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Alexander Pfeiffer

Alexander MacKenzie Pfeiffer

March 1st, 1995 - April 17th, 2020
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Obituary

Alexander MacKenzie Pfeiffer

March 1, 1995 – April 17, 2020

It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Alexander at the age of 25. After a year-long battle with medical issues, he succumbed to the insidious disease of depression. He leaves behind to mourn his mother Sheryl Pfeiffer, father Kevin Pfeiffer, step-mother Kim Pfeiffer, step-father Glenn Bruchanski, brother Adam, sister Jessica, brother-in-law Joel Knaggs, nephews Troy and Seth Stanford, step-brothers Adam (Samantha McKeen) and Brent Bruchanski; Uncles Trent (Donalea) Richter, David (Marlene) Pfeiffer and Aunt Barb Knittig (Wally Heit); Great Aunts Faye Piercy, Betty Lou (Paul) Brunelle, Gail Barr and numerous cousins, special friend Julia Morin, extended family, friends and co-workers.

Alex was predeceased by his Grandparents Barbara & Arthur Richter, Idella & George Pfeiffer and cousin Carmen Knittig.

Alexander was born March 1, 1995 in Regina, Saskatchewan as the youngest of three children to Sheryl (nee Richter) & Kevin Pfeiffer. The family moved to Manitoba, through a transfer with Kevin’s job in the RCMP Air Services, when Alex was only 6 weeks old. He grew up in the Stonewall / Stony Mountain area and attended school in Stonewall. Alex enrolled at the University of Manitoba after graduating high school but realized during that first year he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do in life and so decided not to return for a 2nd year. At age 19, much to the surprise of his family, Alex enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces. He proudly served with “Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians)” also known as The Strathcona’s, an armoured regiment of the Army where he proudly served as a Trooper in Edmonton, Alberta. He was so proud to be a part of this group of heroic people and made life-long friends with whom he maintained long-distance relationships. Alex was disappointed not to deploy during that time as he felt he hadn’t fulfilled his duty by not doing so. Alex’s dedication to service made us unspeakably proud, but if truth be told, we were also relieved when he finished his contract and returned safely to Manitoba in 2017 with an Honourable Discharge.

Alex’s career intentions were to either go back to University in the future to major in some facet of Computer Science or pursue a career in law enforcement. In the meantime, while deciding his future, he followed his military background and completed training to attain his Security Guard licence. Alex worked first for Garda at a variety of personal care homes and hospitals in Winnipeg. This ended with the Grace and finally St. Boniface hospital when, in the spring of 2019, he joined the staff at the Health Sciences Centre’s Security team as a Patrol Officer with thoughts of perhaps pursuing law enforcement.

Alex had a great love of family, was a voracious reader, was passionate about music and loved nothing better than getting together as a family. He particularly enjoyed pulling out his guitar and jamming with his Dad, brother, sister and new brother-in-law Joel. This love of music started early in his life. A prime example was when he was only 3 and Mom, Dad, Adam and Jessica pulled out their instruments to play together. He of course didn’t have an instrument and was not happy about that! Mom set him up at the table with upside down Tupperware bowls and wooden spoons and he acted as the ‘drummer’. His happiness and smile lit the room and the hearts of all of us.

Alex enjoyed hunting and fishing with his Dad and siblings as well. When he came home from the military, with all the outdoor training activities there, his love of camping had diminished a bit and he appreciated the finer things like a real bed, a good steak and washroom facilities. He had a good sense of humour and was often heard saying ‘you do you’ or bugging his Mom by calling her ‘Ma’ just to laugh at the look on her face. Computer gaming was very high on his list of loves and he spent more hours than was probably healthy doing just that but it was also his way of making contact with old friends and family. Alex was sentimental, though he never liked to admit it, he had a very kind heart and was generous to a fault. He would give you the shirt off his back if he felt you needed it more than he and often gave generous tips he could ill-afford just because he felt the person in front of him needed it more than he did.

Alex gave the best hugs ever! Alex also adored his two nephews Troy and Seth and they are already feeling his loss greatly. Big sister Jessica was a 2nd Mom to him and looked upon him as her 1st baby. They shared a special bond, which included the ability to talk about anything. Alex admired and always looked up to big brother Adam and in his words he aspired to be as ‘grown up’ as Adam was. When Alex was stationed in Edmonton he loved nothing better than to head to Calgary for a weekend to spend time with Adam in his home there. Alex always appreciated his siblings and felt great love for them but when he became ill in 2019 he gained an even greater appreciation for their presence in his life and remarked on it often. Alex also had a big soft spot for his maternal grandmother Barbara and felt her loss keenly when she passed suddenly in December 2018.

Despite an introverted nature, Alex was rarely at a loss for words and could argue until the sun set. As his family, we felt he missed his calling and told him often he would have made a great lawyer! (Some of the stereotypes of ‘Celtic blood’ and ‘red hair’ were accurate for Alex and truly could prevail.) He was very smart and could have done anything with his life but had a hard time finding a passion that would help him decide what that career choice should be.

Unfortunately, shortly after joining HSC Security in 2019, Alex struggled with his physical health. In June he had emergency bowel surgery that saved his life but found him living a new ‘normal’, followed directly by a diagnosis of a debilitating autoimmune disease ankylosing spondylitis. As a young man of 24, he was now living with an extreme lifestyle change. HSC stood by Alex and he re-joined them, in a reduced work capacity, once his health allowed. He continued to work there until his death. Alex’s once very strong and healthy body was no longer as strong, he felt it had let him down and his future was now compromised. This, along with the chronic pain that came with ankylosing spondylitis, prompted depression to take hold. Despite the best efforts of family and friends, and that of a strong team of medical professionals, Alex succumbed to that depression on April 17, 2020 in Winnipeg.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Alex’s very special friend Julia Morin for her unwavering support, care and love of our son and brother. We know that you never should have had to face the events of April 17 and for that we are eternally sorry. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for trying so hard. Also to Jim for his aid and the emergency responders who attended Alex that day, we know you had to take home with you the fact you could not save a young man in what we considered to be the prime of his life. Thank you to Dr. Greg Pinniger for his caring and compassion for Alex. We also want to thank the St. Boniface surgical team for their care of Alex in 2019 and his HSC Security and military extended families. We are truly grateful, as was Alex himself, for all you did for him. It shows us all what a horrible disease depression and mental health illnesses can be because Alex in his true form would never want to be the one to inflict emotional pain on anyone.

We miss Alex beyond words and he will remain in our hearts and memories forever. To never see his smile or be embraced in one of his enormous hugs is unimaginable.

Due to the unprecedented climate our world is experiencing with COVID-19, there will not be a service at this time. A Celebration of Alexander’s Life will occur when the distancing ends, hopefully this summer. A new notice will be put in the paper once a date is selected.

In lieu of flowers, Alex’s family requests anyone who wishes to do so to please consider a donation in Alexander’s name to the Canadian Legion or a Mental Health charity of your choice.
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Chad Gerbrandt

Posted at 03:34pm
To the family of this wonderful man. While you may not know me I have had the pleasure on many occasions to stop and chat with Alex. While he was working at the St.B GH I had gotten the chance to talk with him a lot while visiting my mother. Going thru that hard time myself and running into him while on shift was always nice to have happen. He was a polite, friendly and caring person that managed to put a smile on my face during that time. Which was very hard. We had spoke about him serving, his love of music and a little about his family. He spoke highly of his family and the time he served. The comfort he gave during that time to me and others was a pleasant sight. It is sad at this time that I had to hear of his passing. He was so young and so full of life and never seen him without a smile. I would love to give my condolences to the family and the many friends that he has. My heart goes out to you at the time. My this wonderful young man rest in peace.
 
S

Sheryl Posted at 10:17am

Chad - thank you very much for posting your memories of Alex. As Alex's family, it is wonderful to hear that others were positively impacted by our son/brother. We felt he had such a wonderful heart and caring soul and will forever miss that smile. Thank you for sharing your story and the impact Alex had on you at your difficult time. I hope things are better for you and your family now.
MR

Mervyn Riley

Posted at 06:56pm
We first met a wee Alexander when he was only 2 years old. Only 2 years old but he was certainly a smart & charming wee cookie. Always smiling & eager to please. Many's the time that he would badger Adam to boot up the "Pootah" so that he could play "Dook Nookum" (Duke Nukem). How I laughed at his skill. He was obviously destined to join the Army from a very young age. At that time Adam was competing most weekends at Moto Cross. When Kevin & Adam were preparing Adam's bike for a race, the young Alex always took a close interest, as if he were the Chief Mechanic. Alex grew into a very smart, if, somewhat argumentative teenager. I always put it down to the fact that he was undecided about which road life was about to take him down. I like to think of the arguments as reasoned discussions or debates. Despite being an awkward teenager, Alex was still a delight to be around. There were certainly few dull moments in his company. He always looked after his friends from across the "Pond" & was a delight to be around. Always offering advice & help when required. He loved being the Uncle of Seth & Troy & was always giving them help & advice. When he passed his driving test, he was always available to chauffeur us about in his pride & joy of an old banger. I was so pleased when he bought the Camaro. On one trip to Winnipeg, we were discussing career options & he'd expressed a thought that he might join the Military. Well the Army certainly made a man of him. As an Air Force Veteran of 31 years, I saw a massive change in him & was delighted to welcome him to the Veteran's Club after he left the Army. To me, Alex always had that little bit more potential. In fact he had so much unfulfilled potential that his early demise really saddens me. Far too young to die. Stand easy Trooper, your duty is done. It was a pleasure to have been able to call you my friend. Rest in Peace. Muriel, Mervyn & Gemma would like to express their sincere condolences to all of Alex's family, we've certainly shared some of your pain recently..
 
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Sheryl Posted at 11:08am

Thank you for sharing your memories and condolences Mervyn. You are all so much a part of our family and Alex felt that too. He was always excited when I told him 'Uncle' Merv was coming for a visit and that included as an adult. Sharing the military experience brought about another special bond that he really appreciated...and the fact that you could appreciate his car was an added bonus. Love to you all.
PT

Penny Triggs

Posted at 03:53pm
Sheryl, Glenn, Jessica, Adam and family - I am so very sorry for your loss. I remember many stories of Alex as a child. He was a year older than my nephew and such a joyful little boy. There is little I can say that would provide comfort, but know you are in my thoughts and prayers. Love to you all …
 
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Sheryl Posted at 10:12pm

Thank you Penny. I remember us trading stories of Alex and your nephew....and the stories provided a lot of smiles and giggles at their antics!
K

Kristina Nugent

Posted at 10:30pm
I am so sorry for your loss. Alex had a truly kind heart and an incredible mind. I will always fondly remember our childhood friendship. I remember playing Lego with him, watching Land Before Time and playing games in our yards as kids. He helped me have a bright and happy childhood. He will be missed. Love and prayers to your family and all those who feel his loss.
 
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Sheryl Posted at 11:28pm

Thank you Kristina, we remember those times with you and Alex playing with such fondness too. You played so well together. I haven't finished posting the pictures yet but I found one of you, Alex and Kevin on our stairs and have posted it on the Photo page. Sheryl & Family
HS

Heartfelt Sympathies

Posted at 09:15pm
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