Martin Fimrite was born on December 30, 1915 in Round Hills AB. His father, Nils, became ill shortly before Martin was born, and was sent back to Norway, and died there. Martin’s mother, Inga Alexandra, moved to the Peace County on the advice from a missionary friend, Halvor Ronning who was from Norway, and had moved to Valhalla a few years early. Inga, and her 3 children, Adolph, Olive, and Martin (who was only 6 months old), boarded the train to Sexsmith, arriving in July 1916. From there, they rode a wagon to Valhalla with Pastor Ronning. The first winter they lived in a log shack on the Ronning land. The following year, Inga filed on a homestead, a quarter section which later became the north-west part of the hamlet of Valhalla. The family lived first in a tent, and later that year they had a house built with help of neighbors. Inga broke the land, which fortunately had very sparse trees, by herself with horses. She also did washing, ironing and baking for bachelors in the area in exchange for their work. A school was built across from their land where the children attended. The children were very helpful in the house and on the farm. In 1937 Martin married Doris Alice Hartley (“Alice”), and two years later he joined the forces. Martin and Alice took over farming and bought the land from his mother, running a successful farm. The Fimrites had 7 children: Rodney, Dennis, Wavell, Neil, Daphne, Elroy, and Mavis. Martin was the manager of the Valhalla Co-Op store, and he was active in the community as a member of the Royal Canadian Legion, and a charter member of the South Peace Centeniel Museum (near Beaverlodge and Hythe). Always involved in community events, he wrote articles for the local newspapers. Martin died on October 3, 1993 at age 77 in Grande Prairie, and he was buried in the Valhalla Centre Cemetery. Alice died in December 2006 in Valhalla.
Source: Pioneer Round-Up pp. 492 – 499
- 685 – 688 background information regarding the Ronning family
Surname File: Newspaper article/ obituary
AGS – Obituary Index