Allen A. Ahlbrecht, 63

Allen Arvid Ahlbrecht, age 63, of Hector, died peacefully Wednesday, July 16, 2014, at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis following a short illness.

He was born Oct. 31, 1950, in Willmar, to Sonny and Molly (Markgraf) Ahlbrecht.

The third of five children, Allen spent his early years at the Lake Lillian school. In 1958, his family purchased land in Renville County and moved to what is now the Ahlbrecht family farm, northwest of Hector. Allen enjoyed working on the farm, taking care of the plants and animals, and working on the machinery.

He graduated from Hector High School in 1968, and attended Willmar Technical College for auto mechanics.

A conscientious objector, Allen spent several years working to avoid going to serve in the Vietnam War.

Al was married to Suzanne Willette June 19, 1970, at First Lutheran (now Gethsemane Lutheran) Church in Dassel. Al and Sue made their home on the family farm and had three children.

With blood, sweat, and tears, they salvaged a house which was set to be demolished, moving it to the farm. They became foster parents for Renville County and took care of over 30 foster children.

Working at times with the Hector chapter of the Humane Society, they also rescued numerous animals including orphaned raccoons, stray dogs, and kittens. Al put his heart and soul (and his thumb) into taking care of plants, animals, children, vehicles, and buildings. He held several other jobs over the years, but the farm remained his true home.

Allen was preceded in death by his mother, Amelia “Molly” Markgraf Ahlbrecht; his father, Otto “Sonny” Ahlbrecht, Jr.; brothers-in-law Paul Willette, Earl Rowland, and Roy Hodge; and many beloved aunts, uncles, and cousins.

He is survived by his ex-wife and best friend of 40 years, Suzanne Willette Ahlbrecht, and Suzanne’s parents, Wally and Dolores Willette, all of Litchfield; daughter Laurel Ahlbrecht and her children, Aleisha and Daniel, of Hutchinson; daughter Rebecca Ahlbrecht and granddaughter Samantha of St. Cloud; and son Allen J. Ahlbrecht, also of St. Cloud.

Allen is also survived by four sisters, Marlys Hodge of St. Paul, Sharon Rowland of Chouteau, OK, Beverly and husband Steve Steberg of Blaine, and Debra Wenz of Wheat Ridge, CO; nine nieces and nephews and their families; and countless other relatives and friends.

The funeral service took place Monday, July 21 at 10:30 a.m., at Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Dassel.

Visitation was Sunday, July 20 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Hughes-Hantge Chapel in Hector, and continued Monday one hour prior to the service at the church.

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