On Friday August 9, 2019, Ernest Montsion, loving father and grandfather, peacefully passed away at the St. Claude Pavilion in St. Claude, Manitoba, at the age of 96 years. He is predeceased by his wife Georgette Montsion (née Tougas) in 1992 and grandson André Dion in 2010. He leaves to mourn his partner of 25 years, Noella Rivard; his 98 year old brother Ted from Calgary; his children, Patricia (Jeff Dubrule) from Calgary, Pauline (Denis) Dion, and Gilles (Murielle) Montsion from Calgary; along with his grandchildren; Ashlee (Shawn), Marc, and Nicholas (Mylène) Townson; Rachelle (Steeve) Dion-Savard; Lise and Joel Montsion.
Born on December 22, 1922 in a log cabin near San Clara, Manitoba, Ernest is the second son of Wilfred & Berthe (Abraham) Montsion. At age 4 his mother passed away, the following years were spent with an Uncle and Aunt in Montreal where he attended school. During the Great Depression his father without gainful employment eventually secured one forested acre for $10 near Nipigon Ontario. Ernest finally joined his dad and brother since losing mom, there they built a log home from the trees they cleared. No money no worry, plenty of fish and rabbits for survival, these were Ernest's happiest years. Ernest played harmonica and nearby Finlanders made him a good dancer.
Soon the war ensued, in 1942 at age 19 Ernest enlisted with the Canadian Army and joined the Loyal Edmonton Regiment (There were five WWII front line Loyal Eddies left, now 4 remain) Ernest participated in the push north thru Italy (the famed D-day Dodgers), the liberation of Holland, and remained as peacetime Military Police in Belgium. After returning home on a US aircraft carrier in 1946, Ernest built roads in Manitoba's north, became a senior foreman and married a camp cook, Georgette in 1951. In 1961 he and Georgette purchased the Haywood General Store where Ernest became very active in the community; postmaster, credit union president, volunteer fireman, downhill ski patrol, high school driving instructor, eventually retiring and learning Spanish. Together he and Georgette journeyed to Columbia and drove the back roads of both Mexican coasts in his base model Volvo. After cooking and caring for his wife Georgette who passed away in 1992, Ernest moved away to Winnipeg, travelled to many places including Tunisia, Caribbean, Hawaii, Netherlands (was in repeat liberation parade in Apeldoorn for 55th commemoration in 2000 with Gilles, included a stay in Rome where Ernest had his best memories of Italy).
A Funeral Service will be held Tuesday August 20, 2019 in the St. Denis Catholic Church in Haywood. Eulogy and Video Tribute will begin at 1:30 p.m. followed by Mass.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Haywood & St. Claude Legion Branch #037, Box 454, St. Claude, Manitoba, R0G 1Z0 as Ernest was a 50 year member, and had been a Legion Branch President.
Adam’s Funeral Home of Notre Dame de Lourdes, Manitoba in care of arrangements. Phone 204-248-2201. For more information and condolences, please visit www.afh.ca
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To view Ernest's interview please click below
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