We Remember


September 25, 1936 — December 24, 2022

Words cannot express our profound sadness on the passing of our beloved father, husband, brother, and grandfather, Ernie Patterson. To everyone who was fortunate to know him, Ernie was kind, thoughtful, generous, caring, and the nicest guy you would ever want to meet. A true gentleman and man of integrity.

Ernest (Ernie) Roderick Patterson was born in Roscrea, Ireland in 1936 and passed away in Kelowna, British Columbia on December 24, 2022 at the age of 86. Ernie is survived by his wife of 29 years, Edna Allwright; his children David Patterson (Valerie), Donna Dabels, Edward Patterson (Melody), David Allwright (Linda), and William Allwright; his grandchildren Jeffrey, Morgan, Amanda, Matthew, Carter, and Lindsay; and his great-grandchildren Rowan, Nova, and Malcolm. He is also survived by his siblings William, Mary, Audrey, Kathleen, Gwen, Roberta, and his loving daughter-in-law Roberta Allwright. He was predeceased by his sister Florence, and his first wife and mother of his children, Alice.

Ernie immigrated to Stavely, Alberta in August 1948 where he attended Stavely School before moving to Claresholm in 1949 where he finished high school. Ernie spent most of his working and political life in Claresholm where he is fondly remembered.

Ernie attended the University of Alberta, University of Lethbridge, and the University of Calgary where he received a Master of Education. After teaching for many years, his career in education transitioned to administration beginning with roles as an Assistant Principal, Principal, Deputy Superintendent and finally as Superintendent of the Willow Creek School Division before retiring in 1996.

In 1962 Ernie became involved in the Canadian Federal Election as a Social Credit Candidate in the MacLeod Riding, losing in a close race. This was followed by nine unsuccessful federal and provincial election campaigns as a Liberal culminating in a 612 vote loss in the Pincher Creek/Macleod riding. No one could ever accuse Ernie of being a quitter.

In 1964 he became involved in Municipal politics (successfully) and served as Mayor of Claresholm for 33 years. In 2003 he was elected President of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA). Concurrent to this he served as President of the Alberta Municipal Service Corporation, which provided over $100,000,000 of services to Alberta municipalities.

In 1990 Ernie became involved with health care governance when he was elected Chair of the Claresholm and District Hospital Board and worked to create the Claresholm and District Health Foundation until 2008.

In his capacity as Chair of the Beverage Container management Board of Alberta (1990-2004), Ernie provided leadership to the start of the recycling of beverage containers in Alberta through the local bottle depot system. In 1981 he was appointed a Commissioner of the Canada Metric Commission, and in 2002 he was appointed a member of the Alberta Electoral Boundaries Commission.

In 2004 he was named one of Alberta’s “50 Most Influential Citizens” by Alberta Venture magazine and specifically identified as one of seven “political power houses” in the province. And in 2005 he was awarded the Alberta Centennial Medal for outstanding service to the province, and in September 2012 was awarded the Queen’s Jubilee Medal for his pivotal role in shaping modern municipal politics in Alberta.

Ernie credits his family with allowing him to play an important role in political life. His first wife, Alice, mother of his three children, died in 1987. She helped influence their children to pursue educations resulting in David becoming a Professional Forester, Donna becoming a teacher, and Edward becoming a doctor.

Ernie married Edna Allwright in 1993. With both having been widowed, they acknowledged how fortunate they both were to have the support of their children. In addition to all of his accomplishments, Ernie still found time to sit on the floor and make Barbie puzzles with his granddaughter.

Between them they have five children, six grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Memorial donations may be sent to BC Cancer Agency – Sindi Ahluwalia Hawkins Centre for the Southern Interior or the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

A Memorial Service will be held to honour Ernest on WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 25, 2023, at 11:00 AM (PST), at SPRINGFIELD FUNERAL HOME, 2020 Springfield Road, Kelowna, BC.  If you are unable to attend in person, please join the family online by Livestream at the time of the service (see below), a recording will be made available to view shortly thereafter. 

If you wish to send a condolence, post photos, or share a memory, please scroll down the page to the area called “Condolences”.


WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 25, 2023, at 11:00 AM (PST)


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BC Cancer Agency - Sindi Ahluwalia Hawkins Centre for the Southern Interior or the Heart and Stroke Foundation Link: www.bccancer.bc.ca, www.heartandstroke.ca


Service Information

Service Details

The service for PATTERSON, Ernest is scheduled for WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 25, 2023, at 11:00 AM (PST). Below you will find the map for the service location and the contact information should you have any questions.

Address & Contact for Service Location:


2020 Springfield Road Kelowna, BC


Special Requests:


Funeral Pointers:



  • Lillian Culham says:

    Words cannot express the sadness I felt when I heard of Ernie’s passing. He was a good friend and I will miss the conversations we had. My sincere condolences to all of his family.

  • Karen (Kidd) Baker says:

    Ernie was such a great teacher. He peeked our interest. I do not ever remember him being unkind. He was a genuine person and always well thought of . My condolences to his family 🙏🏻


    I would like to express my sympathy to Edna, her family, Ernie’s children, .and their grandchildren. The loss of my dear, oldest brother is very difficult. I will miss his visits and phone calls, He was always positive and determined to overcome any challenges he met. His caring loving ways and cheerful voice and laughter always lifted my spirits. His many achievements made me very proud and I will cherish the memories of all the good times we spent together.. Will miss him always but in my heart forever!

  • Kathleen Hadley says:

    We loved Ernie and we will hold in our hearts all the memories of the times we spent together.. We looked up to him; he was the oldest member of our Irish immigrant family and always a leader, Regardless of whether it was politics or education; he pursued everything with integrity and determination. Farewell, Ernie -your sister, Kathleen
    Our thoughts and prayers are with Edna. his family and all those who knew him.

  • David, Richardson says:

    My condolances to Ernie’s family there is nothing but fond memories of Ernie he was one of a kind that a person one only has the pleasure of knowing only a few times in ones lifetime.

  • Mary Gresham (Patterson) says:

    Ray & I would like to send Edna his children and great-grandchildren our deepest sympathy and condolences. Ernest, we love you very much for all that you accomplished, but most of all for just being you. A man with honesty, compassion, and love. Highly motivated and many more marvellous traits. You were my big brother who was always there for me, encouraging me. We will miss your cheery phone calls and visits. Your memory will always live in my heart, your (big sister Mary)

  • Jeffrey Barnett says:

    It is with great sadness to hear of Ernie’s passing. I have had the pleasure of knowing both Ernie and Edna over the past 10 years and got to know them well. I always looked forward to and enjoyed hearing stories that Ernie would share about his life, but also his quick wit when it came to current political topics. 😉 I feel honoured and privileged to have known Ernie over the past 10 years, and offer my sincerest condolences to Edna and the entire extended family. Ernie will be sorely missed, but his legacy will live on in all the lives he touched along the way. RIP Ernie.
    – Dr. Jeff

  • Roberta Harrison says:

    Ernie will be forever in our hearts. He was the oldest in the family and we all looked up to him for guidance. Always kind and caring. Our thoughts are with Edna and all his children and grandchildren. Such a wonderful brother and a inspiration to all that met him. We will always remember Ernie with great fondness. Stan and Roberta

  • Mary Gresham (Patterson) for our brother Bill Patterson says:

    My deepest sympathy to Edna,and her family, to Ernest’s Children,grandchildren and great grandchildren.
    Ernest and I were as different as day and night. Ernest was studious and worked hard for all his accomplishmentsI on the other hand was different. One day I said to Ernest “I wasted my life” He replied “It’s Ok Bill, we are all different” This meant so much to me! I appreciated it so much. That he accepted me as I was. You will always be in my thoughts, your brother, Bill

  • Guy Bird says:

    So sorry to hear of Ernie’s passing, only knew him for a short time, but I know he was a caring and kind person who will be sorely missed. My deepest sympathy to you and the family

  • Roberta Allwright says:

    I have often said that Ernie is one of my most favorite people in the world. I cannot really express in words what he meant to me as my father-in-law, but I’ll share a few adjectives that are not difficult to find. He was wise, wise, wise! Gentle, kind, encouraging, supportive, loving, caring, super intelligent, dynamic, politically motivated, an amazing conversationalist with a great wit, a hard worker, and a true role model. He always made me feel he had a special place in my heart, and he truly had one in mine. He will be missed, but for those that met him, never forgotten. Mashed potatoes and turkey drumsticks will remind me of him forever 🙂

  • Dr. Maryanne Sandberg says:

    So sorry to hear of Ernie’s passing. My deepest condolences to his wife and family. I knew Ernie when he was Willow Creek School Division’s superintendent (I served on the Willow Creek School Division Board), and as Mayor of Claresholm – Ernie always commented when I wore red and he was wearing something blue – politics, you know LOL!!! He was so easy to agree & disagree with as long as you could debate with him on equal footing. I always enjoyed our talks. The world needed more people like Ernie – someone who worked his way up and through life with pride and dignity and the world did not owe him anything. Even though we were of different political stripes, we got along. RIP Ernie.

  • Doug Gossoo says:

    Ernie was one of my favourite people in Rotary. To me, he was what many of us of a certain age describe as a “true gentleman.” While Rotary has become more casual over the years, Ernie was always in a jacket for our meetings, and often a tie as well, maintaining that “gentlemanly” image that we all respected. At the first meeting after learning of his passing, the best tribute I could think of was to show up in a suit, which I did in his honour. He was always thoughtful, kind, and a wonderful conversationalist. We will miss him dearly.

  • Dr. Mark Daniel Swanson says:

    A former neighbor; a thoughtful Mayor; a fellow Liberal; a great teacher! Grateful that our paths crisscrossed so many times. RIP Ernie.

  • Leslie Johnson says:

    I’m so sorry to hear of your dad’s passing . My deepest condolences to Donna ,David & entire family . I always appreciated his encouragement & respect .Memories of love & friendship are treasures to carry with you always .

  • Lori Bradeen says:

    Thank you for sharing his memorial service. It was a blessing to learn more about my Uncle Ernie. What a wonderful man with a legacy worthy of following. Grace to all the family missing him this side of heaven.

  • Gwen Patterson says:

    I was upset about not attending the service but was thankful to be able to watch it on line. Thank you to those who spoke so well describing Ernie’s life and achievements. The music picked was a great choice, reminding us of Ernie’s Irish roots and his love of music. He touched so many lives and I always was very proud of him! My oldest brother Ernie will always be with me. He had a great influence on my life, always caring and offering advice when needed. Many happy memories of the times we spent together comfort me..

  • Virginia Koffke says:

    Our sincere condolences to all the family on the passing of Ernie. He was a lovely man, Forever when we drive in hot weather we will remember him saying ‘crack the window Edna’

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