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TAMKE, Ernest John
November 9, 1923 to October 29, 2012
"Ernie" was born in Dodsland (near Saskatoon), Saskatchewan, the second child of five to Austrian American parents, Mary (Haichert) and John Tamke. He died peacefully in his sleep 11 days shy of his 89th birthday, and 9 weeks after the death of his dearly beloved wife of 65 years, Emily (August 25, 2012). He was predeceased by his brothers Gustav (1936) and Edward (1999) and his daughter-in-law Ellen (2002) and is survived by his sisters, Bertha Herndier and Mandy Harrison. He will be deeply missed and forever loved by his daughters, Diane (Scott), Brenda (Garry), and his sons Stephen (Paula) and Vernon, six grandchildren and partners, and six great- grandchildren, and other relatives. Ernie was a WWII Veteran and a Canadian Legion member of 57 years. He will be remembered most for being a proud father, an accomplished master carpenter able to "engineer" and built anything to outlast himself, and his habit of always being early. He supervised the restoration of the Haney House in 1979, and had also built the platform base for the steel horse clock in 1988, just prior to his retirement from the Municipality of Maple Ridge. In his early years, he loved music and dancing before hearing deficits limited these activities. He also enjoyed driving (usually new cars) to Saskatchewan to visit family, friends, and in particular, "Tamke Road" while reminiscing about his early years on the farm and mischievous army years stationed in Dundurn. He was an avid outdoorsman having a jeep with a winch long before it was trendy to go off road into the wilderness. Ernie was always camera ready to capture all these moments and had subsidized his income in the army by selling photographs to the guys of them in military action. He liked telling stories about the past and accentuating them with jokes, never missing the punch line. Ernie always worked hard and had a project on the go, right up to the end, ensuring the cement was poured properly for Emily's grave stone. He was determined in life to "rig" things up to be as efficient, effective, and as fun as possible, boasting that "only service in the military could teach proper discipline to young people" and he credited his military service to enriching his life. A funeral will be held on Saturday, November 17, 2012, at St. John the Divine Anglican Church in Maple Ridge at 1:30 p.m. Following the interment at the Maple Ridge Cemetery, a reception lunch will be held at the Maple Ridge Legion. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Branch 88 of the Royal Canadian Legion. Condolences may be sent to www.mapleridgefuneralchapel.ca.
Published in Vancouver Sun and/or The Province on Nov. 15, 2012