With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of Ernest Edward Payne, on Sept. 24, 2018 at the Kelowna General Hospital. Ernest, better known to family and friends as Ernie is survived by his wife, love, and lifetime partner, Rose. Though an accomplished accountant and successful businessman, his true legacy is his children, Judy, Robert, and Ernie Jr., and his grandchildren, Jared Bligh, Graeme Bligh, and Amanda Payne. He loved them deeply and admired them greatly, as they did him. He had a special and very unique relationship with each of them. He went to every performance, game, and event that he could, always encouraging, cheering, and putting his children’s and grandchildren’s activities and dreams at the top of his priority list. He also had an extremely close connection with his son-in-law, Michael Bligh (Judy), and his daughters-in-law, Linda (Rob) and Lori (Ernie Jr). He was a dog lover and enjoyed visits from his grand-dog, Emma.
Ernie was born at the Grace Hospital in Winnipeg, son of Ada and Tom Harry Payne. He grew up, with his parents and brother Tom, in Kirkfield, and later moved to Spruce Street where he made lifetime friendships. In his teenage years, he learned crackerjack carpentry skills building homes in Kirkfield. He was the ultimate handyman and happy to fix, repair, refinish, or rebuild anything.
Ernie graduated from Daniel McIntyre High School and started his career at John Deere. He sought a better life for his young family; during evenings while working at CN, he obtained his Registered Industrial Accountant (RIA) designation, and later his Certified Managerial Accountant (CMA) designation, which opened opportunities for him at Wardair, Parks Canada, and the Department of National Defence (DND). Ernie’s career moved his family from Winnipeg to Edmonton, to Calgary, and back to Winnipeg. It also provided the family with opportunity to travel, overseas on Wardair, and to various RIA/CMA conferences.
He was introduced to the love of his life, Rose Malazdrewicz, in 1954. It was a touch of magic as the tall, blue eyed, good looking, quiet spoken Englishman from the big City fell in love with the hazel eyed, beautiful, hard-working, outgoing farm girl from Narol. The two were married on August 10, 1957 and their life was filled with a deep and enduring love. The two complemented each other perfectly – one might say they were two sides of the same coin – different and yet so connected – integral to each other. Her large family became his family too.
Ernie was a humble man. His quiet connection with so many is a resounding tribute to the character of man he was – a man who would listen intently, and kindly, and offer a word or two of wisdom. Ernie worked hard, but he understood balance, and the importance of relaxation and seeking fun. He was a scout leader for many years. He had lifetime activities which he enjoyed – playing cards, reading, and gardening – and learned to transition more rigorous activities, such as water-skiing, snow skiing, and sailing, to more sedentary activities such as puttering, transplanting trees, and throwing out a fishing line. He loved to play cribbage and taught his children and grandchildren how to play so he would always have a partner in the game. He could count a hand with a glance.
Ernie was a generous man – always ready to assist with his time, his accounting abilities, or handyman skills. He was very keen in the later years for he and Rose to treat immediate family to vacations together and the nine of us will cherish our family Caribbean cruise and our Whistler skiing trip. He had a great sense of humour, with a dry British wit and lots of puns.
Ernie retired from the DND in 1990, but his hard work and dedication to make his family’s life better continued. He and Rose attended real estate workshops and decided to build their future through investments in real property. The two of them have been respectful landlords to many tenants over the years, a number of whom have become their friends. Ernie also happily supported Rose in the building of a gallery of fine art, Atelier 10, and in her passion for fine art – through which they also made many friends.
Being an outdoorsman, Ernie was proud of the cottage that he had a major hand in designing and building at Falcon Lake. At Falcon, summer after summer, he took part in all the glorious things that he so enjoyed with Rose, his children, and his grandchildren – boating, sailing, walking, building treehouses, playing cards and games, reading, piecing together puzzles, fishing, soaking in the hot tub, sitting by the fire pit, admiring Manitoba sunsets, and devouring delicious meals. He enjoyed simple things mostly, and yet he was our superman – balancing a ladder on rocks, so he could climb up and saw off branches with a chain saw to give us a better view of the lake. Ernie’s appetite was enormous, and he was passionate about food! Even at age 86, his appetite rivalled that of his grandsons.
Ernie was a true gentleman, a kind and generous soul, a wonderful husband, and an incredible father and grandfather. Ernie is a resounding example of a life well lived. With his wife and children by his side, he passed peacefully of old age. He will be forever in our hearts and we will always treasure our memories of Ernie – our Dearie, Dad, Pop, Papa, Pops, Poppee (as fondly referred to by his family).
Ernie’s family extends their thanks to the staff at Sturgeon Creek II, and to the nurses, doctors, and care workers who assisted in his care. In lieu of flowers, Rose and family request donations be made to Diabetes Canada for Type 2 diabetes research at www.diabetes.ca.
Plans for a private family celebration of life will be sent to family and close friends in the near future.
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