Ernie was born in Edgewood, B.C. June 15, 1925 to Ernst and Mary (Buck) Gerber. He was the youngest of three children. His family operated a cheese factory in Edgewood. Later they moved to Maple Creek, Saskatchewan. Ernie had been on his own since a young teenager throughout the Dirty 30’s and war time. He worked very hard as a chauffeur in Davidson, SK, the nickel mines of Sudbury, ON, winter logging and coal mines of Luscar, AB, and as a farm hand for a few dairy operations near Calgary. In 1947 he bought a farm north east of Coronation, AB and traded his Indian motorcycle and sidecar for a grain truck that was later used as the Coronation fire truck. He married in 1957 and was blessed with three children for whom he spent countless hours building homemade toys from tractors to go-karts and even a go-kart banked track.
Ernie used his creative ingenuity to build various farm yard buildings and machines to expand the farm. He was able to repair most anything and offered his help to neighbours. He even built his own machinery. In 1965 he designed a hydraulic motor and control system that he patented. Ernie never lost his curiosity of how things were made and at the age of 65, he trained for two years to become a machinist.
Ernie moved to Drumheller to retire. In 1994, he married Mavis Keith. Together, they enjoyed many trips for various wood working courses. They travelled to Eastern Canada, the Caribbean, to Switzerland where he located his family roots, and most recently to Hawaii. Numerous other more local adventures were made with Mavis and friends. He loved visiting and exchanging ideas with his sense of humour and wit. He enjoyed his home, working in his shop and out in their yard.
Ernie is survived by his loving wife and best friend Mavis Keith-Gerber and his special pet Chauncey; his children; Bill (Gail) Gerber of Bragg Creek, Jim (Terese) Gerber of Coronation and Rhonda (Siggi) Pechout of Calgary, his grandchildren; Lexi Pechout, Chelsey and Teren Gerber; Mavis’ sons; Ian (Connie) Walker, Danny Walker and Darren Walker and grandchildren; Kayanna, Kaleb, Janelle and Brianne Walker. He is also survived by his sister Alice (Ken) Haddow and sister-in-law Alice Gerber. He is predeceased by his brother John Gerber.
Night prayer service was held on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at Courtney & Winters, Drumheller. Funeral services were held at St. Anthony’s Catholic Parish on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 at 11 a.m. Ernie will be laid to rest at the Drumheller Municipal Cemetery. Lunch will follow interment at the Royal Canadian Legion. Memorial donations in his memory may be made to the Drumheller Health Center, Physiotherapy Department.