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The Mountaineer - Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, Canada
© 2007 The Mountaineer Publishing Company Limited.


Kenneth Benedikt Stephanson
July 5, 1947 – June 18, 2020

Ken Stephanson, known far and wide by the nickname “Sparky,” left us on the morning of Thursday, June 18, 2020.
He was born on July 5, 1947, to Cecil and Fretha (Dolly) Stephanson at the Innisfail hospital and brought home to the farm at Markerville, to join older brother, Stewart. The family was complete nine years later when Ron was born.
At the age of two, Ken started his travelling adventures. Without the knowledge of his parents, he went walk-about, making it all the way out the lane and then south to the intersection east of Stephansson House and Hola School. Here he was found and picked up by his Aunt Lily and Uncle August Seifried and safely returned to a frantic family. After that, his life was one big adventure. He travelled often to Britain and to Europe, and later his work took him all over the world.
Ken grew up attending schools at Hola, Markerville, and Spruce View. He left the hallowed halls of learning a bit early to go to work for Heathfield and Hilderman Electric at Spruce View. The shop had a contract with AGT to install the then new “dial” telephones and put lines underground all over rural Alberta, so at the age of 16, Ken was on a crew installing telephones. Many years of experience taught him the electrical trade. He resided in Spruce View and began the long association with the company. He eventually took over the shop and operated it under the name Spruce View Electric.
Ken eventually left the Spruce View business, but the trades were always his forte. After the age of 40, he apprenticed to obtain his plumbing and gas fitting certificates, doing very well in the classes and exams. He moved back to the farm at Markerville, and in 1992, he built his log home.
His training led to work in B.C. at Kemano, North slopes of Alaska, overseas in Russia and in the jungles of South America. He closed out his active working days as an instrumentation technician in the shop for Mactronic in Red Deer. Even in retirement he kept busy while his health allowed, responding to service work in a large area, most often on water well issues. Even after mobility kept him grounded, he was still fielding calls and advising, often for cases where he had done the original installation.
Ken especially loved visiting with friends. He liked to curl, he was active in the Benalto Elks, assisting at functions, but he loved to go hunting for big game. When he was 23, he took a record size elk, at 19 a pronghorn antelope trophy, as well as many excellent deer trophies over the years. He loved nothing better than a drive out west, especially to the Ya-Ha-Tinda Ranch, looking for elk and breathing the mountain air.
Sparky was a walking encyclopedia about the community, places, events, who lived where and when and what their characters were. He was one of those characters in his community. He was loved and visited by many friends and neighbours who have always been ready to assist, during these past few years while Ken suffered from declining health. The family thanks them immensely for all their attention and support.
Ken Stephanson is survived by his older brother, Stewart, of Rocky Mountain House, his wife Jean and their daughters, Bonnie and Joy; and grandson, Lucas; by his younger brother, Ron and his wife Rose, of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He will be fondly remembered and missed by many cousins and a multitude of friends from around the country.
As per Ken’s wishes, he will be cremated and eventually find his way to be with Mom and Dad in the family cemetery. When the pandemic has passed and the family can be at home and people can gather, we hope to celebrate Ken’s life. Meanwhile, Ken is off on another adventure.
Condolences can be sent or viewed at Rocky Funeral Home, www.rockyfuneralhome.ca.
Rocky and Sylvan Lake Funeral Homes and Crematorium, your Golden Rule Funeral Homes, entrusted with the arrangements. 403-845-2626.