It is with heavy hearts we announce the passing of Francis Kohlman on December 25, after a brief battle with cancer.
Frances was born in Denzil, Saskatchewan on October 18, 1930 to George and Katherine Kohlman. He was the third of five children. He grew up on a farm in Goodsoil, Saskatchewan in a family that valued the love of God, love of family and love of the land.
The hard work ethic that he was raised with eventually evolved into an entrepreneurial spirit that led him down career paths that always involved his passion for driving and big trucks.
Francis met his wife, Ollie Kretz, in the fall of 1949 at the Christmas dance. She was the new girl in town and it took no time at all for Francis to set his sights on Ollie. They were married on July 23, 1952. They had five children, one son and four daughters. He was a loving and devoted husband, father, brother, grandfather and great grandfather. True to his entrepreneurial spirit, Francis and Ollie had several business ventures together from owning a restaurant to building Libra Transport – a trucking business based in St. Albert, Alberta. Libra Transport has been in operation since 1976 and is now a family run business. In 2006, Francis was awarded the Golden Achievement Award for over 50 years of dedicated service to the trucking industry by the American Truck Historical Society.
Francis never fully retired and loved going into the office when he and Ollie weren’t travelling. Ollie and Francis loved to travel and travelled extensively. Driving was his passion and they put thousands of miles on their motor home. They enjoyed cruises, European travels, 18 winters in Arizona, but his favourite spot was Hawaii.
Although travels afar are special memories, the most treasured time away was spent with family and friends at their family cottage at Pierce Lake, Saskatchewan. In 2012 Francis and Ollie celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary, renewing their vows at the cottage with their children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, extended family and friends.
Francis was a devoted and caring husband and father. His strong faith in God, his calm and caring demeanor, exceptional ethics, honesty and loyalty set him apart as a wonderful role model for his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. These qualities contributed to his success as a great leader in his business. He was a good listener and was always compassionate to the needs of his employees.
Francis is lovingly remembered by his wife of 68 years, Ollie Kohlman; his daughters, Pat (Denis Frehlich), Lori(Terry Bucharski), Donna (Ken Nelson), Karen (Hal Schneider); grandchildren, Christopher, Nicole, Trevor, Lindsay, Megan, Bradley, Curtis, Stephanie and Adam; great grandchildren, Evan, Lauren, Maddillion, Payton, Kate, Presley, Easton, Brooks and more to come.
He is predeceased by his son, Pte.Steven J. Kohlman, his parents and sisters, Mary and Tillie.
The family regrets that due to Covid 19 restrictions, a Private Funeral Mass will be celebrated with only his wife and children in attendance. The family invites you to view the Funeral Mass by clicking here.
A Celebration of Francis’ Life is set for October 18, 2021, his birthday. (COVID allowing).
Details will be on the Connelly McKinley website under his obituary closer to the date.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Albert Catholic Parish, 7 St.Vital Avenue, St. Albert, Alberta, T8N 1K1.