February 27, 1932 — February 28, 2019
Ernie Benzer passed peacefully with his wife by his side on February 28, 2019. Ernie was born in Kelowna, BC on February 27, 1932 and passed after enjoying his 87th birthday celebration the previous day. Left to mourn are his wife of 63 years, Kaye Benzer (nee Snowsell), 4 children Patti Thomson (Peter), Sandra Straza (Barry), Jill Benzer, Scott Benzer; 8 grandchildren Cassie Halter (Dan), Candice Straza, Christine Straza (Kirsti), Claire Thomson, Cameron Thomson, Mike Fenton, Stuart Fenton and Brad Fenton; 2 great grandchildren Natalie Halter and Jakob Halter; brother Art (Gail) of Montrose, B.C. along with numerous nieces, nephews, extended family and many wonderful friends. Ernie was predeceased by his parents, Nick and Elizabeth Benzer, brothers Joe and Bill (Sybil).
Ernie lived in North Glenmore from 1959 to the present. If you ever asked where he went to school, he would answer proudly, with that often-seen twinkle in his eye, Benvoulin U, then chuckle at his joke. His first job after graduating from high school was at Imperial Optical where he worked for 17 years becoming a licenced optician. He joined the Kelowna Fire Department as a volunteer in 1952, then the paid staff in 1967 until he retired in 1992 with the rank of captain. Ernie and Kaye bought their ‘little 2-acre farm’ on Longhill Road in 1959 and lived there until they built a home on their orchard on Snowsell Street in 1977. He loved the peaceful surroundings of his orchard & the physical work it entailed as it allowed him to unwind from life. It also gave him an excuse to have all the ‘necessary’ equipment that went along with farming including four tractors, even if he didn’t really need all four. In 2014 they sold the farm & moved into an adult community. Ernie had many talents including fixing anything that was broken, working on his vintage cars, collecting numerous treasures, and sharing his opinion. He often told his children he raised them to think for themselves then pretend to be annoyed when we actually did. He was very proud of his family and greeted his children by name despite his advancing Alzheimer’s. Through the years, Ernie and Kaye enjoyed many hobbies including working together on their farm, boating, curling, snowmobiling and traveling, often in their RV. Our family would like to thank Brandt’s Creek Mews and Dr. R. Joshua for their compassionate care of our Dad.
Dad’s favourite piece of advice in the past few years has been “keep your chin up and pointing forward.”
A Memorial Service will be held at Springfield Funeral Home, 2020 Springfield Rd, Kelowna, BC on Saturday, March 16, 2019 at 1:00 pm.
In lieu of flowers please donate to the Alzheimer’s Society, www.alzheimer.ca or the charity of your choice.
If you wish to send a condolence, post photos or share a memory, please scroll down the page to the area called “Share Your Condolences.”
The service for BENZER, Ernie is scheduled for Saturday, March 16, 2019 at 1:00 pm. Below you will find the map for the service location and the contact information should you have any questions.