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ERNEST PHILIP MAYER
Born: Jul 31, 1943
Date of Passing: Jul 29, 2023Offer Condolences or Memory Make a donation to Winnipeg Humane Society
ERNEST PHILIP MAYER
July 31, 1943 – July 29, 2023
It is with profound sorrow that we announce Ernest’s unexpected and sudden passing at his home in Winnipeg.
Ernie was predeceased by his one true love, wife Nancy; as well as parents, Philipp and Hermine Mayer; older brother, Helmut; brother-in-law, Dave Vickers; special cousin, Rudy Huber; father-in-law Walter Smith and sister-in-law Liz Smith.
Left to treasure his memory are sisters Ingrid Vickers and Rosemarie Prokipchuk (Douglas); niece, Christina Price; nephews, Tim (Ewa) and Chris (Kristyn Branconier) Prokipchuk; grand-niece, Coral Price; numerous cousins; mother-in-law, Joan Smith; Brian and Sandy Smith; Douglas (Margaret), Lloyd (Bev) and David Smith; and long-time friend, Audrey Schreyer (Vaughan Martin). Ernie will also be missed by many others.
Ernie was born in Hasenfeld, Warthegau, Germany, where he endured the privations of war-torn Europe with his family. He immigrated to Canada with them in September 1948 and was educated at Faraday School and several other Winnipeg north and west-end schools, graduating from Sisler High in 1961.
With university as his goal, Ernie then spent some time “north of 55” to earn tuition funds by working at the INCO Mine in Thompson, MB. He subsequently attended the U of M’s Faculty of Architecture, working his way through college with stints at a tantalum mine one summer and at an architectural firm during the winter of 1968/69. He earned his B.Arch. degree in 1971, making lifelong friends along the way.
In the summer of 1970 Ernie was hired to document “150 Years of Art in Manitoba” for the Winnipeg Art Gallery, in what is now the Manitoba Archives Building, prior to the WAG’s 1971 official opening in its current location. That was the beginning of his 40 year association with the WAG as their head photographer.
Gifted and meticulous, his photography of artwork was widely published and highly acclaimed, earning him several book awards over the years. In addition, Ernie was the recipient of the 2009 “Award of Distinguished Service” from the Canadian Museums Association, to recognize his exceptional career as an outstanding museum professional. Following his 2010 retirement, he continued to photograph art for the WAG in a freelance capacity and also for others. His perfectionism assisted many authors and artists in all mediums through the years.
While photography was his passion, Nancy was his partner in all things, soulmate and cherished wife. Ernie loved being with her at home, at work, and abroad. While very content to simply sit side by side in her company, to work in their garden together or to entertain family and friends, Ernie truly revelled in travelling with Nancy; journeys to Greece and Germany, a cruise on the Danube, a tour of Egypt with Nancy and sister Ingrid, several jaunts to Mexico with Nancy and some with the Vickers and Prokipchuk families, many excursions to New York, road trips to Ottawa for visits with Audrey and Vaughan, and motoring to other cities within Canada and the United States. Unfortunately, his zest for travel and many other things passed away when Nancy did.
According to his wishes, cremation has taken place. A celebration of Ernie’s and Nancy’s lives will be held at 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, September 12, 2023, at Glen Lawn Funeral Home, 455 Lagimodiere Boulevard with interment to follow at 2:30 p.m. at Chapel Lawn, 4000 Portage Avenue.
For those who wish to join the service virtually, can do so at the Glen Lawn website.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Ernie’s memory may be made to the Winnipeg Humane Society or the Assiniboine Park Zoo.
Family and friends may sign a book of condolence at www.glenlawn.ca.
Glen Lawn Funeral Home
As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Sep 02, 2023
Condolences & Memories (3 entries)
I was briefly the Chief Curator at WAG in 1984-85 when there was much turmoil. Ernie was a calming member of staff. When he received the award from CMA I was able to catch up with them both. A lovely couple and professional through difficult times. Certainly a great one in our profession. - Posted by: Wayne Morgan (professional colleague and friend) on: Oct 01, 2023
SORRY ERNEST PASSED AWAY TWO DAYS BEFORE HIS 80TH BIRHDAY I WILL WATCH THE SERVICE ON VIRTUAL ON TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 12,2023 - Posted by: ALFRED KLEIN (MY MOTHER'S FREIND WAS HIS MOTHER WHEN GROWING UP) on: Sep 05, 2023
I am very honoured to have worked with Ernie at the WAG, as well as his wife Nancy. Both were pillars of the gallery and their passing marks an end to an era. Their integrity, vision and dedication will be missed. Journey well Nancy and Ernie. <3 - Posted by: Tanya Reid (Co-worker) on: Sep 02, 2023
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