BERT A. KLEISPosted: June 20th, 2022
June 1, 1938 ~ May 31, 2022
Bert Adam Kleis passed away peacefully in Medicine Hat on Tuesday, May 31, 2022, at the age of 83 years with his wife, Evelyn and son, Landon by his side. Along with his beloved wife, Evelyn, left to cherish Bert’s memory is their son, Landon (Marie) and granddaughters, Zoe, Ellie and Andrea all of New Westminster, BC; beloved siblings, John (Lorna) of Anaheim, CA, Audrey (Gordon) of Medicine Hat, Lorraine of White Rock, BC; brothers-in-law, Harold of Medicine Hat, Paul (Carol) of Turner Valley, AB, as well as many beloved nieces, nephews and their families. Bert was predeceased by his brother, Edward (Joan); sisters, Bertha (Sam), Gertrude and Erna and brother-in-law, Fred.
Bert was born in Medicine Hat on June 1, 1938, and lived there his whole life. The last of eight siblings, he was the only one to be born in a hospital. His sister, Audrey recalls seeing her new baby brother through the window of the hospital held up by their father, Adam as if he had won a prize. In public school, Bert enjoyed playing hockey, track and field and swimming in the Rotary Park pool (where his brothers Ed and John were managers and lifeguards) and in the South Saskatchewan River. From an early age, Bert held regular jobs after school, including delivering the Albertan to many homes in the flats.
Bert found a hobby in raising his prize pigeons in the family’s back yard, while helping his mother, Adelia, in her bountiful vegetable and flower gardens. As a teenager Bert was active in the Teen Association and attended dances and other activities in the teen hall. Bert was known as a very good “jiver” and enjoyed rock and roll and later developed a keen appreciation for jazz. All this dancing helped his legwork when he played for the Medicine Hat High School football and basketball teams. Bert worked full time each summer at various jobs including Redcliff Dominion Glass, the CPR station and at Christmas for Canada Post delivering mail during the holidays.
After graduation from high school in 1957, Bert found a position in the insurance office of Anderson and Desharnais. Starting as an office boy. he moved up and eventually established his own insurance business in partnership with Marvin Woelfle, which grew to become Cedar Square Insurance.
On a scorching hot day in July 1963, Bert married Evelyn, who he described as “beautiful, loving and talented”. The city boy was invited to her family farm, where he took a turn on the tractor and found it was not as easy as driving his Mercury on city streets (to the amusement of her father Nick and brothers Paul and Fred). He became a great admirer of his mother-in-law, Margaret Mann-Butuk, for her masterful landscape paintings (and her apple pies).
In 1973 their beloved son, Landon was born adding much joy to their lives. In 1980 Bert’s niece, Candi came from California to live for a year and became a dear member of the family, adding much fun and even more art to their home. During his years of work, he was active in many organizations as a director on the Chamber of Commerce, Cypress Club, Family YMCA, St. John’s Church Board of Directors and as a member of the Kinsmen.
In semi-retirement, Bert purchased the local ReMax franchise and ACRO property management, and later was proud to bring the first HomeLife realty franchise to Medicine Hat. Bert and Evelyn travelled to Italy, Turkey, Russia, Greece, Spain, Cuba, and Mexico, bringing old friends and making new friends. When it came time to fully retire, Bert and Evelyn moved to their acreage and enjoyed keeping horses, llamas and donkeys. Bert’s lifelong appreciation for a good view and for nature was rekindled as he spent time watching and photographing great horned owls, hawks and pheasants on the farm.
Bert was a thoughtful and generous man who felt gratitude and appreciation for his friends and family. He and Evelyn enjoyed planning and hosting many get-togethers and events. From small to large, everyday dinners to special occasions, Bert was always keen to find a reason to bring people together over food and conversation.
He found joy in his son, Landon, from birth into his adult years. When Landon and his wife, Marie, brought their three young daughters to visit for the recent May long weekend Bert said he enjoyed their presence and exuberance “beyond words.”
As his health failed in recent months, Bert enjoyed a view from his home over Cottonwood Coulee. He repeated “I’ve had a good life. I am so thankful for all my family and friends and I don’t feel short-changed on anything.”
We know Bert is enjoying a “heavenly view” now.
A celebration of Bert’s life will be held at St. John’s Presbyterian Church, 504 – 2 Street S.E., Medicine Hat on Saturday, June 25, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. If friends so desire, memorial tributes in Bert’s name may be made directly to St. John’s Presbyterian Church, 504 – 2 Street S.E. Medicine Hat, Alberta, T1A 0C6 or to the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Alberta, 119 – 14 Street N.W., Calgary, Alberta, T2N 1Z6. (Condolences may be expressed by visiting www.cooksouthland.com) Honoured to serve the family is
Cook Southland Funeral Chapel Crematorium & Reception Facility, 901 – 13th Street S.W. Medicine Hat, Alberta T1A 4V4 Phone 403-527-6455 www.cooksouthland.com “Locally owned & directed”