Ernest Walter Shumsky
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June 6, 1955 – January 7, 2013
With profound sadness we announce the sudden death of Ernie Shumsky, of Calgary, AB, formerly of Fort McMurray, AB.
Ernie was born and raised in Grimsby, ON and graduated from the University of Waterloo in 1979 as a chemical engineer. With his loving wife, Barbara, he came west to Alberta to join Suncor Energy that same year.
Ernie was a bear of a man with tons of energy, enthusiasm and a quirky sense of humour. He loved people and they loved him back. A man of many passions, he was adventurous with a rare and boundless zest for life.
Ernie played football and lacrosse at Grimsby High and his commitment to the teams ruled his young life. Ernie remained an avid sportsman, pursuing such passions as skiing in the mountains he loved. At the age of 56, at Banff's Sunshine Village, he persuaded the Ski Patrol to jump with him at Delirium Dive! He was very proud that an old guy like him still had it! Golfing gave him time to share with friends and to decompress from the many stresses of life. He played 18 holes on the day of his untimely passing. He also loved to dive and hoped in retirement to get back to the bubbles.
At Suncor, Ernie was highly regarded over his 33-year career as a chemical engineer, an operations supervisor, and his progression through many levels of seniority. He was intuitive, diligent and detail-oriented; a principled and an ethical colleague; a mentor to many; and a consummate perfectionist committed to the pursuit of his craft. Operability, safety and maintenance were key in carrying out his work and the many projects he oversaw. Ernie contributed in a significant way to the growth and success of the oil sands industry.
Raised in the Orthodox Catholic faith, Ernie followed the path of a truly Christian man.
Ernie is lovingly remembered by Barbara, his cherished wife of 40 years; Max, his shih zhu; siblings Paul (Susan) and Christine; father-in-law Kevin J. Manning; brother-in- law Daniel P. Manning (Sharon Parsons), niece Colleen (Andy Pequegnat) and great nephew Riley Ernest; by Joan Manning and Herk and Rose Phillips; and by the Gayowski, Manasterski and Connor families.
Condolences may be sent to
Tributes in Ernie's memory may be made to the Heart and Stoke Foundation (heartandstroke.ca) or The Alberta Cancer Foundation (www.albertacancer.ca).
Published in National Post on Jan. 19, 2013