February 4, 1919 – July 15, 2021
Ernest, the Christian cartoonist who brought smiles to the faces of thousands for more than half a century, has passed away at the age of 102. Ernie, died at Menno Home in Abbotsford on July 15, 2021.
He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Rose, along with his children, Valerie, (Phil) of Ladysmith, and Gary, (Linda) of Sherwood Park, Alberta, along with three grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
He was predeceased by his parents, Albin and Hedvig along with his brother, David, and sister, Thelma. Ernie was born in the family farmhouse in the Scandinavian community of Ridgedale on the Matsqui Prairie on Feb. 4, 1919. At the age of four, Ernie discovered his love of doodling after drawing a stickman at his grandmother’s urging.
Cartooning became his hobby growing up and once he enlisted in the army he was producing one-frame cartoons in military publications during the Second World War.
He continued to draw cartoons as he began a job as a compositor at the Swedish Press in Vancouver in 1947 and later at Quesnel’s Cariboo Observer. While there, he met and married Rose.
In 1958 they moved to Maple Ridge where Ernie worked at the Gazette for more than 25 years, producing weekly cartoons and spending most of his free time entertaining everyone from kids to seniors with his chalk talks at venues like the BC Children’s Hospital, Canuck Place and Ronald McDonald House.
After returning to Abbotsford in 2003, Ernie – now utilizing his unique Initial Cartoon technique – regularly delivered smiles to folks at hospitals and schools, prompting the Abbotsford Arts Council to award him a lifetime achievement award in 2011.
Ernie self-published three books of his cartoons, including the latest in 2019 as he turned 100. At the time, Ernie quipped ‘I like to stay busy. It keeps me young.’
The family wish to thank the entire staff at Menno Home for caring for Ernie. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Mennonite Benevolent Society.
A Celebration of Life will be announced at a later date.
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