We Remember


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.”

Saturday, March 16, 2019 at 1:00 pm

Springfield Funeral Home

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In lieu of flowers please donate to the Alzheimer's Society or the charity of your choice. Link: www.alzheimer.ca


Service Information

Service Details

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.

Address & Contact for Service Location:

Springfield Funeral Home

2020 Springfield Road Kelowna, BC

Phone: 250-860-7077

Special Requests:


Funeral Pointers:



  • Norene Loseth says:

    I remember Ernie as such a happy helpful person. My sincere sympathy to all the family.

  • Frank & Joyce Loyst says:

    Kaye & Family; so sorry to here of cousin Ernie passing, as kids we had many great times as well in our later life , he always had the great smile ;Frank Loyst

  • Tim Light says:

    My condolences to Ernie’s family on their loss.
    I worked with Captain Benzer at the Kelowna Fire Department for years and he was always a pleasure to be with. After he retired I would see him at the A&W while I would be having coffee with my Dad. He would always greet me with a
    “well hello their young fella are you still making sure I get paid.” with his infectious smile.. I will miss him
    Again please accept my condolences
    Tim Light

  • Lynn McKenzie says:

    I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Ernie, your beloved husband, father and grandfather. I have so many fond memories of Ernie, when he was at Imperial Optical and at the Fire Hall. I know it has been many, many years since I visited with you, Kaye, but I have often thought of you and Ernie. My thoughts are with you and your family. I live in West Vancouver so am unable to attend the service. Sincerely, Lynn McKenzie

  • Brenda Paiement says:

    I have fond memories of “Mr Benzer”. He worked with my Dad (Frank Griffin) at Imperial Optical many years ago. My Dad spoke very highly of Ernie and was a good friend with my parents, as was Mrs Benzer. I remember him as being very personable and fun. So happy to read of his full and interesting life. My condolences to all the family.
    Brenda (Griffin) Paiement, Salmon Arm, BC

  • Allan and Cheryl Jenkins says:

    Dear Kaye and Family, Ernie will be greatly missed. He was a friendly person and welcomed others with a smile. Allan enjoyed working with Ernie at the Firehall. Our thoughts are with you at this sad time.

  • Cindy Brazeau, (Benzer) says:

    Aunty Kaye, Patty, Sandy, Jill, and Scott and your families, we send our love at this very difficult time. Cousin Cindy and Glen Brazeau

  • Steve Kinsey says:

    Kaye, Patti, Sandra, Jill & Scott
    I am so sorry to hear of Ernies passing and your loss.
    I always enjoyed working with Ernie, both on and off the job.
    Ernie was a mentor to the younger firefighters who were fortunate enough to work on his shift.
    Steve Kinsey

  • Neil Barth says:

    Captain Benzer was one of the roll models of what a Captain, proud Firefighter and a great citizen should be. Always polite and courteous. Always thought of public image for the Fire Department and how things would appear. Don’t think I ever heard the man say a bad thing about anyone. Kelowna is less of a place without Ernie. Going to miss his smile when ever I would run into him. Thoughts are with Kaye, Scott and the rest of the family.
    Neil Barth

  • Ken and Ramona Gutenberg says:

    We are saddened by the news of Ernie’s passing. Our heartfelt condolences to you and your family. Thinking of you at the time of loss.
    Ken and Ramona Gutenberg

  • Adrian and Nona Bennett says:

    Kaye so sorry to hear of Ernie passing
    I had the privilege of meeting Ernie at Brandts Creek Mews.
    Everyday I would go in to feed my wife and everyday I looked forward to having a short conversation with Ernie. He sure liked talking about his tractors, family and he was sure proud of the picture of himself in his fireman’s uniform.
    He will be missed by all those who knew him
    Our condolences to you and your family.
    Adrian and Nona Bennett

  • Lynne & Dig says:

    We will miss him, and we always enjoyed the visits either way…Kelowna…Texada. Ernie and Dig had TREASURES NOT JUNK! as they would both say. From all our family to Kaye and Family….he will be greatly missed


  • Edna Giordano says:

    Kaye, Condolences to you and your family on the passing of Ernie. I enjoy fond memories of when our paths crossed briefly at KGH at a happier time many years ago. Peace and comfort. Edna.Giordano

  • Judy Eberle says:

    Kaye so sorry to hear Ernie’s passing. Thinking of you and your family at this time of loss.

  • Dr. Wendy Smoliak says:

    With you in your sorrow and sharing in your sadness.

  • Sandy Turk says:

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Thoughts and prayers are with you all, especially today. My deepest condolences.

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