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Alvin Wirch

February 1, 1941 ~ November 29, 2021 (age 80)


"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." 2 Timothy 4:7

Alvin was born February 1, 1941, in the Cottage Hospital in Empress, AB to Ben and Hanna Wirch.  He passed away peacefully at the age of 80 in Medicine Hat, AB after a battle with cancer.

Alvin attended school in Empress and could speak only German when he first started school.  After school, while working as a surveyor in Northern Alberta, Alvin met Ethel Cook in 1963.  They were married on October 23, 1965 and made their home in Edmonton.  Alvin apprenticed as a welder and received the highest marks in Alberta for his program.  He worked for 10 years for CESSCO under the Boilermakers Branch and obtained many different tickets for different welding techniques.

In 1975, Alvin and Ethel moved to Empress and bought the Wirch family farm, which he farmed until retirement in 2004.  Justin and Jenelle joined the family in 1976 and 1978. 

Alvin loved farming and was an exceptionally hard worker.  He especially loved farming with Justin; teaching him about farming and how to drive the machinery.  In 1991, Alvin’s heart was broken at the loss of Justin and farming was never the same for him.

Alvin spent some time long-haul truck driving and saw lots of the Southwestern United States.  In 2015, Alvin and Ethel celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a trip to Australia and New Zealand.

After retirement in Medicine Hat, Alvin kept busy with his work at Paradise Valley Golf Course and was the “go-to fix-it guy” for over 10 years.  He was a Level 2 Icemaker and worked at the Medicine Hat Curling Club.  He also volunteered with Hope Street Church for over 10 years, helping to provide meals for the less fortunate.

Alvin had many passions and pursued each one with singular focus.  Over the years he learned and excelled at baseball, hockey, skiing, curling, golf, archery, sketching/drawing, photography, and dancing.  He also taught himself to play the guitar, fly kites, and cook. 

Alvin was well known for his creativity, stories, mischief and jokes.  Many of his nieces and nephews have stories about things Uncle Alvin said or did to tease them and make them laugh. 


Alvin is survived by his wife of 56 years, Ethel; his daughter, Jenelle (Patrick) Tutty; and his grandson, Alex Tutty.  He will also be missed by his sister, Darline Colbe; and his extended family of brothers and sisters-in-law, cousins, nieces, and nephews.   He was predeceased by his son Justin; his parents; and his brother, Bill Wirch.


The family would like to thank the staff at the Margery E. Yuill Cancer Centre and St. Joseph’s Carmel Hospice in Medicine Hat for their compassion and care.  A special thanks to great-nephews, Kurtis and William Hoff, who spent so much time with us this last week while Alvin was in hospice.


A celebration of Alvin’s life will be held in 2022, more details to follow.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:

St. Joseph’s Carmel Hospice in Medicine Hat, AB

c/o Covenant Foundation

Room 3C60, 11111 Jasper Avenue

Edmonton, AB   T5K 0L4

Phone: 780.342.8126


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