Obituary of Stephen Selby Hodgetts
Stephen Selby Hodgetts
(July 30, 1944 - May 11, 2023)
Stephen Selby Hodgetts was born on July 30th, 1944 at Hall End Farm located, county of Warwickshire, in England to his parents Ronald and Sally Hodgetts. Stephen grew up as a farm kid working the land, tending to the livestock and playing his favourite sport rugby. At the early age of 15 his father became ill and he left school to be a continuous help on the family farm. In the spring of 67 at the age of 23 his father's health returned and he struck out on his own, choosing between Australia and Canada. Canada won out, and he arrived in Montreal April 16th, 1967. He headed west and found himself working as a welder at R Angus in Edmonton, Alberta. Stephen's love for the game of Rugby had him seek out the Druids Rugby Club while working in Edmonton, and this was where he met his soon to be wife, Susan Ann Schafer. Susan came to watch her brother play rugby and he completely and totally fell in love with her. They married 9 short months later on June 11, 1970 in Banff, Alberta. During their first few years of marriage, they lived south west of Edmonton where he worked for Lewis Farms and continued his work as a welder. Susan and Stephen spent one winter with their first child, Stephen Junior born 1972, living in the log cabin on Lake Louise while he repaired the lifts. In his welding career he was often sought out specifically and worked on many interesting projects including the Athabasca bridge. Tamsin was born in 1973 and as their family grew so did his dream of farming in Canada. Stephen always had a dream of farming his own land, tending to his own livestock, having a large family and this dream became a reality in 1974. This love for the farming way of life led him to purchase a plot of land at Kingman, Alberta. Stephen felt that this was the best farmland and it was here that he would build his farming dream. They called the farm TOR Farms (which is an English meaning for “up on a hill). Close friends to the young family, Bill and Irene Gable also bought some land in the area so Stephen and Susan could rent and begin their life as farmers. Andrew was born in 1976. A couple of years later the young couple and their new baby returned to England during the winter for an extended visit, but they decided that the farming life in Canada was what suited them best. And then David was born in 1978, Ashlee in 1980 and Morwenna in 1981. As their family expanded, so did the farm. Over the years the family farm grew seed crops, distributed forage seed, tended to sheep, pigs, poultry and pheasants. Stephen had a thriving herd of red and black baldy cattle. In its prime the farm tended too and took care of close to 20 quarters of land including grain, hay and pasture. Stephan was an active member of the community leading the local cub scouts and 4-H beef club. He was on many boards including Prairie Oat Growers Association, Camrose Forage Research and Development, and was part of various advisory councils for farmers and lately the oil and gas industry. Stephen took a keen interest in politics and often sent pictures of himself with the latest political candidates. He also hosted a past premier on the farm where they enjoyed a day of pheasant shooting. Stephen spent his lifetime loving every moment on the farm and the lifestyle that came with it. He passed away May 11th, 2023 living the only life he knew, being a farmer. He was predeceased by his parents Ronald and Sally Hodgetts. Left to cherish his memory are his 6 children Stephen (Connie), Tamsin (Ken), Andrew (Jeannette), David (Reiden), Ashlee (Paul) and Morwenna (Bryce); his older sister Susan (Peter); and younger brother David (Jane); and his 17 grandchildren who will miss him. To the day he died he was a farmer at heart with plans to plant a crop on the home quarter this spring. The dream of owning “The farm up on the hill” turned into a 5-decade farm and the land will continue to be cared for by the next generation.
Please join the family in a Celebration of Stephen's Life on June 29th, 2023 at 2 p.m. at Kingman Hall, 1012 2 Ave Kingman, Alberta T0B 2M0.