Alfred Sylling of Spring Grove died Sunday, Oct. 13, at Tweeten Nursing Home in Spring Grove.

Born in Spring Grove on May 22, 1914, to Christian and Louise Sylling, he lived his entire life in his beloved hometown.  He grew up in his parent's house, which still stands on Main Street, and he was baptized and confirmed in the Trinity Lutheran Church.  He played basketball in high school, and graduated as the valedictorian in 1932. Alfred attended Luther College and St. Olaf colleges, and then returned to Spring Grove to join his father and brother, Pep Sylling, at the family business, the Sylling Elevator. He operated the business for 39 years.

He married Shirley Christianson June 18, 1944, and together they raised two sons, John and Charlie. Al and Shirley were happily married for 69 years.

He was active in the Spring Grove Commercial Club, and served on the town council for several years. Al was a lifelong member of Trinity Lutheran Church.

Al was an avid golfer.  He fondly remembered playing a village course located near what is now the Trinity Cemetery west of town.  He was a founding member of Ma Cal Grove, where he planted nearly all of the trees on the golf course, and served on the Ma Cal Grove Board for many years.  Al also loved to fish.  He traveled to northern Minnesota and Ontario, Canada, for fishing trips for over 60 years, making his last trip when he was 93 years old.  He loved his old Humphry fishing reel and often showed it to complete strangers saying, "Did you ever see a reel like this?" 

In 1956 Alfred and Shirley built a new home on what was then the southeast end of town, and he loved working in his large yard and garden. Many neighbors, friends, and pastors of Trinity Lutheran church enjoyed the harvest of his large tomato and asparagus patches. Al and Shirley hosted many family reunions in their home and backyard.

He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Shirley, and son Charlie (Candyce) of Camano Island, Wash.  Al and Shirley have three grandchildren, Kjersten (Jim) Woodward of Normal, Ill., Emily Sylling (Rhys Williams) of Renton, Wash., and Andrew (Lauren) Sylling of Stratford, Conn.; two great-grandchildren, Sasha Williams (Renton, Wash.), and John Woodward (Normal, Ill). 

He was preceded in death by his parents, seven brothers and sisters, and son, John.

Visitation will be at Trinity Lutheran Church, Spring Grove, on Friday, Oct. 18, from 4 to 6 p.m. The funeral service will be at Trinity Lutheran Church on Saturday, Oct. 19, at 11 a.m.  Burial will be a private family graveside service. A reception will follow at the church. 

The family wishes to thank their many neighbors and friends who have shown Al and Shirley so many kindnesses in the later years of their lives. The family requests that memorials in lieu of flowers be made to the Trinity Lutheran Church or Tweeten Healthcare Center in Spring Grove.

Funeral arrangements are being made by the Roble Funeral Home in Spring Grove.