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Born: Apr 04, 1927

Date of Passing: Jan 16, 2021

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April 4, 1927 – January 16, 2021

With sorrow in our hearts, our family grieves the loss of our mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, after a life well-lived, surrounded by the love of family and friends.
Erna was the daughter of Alvina (Temple) and Ernie Zoller and the younger sister of Ruth Meder and Margaret Bruce, who predeceased her. Erna enters eternal life alongside her husband Robert Alexander Sullivan (December 7, 2020) after 68 years of marriage, and her eldest child, Robert John Sullivan Jr. (December 10, 2020), aged 66.
Erna leaves to mourn six children and their spouses; 16 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, with one more on the way. She is remembered by Margaret Sullivan (Trick), widow of Robert John Sullivan Jr., Carol Fehr (Wayne), Tom Sullivan (Pamela), Maureen Sutherland (Grant), Colleen Snyder (Tom), Barbara Backland (Leon) and Joan Halayko (Paul).
Erna is remembered lovingly by the families of Randy Bruce, Pam and Ross Eagleton, Jo-Anne and Ron Kullman and as a favourite friend by her sister-in-law Ann Master (Sullivan) of Minnesota.
Erna was born in Winnipeg's north end and spent her entire life living in and loving this great city. Erna talked warmly of her German parents and upbringing. She remained connected to her aunts and cousins in the Temple and Bieber families and made sure her children knew about their aunts, Marie, Tilly, Eleanor, cousin Jo-Anne and best friend Norma Workman. Erna was a devoted supporter of Rainbow Stage, the symphony, the ballet and regularly attended with several children and their friends in tow. She encouraged her daughters to sing with the Winnipeg Girls' Choir, perform in high school musicals and attended countless performances to show her support.
Erna did what mothers do – she loved her family fiercely. Her children remember her as the glue that held a crazy-busy household of seven children together and made growing up fun and safe. There was always another seat at an already full table for anyone who needed it. "What's another potato in the pot?" she would say as she agreed to feed whatever girlfriend, boyfriend or family member that was hanging around. Her holiday dinners were filled with food, family, friends, and most importantly, love. She was a terrific listener who always had some quiet pearls of wisdom to offer that we needed to hear without being lectured or told what to do. She was kind, caring and raised her children to be strong and independent. She taught by example by caring for elderly neighbours, volunteering at Our Lady of Victory church and making lifelong friends as part of the Catholic Women's League. She mentored young girls as a Girl Guide leader, passing on a lifetime of skills and wisdom.
Her grandchildren remember her as such a good-natured woman. She had a laugh – one of those real belly laughs that is infectious. She loved swimming and played with her grandchildren in the pool until they were exhausted. She always answered their questions and sparked ongoing conversations. They miss her cooking and baking most of all, because it was always taught with patience and made with extra love. By teaching her children the simplest recipes, Erna passed on much of herself to her grandchildren and hopefully, great-grandchildren. She may be gone, but never forgotten. Their grandmother will be remembered as a woman of humour, pride and strength.
Even during her last years, suffering with the effects of Alzheimer's disease, Erna was a happy and kind person. This is, we are sure, why the caregivers at Pembina Place loved her so to her last days. It is why we all loved her.
The family extends enormous gratitude to the staff of Pembina Place for the respect, caring and dignity shown to Erna in her final days. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, a Celebration of Life will take place at a later date. As an expression of sympathy, please donate in Erna's name to the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba.

For those who wish to sign the online Guest
Book please visit

Chapel Lawn Funeral Home

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jan 30, 2021

Condolences & Memories (1 entries)

  • My sincere sympathy to all the family. I was a good friend of her son Bob jr who I am very saddened at his recent passing also. I remember going the the Sullivan residence as a youth, sometimes with a few of our other friends. Whenever we went there we were always warmly welcomed by Mrs and Mr Sullivan and of course they fed us, if we were hungry. Both Mr and Mrs Sullivan were fine people who raised a wonderful family and who made us feel very much at home when we were there. What stands out the most is my memory of Bob Jr. often lovingly speaking about his mom. Dad and siblings. To Mr and Mrs Sullivan and my friend Bob Jr. Rest In Peace and joy. God Bless you. To the family, take heart in knowing that they are together as a family and smiling upon all of you with love. The past few months I’m sure has been very difficult for you as a family but the memories you have of them will sustain you and give you strength. Norman Carter ( friend) Norman Carter - Posted by: Norman Carter (Friend of Her son Bob) on: Mar 01, 2021

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