Nov 30th 1924 - Feb 23rd 2014
A hardworking man of honor and integrity, Alfred Koenigsknecht made the most of the moments he was given each day. He was never one to worry about what he had, rather, he focused his time and attention on spending time with the people who meant the most. It was easy to see that Al shared the majority of his life’s journey with his true love with whom he experienced so many of the best things that life has to offer. He was devout in his Catholic faith and lived by the morals that were engraved upon his heart. Al had a good sense of humor and a love for the outdoors that was the basis for many of the interests he enjoyed. He will be deeply missed while his memory is forever cherished by those he leaves behind.
The 1920s brought us some of the most lively and prosperous days we have ever seen as a nation. Innovation sparked countless advancements that transformed the way we lived our everyday lives. Washing machines and refrigerators were celebrated in homes all across the country while the assembly line made cars more affordable for the average family. It was during this vibrant time that a bustling family from Fowler, Michigan, was pleased to welcome a healthy baby boy into the fold on November 30, 1924, in Clinton County. Born on the family farm, Alfred was the youngest of eight children born to his parents, Joseph, Sr. and Ida (Feldpausch) Koenigsknecht, and he was raised alongside his brothers, Joseph and Anthony, and his sisters, Frances, Anna, Regina, Veronica, and Irene.
During his formative years Al’s character was being shaped with many of the traits that would follow him throughout his entire life’s journey. Because his father was ill, he and his siblings were required to do much of the work on the farm. They had dairy cows, hogs, and chickens in addition to a large garden. Times were anything but easy, especially when the dark days of the Great Depression set in throughout the thirties. Although he did not enjoy going to school, he was a student at local schools where he was an intelligent student. Al left school after completing the eighth grade as he was needed to help the family make ends meet. In 1937 the Koenigsknecht family moved into a home that Al’s father built.
It was while a young man that Al saw the young woman of his dreams. Her name was Anna Rose Simon, and he was smitten from the moment he spotted her while she was hanging out laundry. Al stopped to talk with her, and the rest is history as they say. He began spending more time with her on her family’s farm, and Al eventually got a job working for her father. In addition, he was working for Simon Brothers Trucking.
The landscape of our nation was forever changed with the vicious attack on our naval base in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Al became one of the young men called to serve during this time of great need when he was drafted into the Army in 1943. He spent time in Okinawa, Japan, where he served as a scout who went ahead of the troops to discover the location of the enemy. On one such mission Al was shot by a sniper within a mile of his camp. In recognition of his sacrifice he was awarded the Purple Heart.
Not to be forgotten during this time was Al’s blossoming love with his sweetheart, Anna. With a desire to establish a life together the couple was married on April 15, 1944. Together they were blessed to welcome eight children into their hearts and home, Larry, Ken, Carol, Diane, Jim, Tom, Mike, and Dale. As a father Al was not overly affectionate, but his children always knew that they were deeply loved. He was rather strict and insisted that his children were hard workers who did well in school and were respectful toward others as well. In 1967 the family lost their home to a tornado, but they soon rebuilt.
Throughout his life Al was one to work hard. After returning stateside with his military duties fulfilled, he began working at Oldsmobile in Lansing. Al made his entire career there, eventually becoming a supervisor. After 35 years of dedicated service he retired in 1980.
During his retirement years Al focused on living life to the fullest. He deeply love his wife, and he devoted his retirement years to her completely. They enjoyed taking short road trips and playing cards with friends. Al also liked spending more time with his family including taking several trips bear hunting with his sons, which brought them much closer together. Al loved the great outdoors and spent countless hours hunting and fishing after he retired. He looked forward to taking his annual fishing trips to Drummond Island for as long as he was able. Although he was deeply saddened with the death of his beloved Annie in 2002, Al’s strong Catholic faith and the love of his family carried him through. He was a longtime member of Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church as well as the VFW Post #3733 and the Knights of Columbus.
A man who was deeply loved, Alfred J. Koenigsknecht was a blessing to those around him. He had a strong work ethic that was balanced by a great sense of humor and a colorful zest for life. Al’s devotion to his family was unmatched, and his faith was a cornerstone that kept him grounded. He will be never be forgotten.
Alfred J. Koenigsknecht died on February 23, 2014. Al’s family includes his children, Carol Eldridge of St. Johns, Diane (Brad) Hulliberger of Dimondale, Jim (Marsha) Koenigsknecht of Fowler, Tom (Jacque) Koenigsknecht of Perrinton, Mike (Diane) Koenigsknecht of Fowler, Dale (Therese) Koenigsknecht of Fowler; daughters-in-law, Eva (Fleming) Koenigsknecht of Lansing and Jean (Fred Antes) Koenigsknecht of Fowler; 20 grandchildren and 56 great-grandchildren; brothers in law, Don (Shirley) Simon of Mt. Clemens and Frank (Barbara) Simon of Lansing; and special friend, Lorretta Kappler of Dimondale. Al was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph, Sr. and Ida (Feldpausch) Koenigsknecht; wife, Anna Rose (Simon) Koenigsknecht; brothers, Joseph and Anthony; sisters, Frances, Anna (Schmitt), Regina (Schmitt), Veronica (Pohl) and Irene (Harr); sons, Larry and Ken; grandson, Kenneth, Jr.; and son-in-law, Doug Eldridge. Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m., Friday, February 28, 2014, at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Fowler, burial following at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Cemetery. The concelebrants will be Fr. Dennis Howard and Fr. William Koenigsknecht. The family will receive friends on Wed. from 7-9 p.m. with a rosary prayed at 8 p.m., and Thurs. from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. with rosaries prayed at 3 and 8 p.m., at the Goerge Chapel of Osgood Funeral Homes, 11112 W. Ionia St., Fowler. Contributions may be made in Alfred’s name to the organization that the donor wishes. To learn more about Alfred and view his Life Story film, please visit his personal webpage at www.lifestorynet.com/memories/97588. The family is being served by the Osgood Funeral Homes.