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Born: Nov 04, 1938

Date of Passing: Jan 22, 2018

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ERNEST LAWRENCE EUGENE TOWARNICKI 1938 - 2018 Ernie was born November 4, 1938 in Winnipeg, MB to Lena and Michael Towarnicki, and grew up in Winnipeg where he lived with his parents and took care of them in their aging years. Ernie loved life and was a very ambitious man. He had many interests and loved to get involved in community affairs. He was always interested in trying new things. Between ages 19 to 21 he played goalie in Industrial hockey and wound up losing his teeth. He took up wrestling and weight lifting in his early 20s. He even played one try out game with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers but decided it was too rough and he had other ways to enjoy life. He loved bowling and was secretary treasure of 5-pin bowling leagues. He was a trip Manager for fishing for 11 years and organized bus fishing trips for weekends. Ernie had several jobs in his life. He worked with McDonald Aircraft for 15 years and at Bristol Aerospace 28 years where he was a Standard Aero-on loan Quality Control Inspector. He was on the company union, chair of social welfare to members. He took cooking classes in the early 1960s in Germany three years and Winnipeg two years to receive a Chef license. He worked on Dew Line (1972 to 1981) in the Northwest Territories, Yukon, Baffin Island, Iceland as Chef and shop steward for all culinary. He loved planting flowers in the house from seeds and had a few hundred plants. He had many hobbies and went to horticulture school in Winnipeg. He had a pin collector business at the Forks Market called Pin King Collection of Canada Ltd. and he was called Pin King because he had over one million pins. He also had a Winnipeg business, Mr. Chandelier; cleaning chandeliers for homes and businesses for three years. He cleaned chandeliers of Fort Garry Hotel. He was part owner and manager of Northgate Car Wash, a Chef on trains CPR/CNR/BC rail from 1990 to 1994, owned several restaurants at different times in southern Manitoba; two in Winnipeg, Highway Park Inn and Balmoral Hotel, and one in Manitou, the Family Inn. He also did lots of volunteer work and loved fundraising. He became a member of the horticulture society in Winnipeg. Was a member of Air Force Association. He had a security business for 10 years in the 1980s. In 1995, he moved to Morden where he became President and a judge at the Morden Horticulture Society. He started the hanging baskets in Morden, fixed up Milne Park, and started a town and country five-mile radius Best Yards competition. He ran Flea Markets in the Morden, Winkler and Plum Coulee areas. Ernie also did Security for several businesses in Winkler and Morden. He started a youth club in Morden. He won an award for best yard in Morden and planted over 2,000 flowers from seed! Ernie participated in a 16-week diabetic leg ulcer study by the Health Sciences Centre Diabetic Foot and Complicated Wound clinic. He travelled to Winnipeg every day for 13 weeks. It was completely successful. Ernie wrote an article about the success and placed it in 120 papers throughout Manitoba on August 11, 1998 and on TV, Peter Warren interviewed Ernie on his last radio show to discuss the results. Ernie lived in Plum Coulee from 2000 to 2010. It was his Plum Coulee friends that drew him to receive Christ as his saviour. He was always grateful to them for that. On June 3, 2001 Ernie was baptized upon his confession of faith in the Plum Coulee Bergthaler Mennonite Church. He did security for the Town of Plum Coulee and had a security business with four big box stores and Southland Mall. He was known as the hot dog man as he operated a hot dog stand at the Wholesale Club. He was on the board at the Plum Coulee Co-op Store, a board member and treasurer at the Plum Coulee Senior Centre and did Plum Coulee fundraising. Putting on a community meal was his greatest thrill. He enjoyed cooking. In 2002 with the help of Fred Dueck, he built a Choo Choo train. For 12 years he rode the train as Hobo the Clown giving children rides. This was his pride and joy. He went all over southern Manitoba with that train giving children rides, doing small town fairs, church and business picnics, even to Thompson once. In 2009, he survived a major Colon Cancer surgery. He was a cancer survivor. It was during this time that he met Verna and married her on May 29, 2010. Ernie always considered Verna his angel as she prayed and encouraged him through this time. After moving to Winkler, Ernie started Pembina Valley Collections and operated it for six years. He was a board member of Salem Home, Gateway Resources Inc., and the Winkler Heritage Museum. He created a park of Hope at Gateway Resources with wife Verna, planting and maintaining flowers year after year. Ernie was always grateful for all the friends he met in Winkler, Morden and Plum Coulee. He always talked about the area as the valley and was always thankful for the friendliness of the area. He was always grateful that he met the Lord through his Plum Coulee friends and was baptized. He also was so thankful for all the doctors that helped him through the colon cancer surgery. His last wish was to donate his body to the University of Manitoba for research but due to the results of the colon surgery they were unable to accept it. He wanted to help others. After his cancer surgery, Verna helped him with the train several years until it became too difficult for him. In their time together they loved to travel, do some gardening, go biking and scootering together, following music concerts and getting together with their Bible study friends. In 2016, Ernie had a blood clot in his leg and it caused him to have a vascular bypass on his leg, October 31. After this he was hospitalized due to a bit of infection and while he was there he caught a bug which made him deathly sick. It took months for him to recover from it. In this time, he started losing weight and losing his appetite. It made him weaker and recovery was slow. In spring, along with much therapy he was almost well enough to go home when he fell in the hospital and fractured the same leg that he had surgery on. This delayed his homecoming again. Then in September he was released and came home for three weeks but caught a cold which turned into pneumonia and then had a small heart attack which put him back in the hospital. After this it seemed that he was losing heart and it was difficult to gain back his health. On January 22, 2018 at the age of 79, with Verna by his side, he went home to be with Jesus. We will miss him. Ernie was predeceased by his parents, Michael and Lena Towarnicki, and his brothers and spouses, Dr. Marvin Towarnicki and Barbara, Walter and Wanda, Bill and Louise. He is survived by his wife, Verna, her children, Travis and Marilyn (Xander, Raiden, Zaide), Shannen and Jenn (Amber and Abe, Kinsley, Karsten and Autumn), Shelly and Ian (John, Victoria), Dwayne and Kara (Sarah, Ellen, Edith), Kelley and Lisa, and many friends. Memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 27, 2018 at the Plum Coulee Bergthaler Mennonite Church, 51 Centre St. North in Plum Coulee. We would like to thank Wiebe Funeral Home for their helpfulness, Dr. Blignaut and the rehab staff and all the staff at Boundary Trails Health Centre for their loving care of Ernie, as well as the Plum Coulee Bergthaler Church people and Pastor James Peters of the Winkler EMMC for all their help with the service. Wiebe Funeral Home, Winkler In care of arrangements

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jan 26, 2018

Condolences & Memories (1 entries)

  • My condolences to the family.Rest in peace Ernie. - Posted by: Allan Malanik (1st cousin) on: Jan 26, 2018

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