Things rarely get really serious on The Bachelor, but when they do, they do not hold back. For example, on the first one-on-one date in the entire show, Becca K. opened up to Arie about her dad's death when she was quite young. So who was Becca's dad, Steve Kufrin? The Bachelor contestant had a close relationship with her father. It's going to be important going forward because we've now gotten to the hometown portion of the show, where Arie will have to impress his final four contenders' families. This may be particularly difficult for Becca, whose dad can't be there to meet him.
From what I can tell from my research, Becca's father was truly an incredible and well-beloved man in Minnesota. He was diagnosed with brain cancer and five years later succumbed to the disease in 2009, leaving behind his wife Jill, and two daughters, Emily and of course Becca. According to the obituaries I found, Kufrin was a three and a half year Air Force veteran, an accomplished newspaperman, an avid outdoorsman, and dedicated wetlands and waterfowl activist. He was well known for his activism in the community and much missed after his passing. This is going to be a tough episode to watch.
According to Minnesota newspaper the Star Tribune, Kufrin was a onetime sports editor, columnist and photographer for the Swift County Monitor-News, as well as the editor of the Minnesota Waterfowl Association magazine. He began working for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in 1990. He was passionate about conservation and all things ducks, pheasants, and wetlands. In 2005, the USFWS created the Kufrin Waterfowl Production Area, a piece of land for the protection of ducks and geese, in his honor. He was also granted the National Wetlands Conservation Lifetime Achievement Award.
After his death the outlet Outdoor News also profiled the titan for wetlands conservation in his home state. The magazine cited a 2005 press release in which Kufrin explained that his passion for conservation started when he returned home after his overseas service in the Air Force in the 1960s. "While in the Air Force, I’d get letters from friends and family that said, ‘less ducks, less pheasants,’" he said. "When I got home and visited wetlands I used to hunt on, all I could find was a combine and drain tile. The wetlands were gone. Forty years later, we’re still trying to recapture our wetlands and grasslands we lost in the 1960s."
In both profiles, friends and family members remembered Kufrin, sometimes called "Buckshot," was not just a dedicated outdoorsman, but a friendly, lovable man as well. "He didn’t mind a gin and tonic, he didn’t mind a beer, and he’d fish for bluegills," his longtime friend Paul Hanson said.
But of course, no one could possibly miss Kufrin more than his own family. In a heart-wrenching Instagram post, Becca put up a picture of herself as a little girl with her dad with the accompanying caption:
Not a day goes by that I don't think about the angel that is Steven Karl (with a K) Kufrin. He gets the Father-of-a-Lifetime award for putting up with me between the ages of 3-17. Happy Father's Day to the most suave man this side of the Mississippi has ever seen (see slide 2 for reference)
It's never easy to lose a father, and I can't imagine trying to discuss it on national television. So good on Becca for putting it all out there. All I can really say is that she deserves every happiness, and I'm sure her dad is proud of her.
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