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1929 AJ 2016

AJ Pfeifer

March 11, 1929 — March 3, 2016

Aloysius Joseph “AJ” Pfeifer, age 86, a long time Park Rapids, MN area resident, peacefully entered his eternal home in Heaven on Thursday, March 3, 2016, at the Heritage Living Center in Park Rapids surrounded by his loved ones. AJ was born at home on March 11, 1929 to Frank and Helen (Schroeder) Pfeifer on his parent’s farm in Savannah Township of Becker County northwest of Two Inlets, MN. He attended country school in Savannah Township just ¾ of a mile from his boyhood farm. He went on to attend high school in Park Rapids from where he graduated with the Class of 1948. At a young age, AJ had developed a skilled hand with horses and enjoyed working with his teams skidding logs, ice blocks off of Boot Lake and even took a year off of high school to stay home to cut and skid logs with his team of horses to help his parents build a new barn. He continued to help on the farm until September of 1951 when he entered the United States Navy. He went to basic training at Great Lakes, IL and then was transferred to Little Creek, VA where he became a member of the amphibious forces. He served aboard the USS Gordious ARL 36 where he was trained as an electrician and served in the repair department electrical division for 18 months. He was transferred to the USS Randall APA 224. During his 4 year stint in the Navy he was asked to be part of the supporting cast for a movie that was filmed on one of his ships in the Atlantic starring Clint Eastwood and Jeff Chandler called “Away All Boats” His celebrity came from yelling “It’s a fight, it’s a fight”. In September of 1955, he received his honorable discharge and returned to Park Rapids. He began an electrical apprenticeship with Vern’s radio and Electric. On September 15, 1956, AJ was united in marriage to Helen F. Hughes at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Two Inlets. This union was blessed with six children. After successfully completing his Class A Journeyman’s test, he began a career with the Honeywell Corporation in March of 1960 which spanned over 27 years until his retirement in 1987. During those years, AJ and Helen made their home in Crystal, MN where AJ was very involved in his children’s activities, serving as a youth football and baseball coach and as a boy scout troop leader. He also nurtured his love for farming by raising a fruitful apple orchard, plum trees and a grape vineyard. After AJ’s retirement, they returned to their farm northwest of Two Inlets where his two sons: Paul and Lyle were already engaged in dairy farming. For many years, AJ enjoyed farming with his sons. He especially enjoyed putting up hay with the hay crew and caring for their livestock until retiring from farming in 2008. His love for and skill with working with horses again found its way into AJ’s life as he used a team of horses to pull logs out of the tamarac swamps for building a new hay shed, fence posts, firewood and would even use 4 horses side by side to haul hay out to his cattle during the cold months without having to start a tractor. He shared that love of horses with his daughter Rita and his granddaughters. AJ was a very faithful member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Two Inlets where he assisted the priests with masses for many years. AJ loved the out doors and enjoyed hunting or just walking through the large forests that surrounded his farm. He loved sports and became a stalwart Green Bay Packer Fan long before the Vikings became a team. He also enjoyed the MN Twins. AJ will be lovingly remembered by his two daughters: Rita (Royce) Holland and Lisa (Dan) Avenson all of Park Rapids; his four sons: Paul (Julie) Pfeifer of Park Rapids, Mark Pfeifer of Pine City, Lyle (Tammy) Pfeifer of Park Rapids and Glen (Amanda) Pfeifer of Twin Valley, MN; 14 grandchildren; 12 great grandchildren; a sister, Theresa Denio of Eagle, WI; a sister in law, Helen Pfeifer of Moorhead, MN; as well as many nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends. He was preceded in death by his precious wife, Helen who died in Dec. of 2015; 4 brothers: Conrad, Ed, Raymond and Lawrence and 5 sisters: Regina, Margaret, Helene, Ann and Agnes. Funeral mass will be held 11 AM Saturday, March 12, 2016 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Two Inlets with Father Thomas Friedl officiating. The organist will be Mary Schmitz and St. Mary’s Choir will lead the music. The casket bearers will be: Rita Holland, Lisa Avenson, Mark Pfeifer, Lyle Pfeifer, Scott Pfeifer, Shawn Pfeifer, Dillon Altepeter and Tyler Pfeifer. The honorary casket bearers will be the members of the haying crew: Stephanie Bozovsky, Stacy Pfeifer, Tammy Pfeifer, Bobby Hammond, Adam Hensel, Anthony Hensel, and Katie Juntunen. Military honors will be conducted by the Star of The North Marine Corps League. Interment will be made near his farm at the Lakeside Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 PM Friday, March 11, 2016 at the Jones-Pearson Funeral Home in Park Rapids and will continue at the church on Saturday beginning one hour prior to the service. A luncheon will be provided for all following the funeral ceremony. To leave online condolences or to view the video tribute please visit www.jonespearson.com
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