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16 April, 1945 - 3 November, 2023
Myron Leon Bjorge was born in Camrose, Alberta on April 16th, 1945 at the St. Mary’s hospital to parents Marvin and Norma Bjorge. Myron was the second of five children born to Marvin and Norma having an older brother Harold, two younger sisters Joan and Audrey and a fifth sister Dorothy who sadly died shortly after birth.
Time in Myron’s youth was divided between life at his grandfather Helmer’s home quarter section near Ferry Point, Alberta and later his father Marvin’s quarter section near Bawlf, Alberta. He particularly enjoyed athletic sports like football and baseball with Harold and Myron spending hours together with ball gloves in hand honing their throwing, catching, grounding and batting skills. The boys spent so much time playing ball that they in fact wore out the stitching on their only baseball and learned to restitch the leather pieces together in order to continue play. A small transistor radio connected the boys to the world of Major League Baseball and they would listen to their heroes for hours up in their room together and imagine each play that unfolded. Iron-on patches of Major League Baseball clubs adorned their jackets.
Myron recalled fond memories growing up in the country with his parents and siblings and he always loved plants including the flowers he would bring his mother from the fields. Myron would search for the first crocus of spring and retrieve it for Norma.
Country life afforded Myron, Harold, Joan and Audrey seemingly endless opportunities to explore nature. Together they built rafts which they floated in ponds allowing them to collect tadpoles and back swimmers. They climbed trees, chased dragonflies and listened to spring waters flowing. They went on large expeditions that took them all over the Bjorge property and they always returned home safely.
Myron met Karin Siebold in grade seven with her telling the story that he tripped her on the bus to get her attention. This tactic apparently worked as the two dated through high school and they eventually married in 1965. The young happy couple moved to Edmonton, Alberta in order for Myron to attend the University of Alberta. They resided in Old Strathcona in the early years of their marriage with Karin working to help support them financially as they lived independent of parental support. They both recalled walks along Whyte Avenue and Saskatchewan Drive as part of fond early memories together.
Myron graduated from the University of Alberta in 1968 from the Faculty of Science with a degree that specialized in Agriculture Plant Science & Forage.
Myron’s career in the field of agriculture took him from his early days as an Assistant District Agriculturalist in Panoka, Alberta, to District Agriculturalist in Rocky Mountain House then to his final position as a Forage Seed Specialist at the Lacombe Research Station in Lacombe Alberta. Myron was certified by The Alberta Institute of Agrologists in 1982. He achieved success in each progressive advancement working in the public service with his work being recognized with several outstanding service awards including but not limited to; Group Achievement Award of Excellence - Beef Product Team 1995, Premier’s Award of Excellence - Western Forage / Beef Group in 2000, Premier’s award for service from 1968-2002. Public service for the provincial government in the field of agriculture also afforded Myron the opportunity to travel. He made several trips to Northern Europe and Asia as part of diplomatic relations with other countries in need of his level of knowledge and expertise in agriculture. Myron continued his public service into retirement where he co-authored forage seed manuals for the provincial government.
The Rocky Mountain House area was chosen early on as home base by Myron and Karin for its proximity to the West country and its suitability for farming. Myron was an avid outdoorsman and he enjoyed hunting and fishing with a particular fondness for the Ram River, Prairie Creek and the North Saskatchewan River. In his younger days Myron could be found out on one of his two Ski-doo Elan snowmobiles at all hours of the day and night searching for untouched powder with friends or pulling his boys on their sleds. Myron shared Karin’s love of farm life which enabled him to have a John Deere Tractor and her to have horses.
In the summer of 1979 Myron and Karin packed up everything they had accumulated together and moved North of Leslieville, Alberta to a quarter section of land populated with pine trees. Misty Pine Acres became their permanent home and within a decade Myron and Karin would build a new energy efficient house together on land they called their own. They would eventually share a long and happy retirement together with this land as home base for endless gatherings, outings and adventures with their family and friends.
The land yielded a seemingly endless supply of pine, spruce and poplar trees which Myron churned into lumber for projects and firewood for the two Norwegian Jotul wood stoves that heated a home already warmed by the closeness they shared with one another, their family and close friends.
Family and friends were always important to Myron and Karin and this remained a priority as they progressed through life. As a couple they would help people in need where they could and either host or join events organized by others. Just some of these events included camping and cycling in David Thompson Country and birding at the Ferry Point property.
Being raised Lutheran provided Myron with an early foundation upon which he would later build a deeper understanding and appreciation of God. In his later years Myron became an active member of the Leslieville Bethel Union church. Myron found meaning in volunteering for the Christian Salvage Mission and he spent hours gathering, sorting and packaging books for the less fortunate in developing countries.
Throughout life Myron & Karin cherished the property at Ferry Point and they would often spend time in the summer visiting, camping, hiking, and birding in the river hills. Myron was a keen ornithologist and dedicated much of his spare time in retirement to the study and habitat development of various species of birds. As a couple they worked together with others to organize and host an annual birding event at the Ferry Point campground which was well attended each year by relatives and friends. It became a well known and well liked birding event.
Myron is survived by his wife of 58 years Karin (Siebold) Bjorge, his three sons Leslie Bjorge (Sharlene), Anthony Bjorge (Anna-Lisa), and Adrian Bjorge (Carla). Myron cherished his four grandchildren Nathan Bjorge (Amanda), Crystal (Bjorge) Erickson (Lukas), Brenda (Bjorge) Church (Lucas) and Antonia Turner-Bjorge. He also cherished his nine great-grandchildren, Daniel, Mariah, Hunter, Brooklyn, Malia, Chloe, Gwen, Casey, Marsali.
The family is requesting that donations be made to STARS Air Ambulance in lieu of flowers and also extends gratitude to the staff at the University of Alberta Hospital ICU Unit 3C3 and Mazankowski Unit 6A8 for their care and compassion.
A Public Memorial Celebrating Myron’s life has been planned for November 24, 2023 @ 2:00 pm at the Leslieville Bethel Union Church with refreshments at the Leslieville Community Centre following the event.