Petrussa, Ernest Otto

Written by ECA Review


Ernest Otto Petrussa was born July 14, 1929 and passed away Feb. 12, 2021 at the amazing age of 91 years old.

Ernie was one of seven kids whose parents came over from Italy and homesteaded southeast of Big Valley, Alta. 

Their homestead is where Ernie was born and raised. 

He attended Gopher Head School as a child while he worked on the farm with his parents and siblings. 

He and his brother, John, carried on with the family farm and started their own pedigreed seed growing business, Petrussa Seed Farms. 

Ernie was no stranger to work with many hours spent in the tractor at seeding and spraying time, working long hours in a combine at harvest and in the colder months he operated the seed cleaning plant. 

After his brother’s passing in 2004, Ernie began farming with his nephews, Mark and Miles and their families. 

Ernie enjoyed being able to work alongside four generations of his family, watching his great-great nieces and nephews grow up. 

He was also very proud to have two great-great nephews and a great-great-niece being raised in the yard that he grew up in.  

In 2014, Ernie celebrated 100 years of farming legacy on the Petrussa homestead and reminisced at just how far they had progressed since he began farming with his parents using horses.

Ernie also enjoyed having a good time. 

After retiring from farm work, he moved to Big Valley where he and his partner Margaret enjoyed playing crib at the Big Valley Inn on Sundays. 

Ernie was also a member of the Big Valley Elks and was a great supporter of the communities of Big Valley and Byemoor. 

Ernie was not shy of a good time and enjoyed a good whiskey and water. With his most joyful, infectious laugh he could make anyone smile and will be forever remembered by it.

Ernie is predeceased by his parents Peter and Emilia, his brothers Gino and John and sister Anne. 

He is survived by his partner Margaret, sisters Lucy, Adeline and Elsie, as well as many nieces and nephews, great-nieces and nephews and great-great nieces and nephews who loved and adored him.

Donations can be made to STARS Air Ambulance or a charity of choice c/o Stettler Funeral Home & Crematorium, P.O. Box 1780, Stettler, Alta. T0C 2L0, 403-742-3422, who were entrusted with the care and funeral arrangements.  

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