Born to Bernard and Rose Exner, Alvin grew up in Winfield Township, and graduated from St. John's Academy in Jamestown, North Dakota.
Robina grew up in the Cleveland, North Dakota area, and graduated from Jamestown High School. She was the daughter of George and Helen Williams.
Alvin and Robina (Tiny) were married in Jamestown on June 1, 1963. Following their marriage, they bought the former Floyd Whitney farm. They built a new home in 1974.
Alvin and Tiny were both active in 4-H. She was a long-time leader of the Prairie Lassies, and their children were also active 4-H members.
They had five children: Lori Ann, Stephanie Jo, Gregory Paul, Thomas Alvin, and Marie Elizabeth.