Alfred was born on February 28, 1936 to George and Annie (Sadiwnyk) Hladun on the family farm north of Mikado, Saskatchewan. Alfred was the eighth of twelve children. He had two sisters (Mary and Cassie) and nine brothers (Bill, Ronald, Ernest, Fred, Walter, Paul, Melvin, Harry and David).
Alfred attended Pretty Valley School that was about two miles away from the Hladun home. It was a one-room country school that had eight grades in one room. Alfred was one of twenty-two students in the school, but the only pupil in his grade for all eight grades.
Being one of twelve children in the family had its advantages. Alfred always had someone with whom he could play ball, soccer or hide and seek. On hot summer days, Alfred and his siblings would go swimming in the White Sand River near their house and on warm winter days, they would go sliding down the hill in their yard. In addition to having lots of fun, the children had to help with gardening, seeding, haying, tending animals, threshing and other chores.
As a child, Alfred liked running beside the disc when his dad worked the field with a team of horses. Once when he was running, Alfred tripped and fell. A disc went over his arm, but luckily, Alfred wasn’t hurt. Alfred also liked helping his mother carry lunch to the threshing crew because he got to eat the leftovers. When threshing season was over, Alfred’s parents always took the family to Canora by horse and buggy to buy winter clothes. He loved those trips.
When he was growing up, Alfred helped on the farm and worked for a neighbour. He often helped his dad haul grain to Mikado by horse and wagon. When he was twelve, Alfred started driving the tractor for his cousin Pete Hladun. He earned fifty cents an hour. With the money earned from that job, Alfred bought a balloon-tired bicycle. He loved riding his bike and would go up and down the hilly dirt road by the farm or use his bike to go on errands to Mikado. When he was thirteen, Alfred harnessed the team of four horses, hitched them to the disc and started disking the land. At fourteen, he started helping with harvest by stooking sheaves, pitching bundles onto the rack, hauling everything to the threshing machine with horses and then pitching the bundles into the threshing machine. This was hard work.
Haying during hot summer days was a challenge and a necessity. The hot, dry weather meant that the hay gathered would be dry and store well. On extremely hot days, Alfred and his brothers would take a quick break from haying by going for a dip in the White Sand River to cool off.
Alfred was determined to finish high school. Since the Pretty Valley School went up to Grade 8, Alfred took Grade 9 at home by correspondence. He attended Canora Composite High School for Grades 10, 11 and 12. During his high school years, he stayed in Canora in a rented room. When he was in Grade 11, his brother Paul, came to stay with him. Paul was in Grade 9 at that time. The boys did their own cooking but enjoyed going home on the weekends to eat their mom’s delicious food. Alfred graduated from high school in 1956.
Alfred wanted to go to university right after high school but couldn’t afford the tuition. He worked on an oil rig beside Bassano, Alberta for a couple of months then got a job with the Winnipeg Free Press as a salesman and paperboy supervisor. He later became a zone manager. He worked for the Free Press for two years and then worked for Sask Power constructing powerlines.
In December 1958, Alfred started dating a young teacher, Anna Hanson. This must have been love at first sight because in February 1959, Alfred asked Anna to marry him. Anna’s dad jokingly called Alfred, “Lightning Hladun” because Alfred didn’t waste any time with dating or the engagement. On July 11, 1959, Alfred and Anna were married at the Grace United Church in Sturgis.
When they were first married, Alfred worked for Sask Power but was away a lot during the fall and got laid off in the winters. He decided that he needed to pursue a different career, so in the fall of 1960, he started Teacher’s College in Regina.
The next summer, Alfred was hired to teach at the Evadale School, north of Pelly. While at Evadale, Alfred and Anna’s daughter, Valerie, was born in December 1961 and their son, Bradley, was born in September 1963.
In the summer of 1964, the family moved to Wroxton where Alfred was hired to be the principal and Grade 7 and 8 teacher. In the fall of 1967, Alfred received a $1,000 bursary and went to the University of Saskatchewan to work on his Bachelor of Education Degree. He earned his degree in 1968 and with more summer school and evening classes, received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1972.
In 1968, both Alfred and Anna were offered teaching positions in Sturgis, so the family moved there. At first, Alfred was hired to teach Ukrainian to Grade 7 to 12 students. When Grade 10, 11 and 12 Ukrainian was eliminated from the course offerings, Alfred continued to teach Grades 7, 8 and 9 Ukrainian and started teaching Grades 7, 8 and 9 Social Studies, Science and Health. Alfred taught at the Sturgis Composite High School for twenty-three years. He retired in 1990, having a teaching career that spanned thirty years.
During the last few years of teaching and into retirement, Alfred farmed. In 1977, Alfred and Anna bought Anna’s parent’s farm north of Hyas. In the 1980s, they bought another quarter of land near Frame Lake and in 2003, they sold both quarters of land.
Alfred loved camping, fishing and traveling. He and Anna owned numerous campers, caught hundreds of fish and travelled to many places. He especially enjoyed camping trips with their grandchildren, Kent, Jilliann, Riley and Teanna and vacations to Dominican Republic, Mexico, Yukon and Alaska.
Alfred also loved staying active and visiting with friends and family. He looked forward to his visits with his great-grandchildren, Nik, Liam, River and Sunny and when he couldn’t have a face-to-face visit, he loved watching videos and looking at pictures of them.
Alfred passed away on December 28, 2020 at the Preeceville and District Long Term Care Home after a courageous battle with cancer.
Alfred was predeceased by his parents, George and Annie Hladun, mother and father-in-law Alf and Polly Hanson, sister Mary (and John) Schab, brothers Bill (and Sonia) Hladun, Ronald (and Geraldine) Hladun, Walter Hladun, Melvin Hladun, brother-in-law Tony Kohut, nephews Barry Hladun, Darrell Hladun and great-niece Zarayza Hladun.
Alfred is survived by his wife, Anna Hladun, daughter Valerie (Nick) Koroluk, son Bradley (Sheila) Hladun, grandchildren Kent (Bailey) Koroluk, Jilliann (Eddy) Hofer, Riley Hladun (Caitlynn Stevenson), Teanna (Levi) Johnson and great-grandchildren Nikolas Dearle, Liam Dearle, River Koroluk and Sunny Koroluk. He is also survived by sister Cassie Kohut, brothers Ernest (Alexandra) Hladun, Fred Hladun, Paul (Frances) Hladun, Harry Hladun, David (Audrey) Hladun, sister-in-law Alice Hladun, brother-in-law Amund (Pauline) Hanson and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Alfred Hladun, please visit our floral store.
Grace United Church
233 Main St., Sturgis, Sk S0A 4A0,
Preeceville Hostel (Long Term Care) Auxillary
Box 482 Preeceville, SK S0A 3B0, SK