Ernie Nolan was born June 14, 1928 in Sandy Lake, Manitoba and passed away peacefully February 22, 2023 in Ponoka, Alberta. He is lovingly remembered by his daughters; Shelley (Don) Freesland and Vonalee (Mark) Gilroy; his son Bryce (Valerie); his cherished grandchildren Kinga, Raleigh and Anastasia; his brother Mitchell; his sister Olga; and numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. He is predeceased by his wife Frances; his parents Rose and John Nawalkowski; his sisters Marie and Elsie; and his brothers Caesar and Nelson.
“I never met a tool I didn’t like,” Ernie said. From building his own violin, a flywheel wood splitter, and model Stirling engines, to a gas-powered go-cart for his children and a motorized garden mulcher for Frances, Ernie spent a lifetime perfecting his skills.
He found time to do this through his nearly four decades of teaching junior high students in Manitoba, Calgary, and College Heights, and 38 years of tending his beloved Ponoka acreage, where his children grew up. Typically phlegmatic, he said, “Teaching was good to me … although there were a few years I could have done without.” He was dedicated to his students in ways large and small. He was also dedicated to his church, steadily contributing behind the scenes and demonstrating his faith through his unselfishness, kindness, and patience.
In retirement, Ernie and Frances traveled to such places as Alaska, the Bahamas, Fiji, and Switzerland – both for vacation and for volunteer work on construction projects. When Frances’ health declined, Ernie devoted himself to caring for her at home.
Looking back at his life, Ernie was fortunate to be able to say, “I honestly don’t have any major regrets.” And if there was one thing that he wanted his children to remember, it was, “I really, really tried to be the best father.” He can rest assured that he absolutely fulfilled that wish. Ernie was a child of God, a precious husband and father, a fine teacher, an honorable man. We are so blessed to have had him in our lives, and his light will forever remain in our hearts.
A Memorial Service will be held at the Ponoka Seventh-day Adventist Church on Saturday, March 4 at 5:00 p.m. A private interment will take place at the Forest Home Cemetery. Memorial donations are gratefully accepted to A-Better-World.ca or a charity of your choice.
The Memorial Service will be Livestream Broadcast - the video link is located below.
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