We Remember

GABBS, Ernest William

May 11, 1950 — August 12, 2019

Ernie’s life was suddenly taken away in the afternoon of Monday, August 12, 2019 in Kelowna, BC, Canada. He was involved in an accident while enjoying one of his favorite activities; cycling. He leaves behind his wife, Sharon McKinley-Gabbs; sons Christopher (Pamela) Watts, Cameron (Channelle) Gabbs, and Jason (Laura) McKinley; daughters Jennifer (Michael) Gabbs-Hartrumph, Jillian Gabbs, and Shona (David) Mckinley; grandchildren Sarah, Hailey, Sienna, Jordyn, Emily, and Isabella. Ernie will also be remembered by his sisters Rose (Terry) Ewen, Helen (Robert) Bigelow, and Kathy (Lawrence) Oldham; father-in-law Gerry Siedekum; sisters-in-law Carole Gabbs, Katherine (Monty) Smith, and Kathy (George) Jackman; as well as numerous nephews and nieces. He was predeceased by his parents Henry and Evelyn Gabbs, and brother Robert Gabbs.

Ernie was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather who did anything and everything for his children and “grandbabies”. He enjoyed playing pool and cribbage, and a relaxing afternoon sitting on the back porch with a beer in one hand and a pepperoni in the other. He was also an incredible handyman that tinkered on anything that needed a tweak or fix. There was always something for him to do or conquer, and of course he never wanted any help from anyone.

Most people would know Ernie for his love of motorcycles and his passion for riding. He enjoyed being the leader of the pack with his friends in Arizona and belonged to the Sun Lakes Motorcycle Club. He owned a few motorcycles in his lifetime, but his favorite was one that he built himself; a Harley Davidson trike. On the back of the trike are the portraits of his twin daughters, which he was so proud of, even after multiple paint jobs he never covered them up.

Ernie was an avid golfer and played quite a bit in the past few years especially with his brother-in-law Laurie and friend, Walid. Many thanks to Stand Up and Play who provided a wheelchair that allowed Ernie to excel in the sport.

Prior to Ernie’s work-related accident on October 5, 1992 that left him a paraplegic, Ernie was involved in many sports including playing and coaching ice hockey, refereeing, adult softball, and anything else that kept him moving. He loved to be on the ocean and even once owned a boat, which he used to go fishing and crabbing. He enjoyed showing his children how to scale, cut and clean what he caught. He liked lawn darts, horseshoes, and other social activities.

Ernie was a role model and mentor for his children and that continued for his grandchildren. He deserved the utmost respect and was loved with the fullest of hearts.

Ernie was well known for his many qualities and all who knew him know he wasn’t short on charm or wit. His infectious smile and sparkling eyes affected anyone that crossed his path. He was an extremely good-looking man, although he was very humble about it. Anywhere Ernie went even strangers were drawn to him and wanted to be his friend.

He loved oldies and rock n roll, including artists like Elvis, Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly and the Beatles. He loved to sing karaoke and would whistle almost daily to some of his favorite tunes.

We say goodbye today with hopes that someday, in another space and time, we will meet again. Ernie is wheelchair free enjoying all the things he loves without any pain or restrictions.

“Love is a Choice” – Ernie Gabbs

Prior to the Service a Public Viewing will be held on Sunday, August 18, 2019 at 3:00 pm; the Service will be at 4:00 pm; both will be at Springfield Funeral Home, 2020 Springfield Road, Kelowna, BC.

A Vigil at the accident site will be held also on Sunday at 11:00 am, at Dilworth Dr. and hwy 97. A Ghost Bike will be presented and left at the site. RCMP and media will be there.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to Stand Up and Play, standupandplayfoundation.org or Accessible Okanagan, www.accessibleokanagan.org. If you wish to send a condolence, post photos or share a memory, please scroll down the page to the area called “Condolences”.


Prayer Service
A Vigil at the accident site will be held on Sunday at 11:00 am, at Dilworth Dr. and hwy 97. A Ghost Bike will be presented and left at the site. RCMP and media will be there.

Sunday, August 18, 2019 at 3:00 pm
Springfield Funeral Home

Sunday, August 18, 2019 at 4:00 pm

Springfield Funeral Home

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Stand Up and Play or Accessible Okanagan Link: standupandplayfoundation.org, www.accessibleokanagan.org


Service Information

Service Details

The prayer service for GABBS, Ernest William is scheduled for A Vigil at the accident site will be held on Sunday at 11:00 am, at Dilworth Dr. and hwy 97. A Ghost Bike will be presented and left at the site. RCMP and media will be there. at located at , .

The service for GABBS, Ernest William is scheduled for Sunday, August 18, 2019 at 4:00 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 Rd. Kelowna, BC


Special Requests:


Funeral Pointers:



  • Linda and John Broschak says:

    Dear Sharon and Family, We will miss Ernie’s smile and wave as we drove by your house. He was such a lovely man to have in our Sunset Ranch community. We are so sad for your loss and send you our most heartfelt condolences.
    Linda and John 5248 Sandhills Drive

  • Geoff Rogers says:

    Dear Sharon, Jason and Shona , I am so sorry about the passing of Ernie. I only met him a couple of times but I remember him as someone who was full of life and living every minute of it . I am thinking of you in this during this difficult time, and I know you will find comfort in the gathering of family and friends to remember and celebrate Ernie on Sunday . Lots of love Geoff & Alison Rogers

  • Scott Holness says:

    I will truly miss a great friend and part of our Arizona family

  • Faith Maier says:

    I am so sorry to hear of Ernie’s passing. I have fond memories of when Sharon and he first met and how excited they both were. Heartfelt condolences to Sharon and the whole family.

  • Wayne and Emelia Hunter says:

    Sharon, our deepest sympathies to you and your family. We are so glad we moved to Sandhills Dr and had a chance to meet and get to know Ernie. We so enjoyed his smile, his friendliness, his zest for life. We will miss him dearly.

  • Peter and Terry Christen says:

    Our deepest condolences to Sharon and all family members. Ernie was a special part of our lives. God bless you Ernie and keep you. May the Lord shine on you and you family.

  • Richard KANTHAK-Nancy rice&CATHY mulkey says:

    Sorry for your loss Ernie was a great friend and will be missed .Sorry we never got to ride together..

  • Bill and Ruth Gentle says:

    Ruth and I are devastated at the loss of a good man and friend. We shall always remember that great smile of Ernie’s and how he could light up the room. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sharon and his family at this time You will be missed Ernie….safe journey home my friend.

  • Thomas Young says:

    My condolences to family and friends I knew Ernie through the wheelchair peer group and enjoyed the talks we had on a few common interests . We seemed to be wanting to know more of each other’s life experiences as we always started the next meet right where the previous conversation left off .
    It was overwhelming to see such a turnout for the tribute for the gentleman and to support the family and friends .
    May he rest in peace .

  • Pooch & Curly says:

    Our prayers are with you and your family, we loved Ernie, The service we watched on line was to touching and emotional. All our love. Pooch & Curly

  • Louise & Keith Cryer says:

    Dearest Sharon & family, We send our deepest sympathy to you in the saddest of times.

  • Gerri Lennax Chisholm says:

    Words cannot express the sorrow felt when we heard of the news. Our love and condolences goes out to the entire family . Our time together in Pitt Meadows will always be cherished .

  • Paul Beacom says:

    To the Gabb family, my deepest condolences, words are never enough to express the lost of a love one. Ernie was my friend and brother and my mentor as an apprentice Ironworker. Rest in Peace

  • Noreen schulz says:

    I am so so sorry to hear of the passing of Ernie. I just heard about this now. My heart goes out to you and your family..💗🙏 hugs Love and prayers for you all.

  • Bonnie Barron says:

    I am sorry this world has lost such a wonderful man. I was his neighbor in PITT Meadows and have so many great memories of him! He was truly the most amazing man to me when I was pregnant as he thought pregnant women were beautiful and he is a big part of my memories! Thank you Ernie for impacting my life!

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