Alvin Klages

Rhody Family Funeral Home

"Farming is not a job, it is a way of life."

Alvin John Klages was born in Hanover, on May 21, 1941 to parents John Robert and Hilda (Unruh) Klages. He was an only child and joined his parents on the family farm on the 10th of Bentinck. At the age of 4, the family moved closer to Elmwood, remaining on the 10th. Alvin attended public school in Elmwood, but decided against high school. He was the first to admit that school wasn't his thing! In 1961, he started collecting antique coins from Jello and Hostess packages. When his collection was complete, he owned approximately 200 of them. Needless to say, he ate a bit of Jello and chips! :) This unique collection remains with Alvin's family to this day.

After school, Alvin immediately returned home, working with his father on the farm. From a young age Alvin knew he was going to be a farmer, and now he got to live out that passion. In the coming years, he did some logging with the Monks and spent some time at Dirstein's Sawmill as well.

In 1965 Alvin was introduced to Josie Morrell. A year later on December 3, 1966 the two were married. The newlyweds soon moved into Elmwood and welcomed their children, Jackie (1967) and John (1970). By this time Alvin had taken a job at the Scone Pallet Factory, where he remained for the next 30 + years, retiring in 2005. Unfortunately, Josie and Alvin separated in 1986. However, the 10th of Bentinck remained Alvin’s home for his entire life.

If you knew Alvin you would understand that his house was where he ate and slept, but it was the farm where he lived! In his prime he owned a couple hundred acres. However, his true love was the animals. He ran a cow-calf operation, raising mostly Hereford and Angus cattle. Calving was his favourite time of year on the farm, as he welcomed new life. When the kids were younger, he also raised pigs and chickens. Many would say that no farm is complete without a dog to keep the farmer company, and some barn cats. Alvin's farm was no exception and although he wouldn't always admit to it, he enjoyed their company. He also loved spending time out in the bush, cutting firewood. Most of this wood kept Alvin and his family warm during the winter months, with any extra wood being sold to friends or neighbours. He even made his own cedar posts for fencing, which can be seen today when walking the farm. I am told if you wanted a chainsaw sharpened, Alvin was your man. When friends, neighbours or family members stopped in at the farm for a visit, he was quick to stop what he was doing, welcome them, and enjoy a conversation, usually over a cold beer. Even as recent as a couple of weeks ago, Alvin could be found on the farm with John, checking the crops, making fence posts and watching John bale hay.

Alvin loved when he became a grandfather and in more recent years a great-grandfather. He was so proud of all of them and was known for always giving them the perfect cards on their Birthdays, Valentine's and at Christmas. Alvin loved all family gatherings. It could be just enjoying a cold beer over a conversation, a big meal during the holidays or just some pizza. If he was with his family, he was happy. Alvin was known for his pickled tongue and head cheese recipe and he will live on in them through their many memories of him on the farm, driving in the lane in his truck or hearing the familiar sound of his chainsaw. Grandpa's comforting touch and unique smell will also be missed amongst his grandchildren.

In his minimal free time, Alvin enjoyed tinkering with a bit of woodworking and catching a hockey game on the television. If he was working, he would try to catch the game on the radio. He also enjoyed Price is Right and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Alvin enjoyed sticking close to home, but did venture out occasionally and saw most of BC (Bruce County)! :) He loved a good roast beef dinner, washed down with a nice cold beverage. His brands of choice over the years were Labatt 50, Lucky and most recently Bud Light. When time allowed for it, Alvin liked keeping up with local news through reading the newspaper.

Alvin was a kind, humble and caring man, who was known at times to be a bit stubborn. He was a workaholic and the busiest and most hardworking retired individual that his family knew. Alvin was very practical, or maybe better put, a simple man with simple needs. He never judged and was kind to everyone he met. These traits and values will live on in his family and friends for years to come.

Sadly only a couple of weeks ago, Alvin experienced some discomfort and went to the hospital. In the days that followed, he was diagnosed with late-stage cancer. He took the bad news in stride and returned home to live out his final days on the farm, surrounded by his family. Alvin passed away on Saturday, June 27, 2020 in his 80th year.

Beloved father of Jackie (Randy) Klerks and John (Bridget Bailey), all of Elmwood. Cherished grandfather of Casey (Justin) Helder of Kennetcook, N.S., Nikki Klerks (Brad Schillaci) of Tara, Shawn and Amelia Klages of Elmwood as well as the great-grandfather of David Helder and Ashtyn Schilliac. Alvin was predeceased by his parents, John and Hilda (Unruh) Klages.

A private celebration of Alvin’s life will be held at his favourite place, at home, on his dear farm.

Memorial donations to the Canadian Cancer Society or a charity that is significant to you would be appreciated.

Send to friend
John and Pat Brunner
July 4, 2020
So sorry to hear about your dad. We will always remember Alvin for being a gentle soul.
Tina Morrell
July 2, 2020
Jackie, Johnny and families,

Our thoughts and prayers go out to you all on the passing of Uncle Alvin.

Love Tina, Allie and Aunt Alice
June 30, 2020
Frank Morrell
June 30, 2020
Jackie, John and family. Sorry to hear about uncle Alvin my condolences to you and the family

Cousin Frank
Tom & Sandi Vandervoort
June 30, 2020
To Jackie and John and your families. So sad to hear of Alvin's sudden passing. He was a great guy and quick to laugh. We'll miss his rumbling truck on the pasture farm beside us as he checked the cows and the smile and wave as we met on the 10th.
Wendy Hines
June 29, 2020
My deepest condolences
My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time
Bob & Kathy Davis
June 29, 2020
Our Condolences to the Klages Family on the passing of Alvin. He was a very nice guy. Cherish the Memories, they will help you get through the days ahead. Our thoughts are with you.

Tom Howie
June 29, 2020
Sincere sympathy from Judy and I. Alvin has always been a wonderful Friend. He will be missed.
Sandy McAllister
June 29, 2020
Alvin always had a smile and a chuckle when he came into the store. He will be missed. Our deepest sympathies to the family.
From the staff at the Chesley Co-op-
Don, Murray, Sandy and Linda
Judy Perry
June 29, 2020
Jackie, Johnny and Families

So sorry for your loss. Alvin was a good man. Our Deepest Condolences. Love Aunt Doris and Judy.
Dianna Priestley
June 29, 2020
Jackie & Johnny I am sending you "Our love and deepest sympathies to you and your family.” “May you take comfort in loving memory and the friends and family that surround you and your Family. You dad was a quiet, gentle soul and always held steady to his love for his children and his roots.
Connie L D'Auvernay
June 29, 2020
Jackie, Randy and family: I was so saddened to see that Alvin has passed. Our deepest condolences and love to you all. He will be missed but always held dearly in your hearts where you can draw on his strength and love every time you remember him. xoxox
Brent, Cheryl Leifso & family
June 29, 2020
Jackie and Randy, John and Bridget and families;
We know that you are all so close. Always offering a smile and friendly hello, Alvin will be missed dearly.
Thinking of you during this difficult time.
Loretta Stevens
June 29, 2020
Jackie, John and families; please accept my sincerest condolences on the passing of Uncle Alvin. He loved you all so much.
Jo-Anne Fortney Cook
June 29, 2020
Jackie, Johnny and families so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts are with you.
Michael O'Neill
June 29, 2020
Jackie & Johnny,

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your families during this time. Uncle Alvin, I will always cherish the memories of our visits when we were younger. You were truly a great man. I am sure that you, my mom and dad are enjoying a beverage tonight. Rest in Peace.
Sheril &Paul Thomson
June 29, 2020
Our hearts and prayers go out to our dear cousins Jackie and John and their families and friends. Uncle Alvin was a great man and will be truly missed. I have great memories of him.
Rest in peace Uncle Alvin,
Jim and Yvonne Witzke
June 28, 2020
Our deepest sympathy to the Klages Family, Alvin was a kind and gentle man and will be greatly missed.
Dave & Brenda Hamel
June 28, 2020
Jackie & Johnny and families,
Please accept our most sincere condolences at this most difficult time. He was a good man and had a lot of fun times working with him. RIP Alvin
Pam & Robert Bell
June 28, 2020
Jackie & Randy, John & Bridget & families..
So sorry to hear about Alvin, he will be dearly missed...
I miss our weekly CU visits and little chuckles.
Sending heartfelt sympathies to all of you, he did love that farm.
Thinking of you,
Theressa Stade
June 28, 2020
So sorry on your loss to the family. Great choice of the farm thoughts and prayers to you all at this time of sorrow.
Catherine Krause
June 28, 2020
Our condolences to the whole family. Alvin was a good man and had an awesome sense of humour.

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Our Testimonials

Well Nathan…due to COVID and everything going on, you did an excellent job and you went above and beyond our expectation. COVID changed a lot of things, but in the end we were very satisfied. Thank you! 

Mary Kaufman

I can think of nothing you could have done to better improve our experience. My grandchildren & I all felt relaxed and so appreciated your quiet, excellent care of our family. You provided dignity & caring – so much appreciated. I somehow knew we were in good hands.

Joan Saunders

We were very pleased with everything. So much positive feedback was received! We felt so very supported and cared for throughout!! We would recommend your funeral home in a heartbeat. We were so happy to travel from Barrie to Chesley to have you take care of our John. Thank you all so much!

Margaret Ellis & Family

Because of COVID-19 we had to do the complete service from home via D.V.D. GREAT!

William Hall

I was amazed that I could smell KFC fries when I first walked in at the visitation. That was so lovely. My husband would have loved it. Thank you again for that! 

Sheila Jacobs

[I] have already told many people what an amazing job you did. My entire family and friends couldn’t agree more! Everything was totally looked after. Things I never would have thought of were either done or brought to my attention. Thank you so much for everything you did. It made a really rough time a little easier to handle. Thank you!

Dianne Veen

“One of a kind” service as well as ongoing support! Beyond [our expectations] and Thank You.

Carol Vallie

I received comments on how informative and interesting the life story was. I know how amazing you are!!! I never stop bragging about you !!!

Lynn Jackson & Family

Nathan and his staff are kind, compassionate and gentle as they guide you through the process of celebrating the life of your loved one. My family has worked with Rhody Funeral Home five times now and each time they have went above and beyond to support us and to honour our loved ones. We will be forever grateful for the professional yet personal way they approach funeral planning. Their sincere empathy and passion for helping families during this difficult time of life is a gift.

Sarah Rogers

It was 100%. I got many comments on how things were handled.

Eugene Perkins

Nothing could have been done to better improve my experience. Nathan, I was more than pleased with everything. Thank you.

Morris Galbraith

I found yourselves very helpful and can’t think of anything negative in our experience with yourselves. We were satisfied [nothing could have been done to better serve us, including] also the travel to Tapleytown (Hamilton) at a low cost where the burial took place.

David Kuiper

Everything was perfect. We had many comments on the service and the little personal touches – that makes it special. Keep up the personal touches!!!

Janice Rapp

Nothing comes to my mind as to what you could have done to improve our experience. My whole family was so pleased, as was I, with every detail. All of the details were so well presented and the full staff were so helpful. In terms of pricing, we received what we asked for ten-fold. Every aspect of Jim’s funeral was so well presented and we would certainly pass this on to others. 

Karen Siegrist

There was nothing that could have been improved. (Except the weather!) The prices were reasonable, especially with the services provided. Thank you so very much. With such a large family, everyone was very pleased on professionalism and presentation.

Terrilea Fidler

I don’t think there is anything more you could have done. Everything was so professionally done, in our experience. I don’t know any place that goes the extra mile to help families accommodate their needs. Nothing could have been improved. We could not have been more satisfied.

Reta Steward

It felt as if you had met and knew John! All of us agreed that John would have approved. Many friends commented on how lovely the service was and how it suited John.

Cathie Stauffer

I really can’t think of anything you could have done to better improve our experience. The only other funeral that I helped arrange was for my father, and at that time I didn’t get the same sense of professionalism or sympathy. Nathan was willing to accept our suggestions, and also to “take the lead” in showing us the next step and what was expected, even to putting details of the funeral into my computer!

Martie Dorland

You did a wonderful job from start to finish. I can’t think of anything you need to improve on. Great job! Helping us to wade through the government forms was great! Saved us a lot of anxiety. We will definitely recommend your funeral home. Wonderful service with kind and caring staff. 

Carol Ryan

I don’t see how you can improve exceptional services. Whatever was necessary on your part to provide was done without question. You eliminated much paperwork and guided us through a painful process with empathy and professionalism. 

Donna Jones-Baldwin

I feel the professional quality of services my family received was second to none.

Kim Moylan

Nathan, I can’t tell you how much your care and support has meant to my whole family. You obviously take great pride in the service you provide. I can’t think of anything you could have done to help us more. You, your mom and Terri-Ann make an excellent team. I had so many compliments on the set up and the service. I sing your praises to everyone who asks. Keep up the fantastic work.

Ruth Stephen and family

It was exceptional how Nathan opened our hearts and minds to give info; then transferred into so many ‘on target’ ways. Also very comforting and understanding to us all. Many comments, impressed, liked all that was done, respectful family-like atmosphere at all times. Especially kind to young members of family as well. Above and totally beyond expectation – Thanks.

Mary Harrison

What one thing could we have done better to improve your experience?
Nothing, we were very happy with services and support provided to our family. Well done. We really appreciated everything that was done for us and how well it was done.

Don MacDermid

Overall I am extremely pleased. Your kind, caring and professional services went above what I expected. All our needs were met satisfactorily and more.

Barbara Aikens

Everything was done so professionally that I don’t think anything else could have been done.

Joy Pitman

You go above and beyond with your services and expertise and compassion.

Judy Charlton

You have succeeded in taking the sadness out of a funeral and made it into a celebration of life and remembrance, which we truly appreciated... Continue doing what you did for us. It was exceptional in every regard.

Marlowe Emke

Our law office often has had many estates involving families who have obtained funeral services from Nathan. He is regarded by my staff and myself as outstanding for his professional, pleasant, and efficient manner. We would highly recommend Rhody Family Funeral Home to anyone.

Ross McLean, McLean Lawyers

Dear Nathan, I cannot say thank you enough for everything you and the rest of the Rhody Family Funeral Home team done for our family with Mom's passing. From the moment you got to Mom's house your professionalism was second to none. You listened and read between the lines yet missed nothing, every little touch was simply perfect, you left nothing undone, your care and compassion to ensure our family made Mom proud one more time, and for that I am forever grateful. You took a very difficult time for us and made it as simple and stress free for us as humanly possible. Nathan you should be very proud of yourself and the rest of your team. You have definitely set the bar very high for any other funeral home in the province to follow. Again thank you

Sincerely, Deb and Doug

Nathan: Thank you so very much for all that you have done for my Mom and my family. Your friendship during this difficult time was truly heartfelt. You made us feel welcome and like a part of your family. The whole time we spoke both at the nursing home and then at your place was a very peaceful experience. Not once were we made to feel like we did not belong there. Your attention to detail in everything that all of us said shows in the story of my Dad’s life and the video. Where there were concerns, you set them all at ease. I so appreciate all that you did for my Mom in helping her take care of cancellations and notifications for my Dad. It set her mind at ease knowing that you were taking care of all of this for her. It set me at ease knowing that she would not have to deal with the frustrations that sometimes come in taking care of these things. You and your family have gone above and beyond in all that you have done for us and I am truly thankful. The warmth and caring went home with us that day. We knew that the right choice had been made in allowing you to take care of my Dad. Again, thank you.


Your services are respectful, accomodating and very professional. An excellent job done. Thank you.

Darren Goodayle

Our aunt & uncle were buried from a different funeral home and we noticed a huge difference in the funeral home services provided. Our mom and dad looked so natural (thank you!) while our aunt and uncle did not. Thank you Nathan, we can't begin to tell you how much we appreciate you and your staff this year!

Ann Legge, Patricia Tibbo & Jane Lembke

All the worlds a stage and all the men and women merely players." Rhody Family Funeral Home takes this and runs with it in an intricate and tasteful manner. The beautiful funeral home sets the stage to reflect the deceased's individual personality. Nathan's artistic ability is only surpassed by his compassion, sincerity and understanding. He goes above and beyond the required duties. His staff is second to none. Darlene Rhody soft spoken and sympathetic and Morris Emke gentlemanly and obliging. Pastor Terri-Ann is like no other with her comforting words of wisdom and encouragement and so compassionate. Her service was nothing short of beautiful. A very heartfelt thank you to Nathan and his staff for making an unpleasant experience bearable. And hats off to Rhody Family funeral home for sending dad -Ross Hammond off in the fashion he deserved. From my mom and my siblings our sincerest gratitude.

Nancy Nickel

Personnel, facilities, advise & support all exceeded our expectations - it helped to communicate details by email. In particular, both Nathan and Terri-Ann did an excellent job! I was surpised at the after service documentation - all details well organized.

Larry Bell

Nathan and staff were kind and helpful throughout the process. They really went above and beyond to make the experience as positive as possible.

Amy Stephen

Everything was great - many great comments made about the story alone on Pearl's life and we sent copies to people who could not attend - a very nice addition.

Family of Pearl Stephen

Our experience was amazing under the circumstances. Your services were perfect. You went above and beyond our expectations. You are very caring, compassionate and professional in your approach. You create a very therapeutic environment.

Elmer Ward

"Dear Nathan, your many caring and creative touches from the notice to the burial in the days following Catharine's (McKeeman) passing meant so much to all of us. You honoured her life in so many meaningful ways. Your compassion and celebration of her life will always be remembered by all those Catharine held dear."

Ian Campbell, Catharine's Brother

“Nathan, you did an absolutely amazing job. People give us compliments about everything from the life story to the beautiful, elaborate displays at the visitation. I tell everyone it was you. All the surprises - the cookies, the recipe cards, the signing picture - all amazing!”

Kim and Alan Grant

“Staff were professional and friendly.”

“Exceptional service.”

Lawrence and Heather Lamarche

“Nathan, you present yourself very well. Facilities were all that could be expected.”

“I would recommend your funeral home to everyone. Nathan’s ability to put you at ease, with a caring attitude is super and very respectful!”

Carol Golem

“We were all very impressed.”

Roberta Godwin

“Dear Nathan - You did a good job. Thank-you for all your help and all the information you obtained for me."

Gloria Albright

“Your sense of humour was a plus! You and your staff clearly have a calling for the work that you do. We all felt that we were in good hands throughout the entire process…. Nathan, thank you for everything. You made things easy for us, as we felt like we were working on Dad’s arrangements with family. We gave Dad a great send off and thank you and your staff for being a part of it.”

Deborah Hart

“Letters cancelling Gov’t services was a great help and was very much appreciated.”

William & Loraine Patterson

“You did everything really well. All needs were met and then some.… We received positive comments on the stationary. Great keep sakes. The book and slideshow were beautiful.”

Elaine King

“We had no concerns- worries, nothing, but confidence in the staff – we knew exactly how everything would happen and when - it was so nice not to have to concern ourselves with anything.”

Rebecca Becker

"I don't think there is anything more you or your staff could do."

Bernice Frook

"No improvement needed. We were pleased with everything."

Susan Taylor

“I would not have changed anything. Thanks very much – Nathan and staff.”

“New renovations are very inviting and warm. All your new cards and books are very heart warming and keepsakes.”

Valerie Long

"Staff were outstanding. Overall, it was great. Everything was perfect."

Susan Laver

“Staff is exceptional!... All needs were met.”

“Service was beyond expectations… Already recommended to various people.”

Steve Thomson

“Could not have been more useful – very satisfied! I would highly recommend Rhody Family. Thank you ever so much for your professionalism and expertise.”

Dave Hillier

“Honestly, you and your staff made this time in my life the best it could be and were extremely helpful, respectful, professional and accommodating to my needs and my family’s needs, especially providing me with a space to feed [my child] if needed. Thank you for everything”

Olivia Strucke

“Everything was perfect; it’s always nice to have lots of options.”

Kevin Dailey

“Thank you for all your empathy, compassion and professionalism. Our family… is very grateful that we chose Rhody Family Funeral Home to look after our loved one.”

Siobhan Bell

“Your services were excellent. Thank you again.”

Debbie Eidt

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