, helped at Slow Pitch and other numerous community activities. Involvement in his eyes was integral to a thriving community. In 1956 the first child arrived, Dianne. To the brood-more Darlings arrived: Shannon (1958), Nancy (1962)-deceased at childbirth, Bradly (1963), Norman (1966) and Dean (1968). Gerald and Shirley nourished and loved and supported their family with great values, work ethics, rock picking, hoeing, gopher trapping, thistle houses and pig rodeos as any fantastic parents might. Gerald was a farmer up for the long haul. He never wavered through tough times. He pursued and loved every waking moment. He chose to grow wheat, oats, durum, and barley. Gerald was born to be a farmer. He was thorough, diligent, hardworking, and timely to cultivate, spray, seed, and the just reward: the harvest. And so, God made a FARMER. Gerald took over the NW bus route for Limerick School from his dad in 1970. He drove that same route for 33 years completing his last mile in 2003. His love of children and his firm, but fair principles gave him a student’s admiration. Gerald was a lover of music. He played piano in a family band. He had rhythm and was a fantastic smooth dancer. He particularly liked country fiddle music and one of his favorite singers was red head-Reba McIntyre. Gerald was a man who could build anything out of wood and metal – a table and set of 2 chairs for his daughters, a one-wheeled rod-weeder for Shirley to use in the garden. He could fix darn near anything and as a farmer a strong necessity. He and his neighbors spent many hours dismantling old granaries and houses, so they had lumber to rebuild with. 100% recycling. The children got good at nail pulling. In 1992 Gerald and Shirley bought a newer 3-bedroom house and had it moved to Limerick. Norman and his Family were now living on the NW 5-9-2- W3. Gerald was still very much an integral part of daily farming practices and drove out on a daily basis. Gerald and Shirley enjoyed new town neighbors and the closeness of amenities. The family had grown and now included grandchildren and holiday celebrations were always at Limerick. It is a true testament of the Love and devotion of Family. Some of Gerald’s favorite past times consisted of: the Sunday family crop checking drive, cards with anyone who could hold them, chatting and engaging with whoever-where ever, good food, horseshoes, time with family, neighbors and friends. In 2010 Gerald suffered a blood clot in his right leg that would not dissolve. During the amputation of the leg, he suffered a massive heart attack. 2 weeks later a second amputation was performed, and recovery began. 3 weeks from the initial clot, he was recovering in Gravelbourg hospital. Hallelujah! Amen! Gerald adapted to his disability in a very short period of time using a walker and wheelchair. Shirley stood by his side and took a lead role. His upper body strength was a huge advantage. His only fear was that without his right leg he would be unable to drive. NOT GOOD!! He was required to take a driver’s test and passed with flying colours. Adaptations were made and support from loving caring family, friends and community members smoothed the way. Life carried on and he was able to drive the grain truck and tractor. He liked to call these last year’s 2010-2022 (his BONUS years). Gerald and Shirley moved in June 2021 to the Prairie Villa in Assiniboia. It was a new chapter with more senior friends, no cleaning, no sweeping, but with many activities including Bingo and lots of visiting. They adjusted. On Saturday, April 23rd Gerald was taken by ambulance to Assiniboia Hospital due to a blood pressure fluctuation. It was discovered that he had suffered a heart attack 4-5 days prior. 4-5 days prior when he had suffered the heart attack… his last remaining sibling, Elwood Kinchen of Weyburn, had passed away on Tuesday, April 19. Gerald had suffered complications from the heart attack but was being treated. Shirley and granddaughter Sarah visited the next morning and found him to be in good spirits, but weak. He was requesting ice cream. Dean and his wife Brenda visited in the afternoon and brought the ice cream. They had a lovely visit. A little while later farm and town neighbors and long-time friends – Michael and Carmen Cobbe paid a visit. They too had a joyous visit. A half-hour later the hospital staff checked in on Gerald and he had passed. As a Family, we like to think that in the still quiet moment of the glow from family and friends and food that God saw that he was tired and came to call him home. We were shocked and saddened, but rejoice that he had lived a long, fabulous life … so full of the love of family, friends, community, and farming. Just the way he wished it and wanted it to be. No regrets… only LOVE. Gerald will be forever remembered by his wife of 66 years Shirley (Annetts) Kinchen; daughter Dianne Kirby (Ivan Barber), granddaughter Nicole Kirby (Kyle Duchek), great-grandchildren Ezra, Astrid and Orion Duchek, granddaughter Katelyn Kirby (Kevin Durr); daughter Shannon Kinchen (Brian Dreger); son Bradly Kinchen; son Norman Kinchen, granddaughter Jenna (Cody) Hall, great-grandson Wilder, grandson Jared Kinchen; son Dean (Brenda) Kinchen, grandson Devon Kinchen, granddaughter Sarah Kinchen (Justin Thurlow); sisters-in-law Beatrice Annetts, Ruth Annetts; brothers-in-law Bert Annetts, Ziggie Stojanowski; and many nieces, nephews, and friends. Gerald was predeceased by his daughter Nancy Kinchen; parents Alex and Effie (Stratton) Kinchen; brothers Elwood (Marion), Lorne (Marj), Norman; sister Margaret (Bob) Alexander; father and mother-in-law Wilfred and Hattie (Kendall) Annetts; brothers and sisters-in-law Margaret (Roy) Shanks, Sarah (Stuart) Campbell, Martha (Ted) Burton, Bill (Ruth Kirkham) Annetts, Elaine (Carley) Annetts, Annie Stojanowski, Arthur Annetts, Ken Annetts, Marion (Graham) ) McIntyre; and a few nieces and nephews. Funeral Service was held on Tuesday, May 3, 2022, 2:00 pm, at the Trinity United Church, Limerick, SK, with Reverend Janelle Shaw officiant. Readers were Shannon Kinchen and Katelyn Kirby. Picture tribute by Nicole Kirby. Urn bearer was Dean Kinchen. Honorary pallbearers were “All of Gerald’s school bus kids”. Interment took place at Hillcrest Cemetery, Limerick, SK. Memorial tributes in memory of Gerald to the Limerick Centennial Park and the Limerick Centennial Rink, both c/o the Village of Limerick, Box 129, Limerick, SK S0H 2P0, were greatly appreciated. Online condolences can be shared at www.pichehawkinsgrondinfuneralchapels.ca
Published by Assiniboia Times from May 13 to Jun. 12, 2022.