Katherine (Katie) Alimonti was born in Kelowna, BC, on March 5, 1926. She was the eldest child born to Joseph and Rosa Alimonti. The family lived on a small farm across from the present Pandosy Mission. Katie attended Mission Creek School until grade 8, when she was needed on the home front to help look after younger siblings. She enjoyed school, received awards for McLean method penmanship excellence, had hidden artistic talents, did well academically, and in her last year, received the honour of being Miss Mission Creek, as part of community May Day celebrations. In her teen years she worked at the Mugford Store at the corner of Benvoulin and KLO Roads.
In 1944, the Alimonti family moved to the Ellison area, where Joseph and Rosa purchased a 60 acre farm from Frank Bell, and ran a mixed farming operation.
Addy, born January 21, 1923, was the second eldest of the Klein family, who owned a large orchard in Ellison. His father died suddenly in 1938, leaving a wife and four children to look after the farm. The children attended Ellison School, although Addy needed to leave school after Grade 7 to work on the farm.
Katie and Addy met, as they lived across the road from each other, and on October 17, 1946, were married. They lived in a small house on the Alimonti farm. Addy worked at logging jobs and worked for Kelowna Tractor Sprayers. They purchased a house on Highway 97, near Reid’s Corner, and shortly after, in 1949, purchased a 20 acre parcel of the recently subdivided Simpson Ranch on Old Vernon Road in Ellison. Here, with a growing family, they engaged in mixed farming: potatoes, grain, alfalfa, vegetables, rhubarb, corn, a small dairy herd, pigs, beef cattle, and chickens. To supplement the farm income, in 1955, Addy got a job as a mechanic at Kelowna Machine Works (later called Monashee Manufacturing), where logging and lumbering equipment was manufactured. Katie worked at Crete Sherriff’s Five to a Dollar Store, at Crossroad Supplies, and at McLean and Fitzpatrick Packinghouse.
Katie and Addy raised four children: Jim, Brian, Eileen and Chris. Jim became a teacher, and a principal in School District 23. Brian worked on ranches and later became Grounds Superintendent at Kelowna Springs Golf Course. Eileen worked as a District Home Economist in Alberta, and later with Alberta Ministry of Advanced Education. Chris worked for many years as Legal Secretary, and is presently a receptionist in a Kelowna Law office.
In 1974, Addy died, suddenly, at the age of 51. Katie continued to oversee the farm work, although eventually scaling the farm work down to growing hay crops on a crop share basis. She continued to work at the Packinghouse, grading fruit and in later years, working in a quality control capacity.
Katie also enjoyed some travelling. She enjoyed trips to Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, Alaska, Japan, Great Britain, San Diego, Las Vegas, and Tuktoyaktuk. She especially enjoyed a few family retreat trips with her four kids.
Katie remained on the 20 acre farm for 64 years. She moved to an assisted living retirement facility in 2013, but sadly, only enjoyed that for six months, until she passed away December 13, 2013, at the age of 87.
Contributed by Jim Klein, son
770 Lawrence Ave.