Ernest "Ernie" Francis Alward

Passed 01/23/2023


Obituary For Ernest "Ernie" Francis Alward

Age 88, of Cole Harbour, passed away at home, surrounded by family on January 23rd, 2023. Born in Petitcodiac, NB, he was the son of the late Joseph and Edith Alward (Nee Linfield). Ernie was a caring husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend. He is survived by his loving wife Shirley, daughters Diana (Dee Dee) Alward, Linda (Tom) Sancton, Cathy (Alan) Smith, Kelly (Dale Stuart) Anderson, Heather Good (Robert), Cheryl Gannon-Cross, sons Brian (Darlene) Alward, Laurence Gannon all of HRM. Grandchildren Crissy Robbins, Brandon (Bub) Alward, Patrick Maclean, Christopher Maclean, Jennifer Smith, Amy Smith, Ashley Ruddock, Justin Stuart, Connor Cross, Cole Good along with many great grandchildren. He is also survived by two brothers Bob and Doug and two sisters Ella and Sharon. He was predeceased by his late wife Marie Alward (nee McIntyre), his brothers Joseph (Bud), Jim, George, sister Ruth and mother of Brian and Diana, Myrna MacDonald.

Ernie joined the Royal Canadian Airforce (RCAF) in August of 1951, two months after his 17th birthday and was very proud of his 23-year military career. He started as an aero engine technician working on the Lancaster, Expeditor, DC3, Canso, and Neptune. In 1957 he was selected for aircrew training and became a flight engineer and later instructor on the P2V-7 and Argus. His total military flying time was 9,820 hours and he was a member of VPI (Gold).

His love of flying didn't end when he retired from the military. He soon joined the Greenwood Flying Club and acquired his private pilot's license. This excited him but terrified some of the family when he convinced them to fly with him as pilot, to New Brunswick for the weekend instead of driving. Although there were no more family outings, he continued to fly for many years.

Just prior to retiring, he and Marie became entrepreneurs and ran a local corner store in Greenwood called the "The Handy Stand" for three and half years. Ernie loved serving the small community and all military and non-military people living there knew him by name.

While Ernie had a passion for the sky, his real love was with curling. He was an avid member of the Summerside and Greenwood Curling Clubs and while still in the military he learned how to make ice and worked part-time at the Greenwood Curling Club. When a second career opportunity presented itself in 1979, Ernie moved his family from Greenwood to Dartmouth to become the General Manager of the Dartmouth Curling Club for 25 years. There he was able to combine his love of curling with his work.

Ernie received a phone call one day from France, and they wanted to learn to curl. There was someone in St. Pierre and Miquelon who had heard of somebody who could curl, teach, make ice and had access to curling stones. Ernie and a few other headed to the tiny Island for two weeks with curling stones in tow, made ice and introduced the people of France to curling.

Ernie curled competitively for many years, but when his quest for the elusive Brier ended, he focused his attention on the Saturday morning (SATAM) group. Ernie played with this group of men for 40 years. It was said by his SATAM friends that Saturday was his favorite curling time of his week. He will be remembered for running down the ice to make his skip shots while everybody held their collective breaths that he wouldn't stumble. Once he got hooked on the Stick, he was known for his famous jet fast takeouts, that never ever missed the target.

Ernie and Marie were both involved in the "Little Rocks" program and immensely enjoyed watching their granddaughter and grandson learn to curl and even gave of their time to coach a couple of junior teams.

When Ernie finally retired for the second time in 2004, he kept himself active by continuing to support the Dartmouth Curling Club on the Board of Directors, as President. In addition, he served many years on his condominium Board as President and Treasurer.

Ernie and Marie loved to travel and spent many springs, while working and retired, in Madeira beach Florida. It was during those trips he met some great lifelong friends that he connected with regularly.

Ernie was fortunate to meet Shirley later in life and find a companion that could continue with travel adventures to Florida, Tennessee, and Europe. Anyone who knew Ernie well, knew of his love of cowboy boots. It was on one of his trips to Tennessee that he came home with a beautiful pair of snakeskin boots that were his pride and joy.

He had a contagious laugh, a zest for life, a joke in hand and always with a smile. His favourite joke was Foot, Foot Foot and Foot Foot Foot. Ernie, we will miss you and will always be in our hearts.

Special thanks to Dr, Flemming, Kaitlyn McPhee and the Hematology Department for their support, the VON for such wonderful care, and the Paramedics and Emergency Department. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the SPCA or charity of your choice.

Cremation has taken place and a private family burial will be held later in Memorial Gardens. A Celebration Life will be held on Friday February 10th, 3:00pm - 6:00pm at the Dartmouth Curling Club.


  • 02/10/2023

    Ernie was a great guy and will be greatly missed by everybody. I always enjoyed his jokes and he loved giving me a hard time which I really enjoyed and shared great laughs with him . Sorry for your loss to all of Ernie's family. Krista Elms

  • 02/09/2023

    We go back a long way.. Ernie, Marie family and Canadian friends... We met Ernie 30 years ago at the Shorline in Florida... So many special memories... We visited them in Nova Scotia and took a few memorable road trips, and they came to Ohio to visit... We've kept in close contact, even though there were many miles between us... So blessed to have known Ernie, a very special friend in our lives... We married in Florida on the beach, and Ernie was our best man... We never knew Ernie not to be laughing, smiling, and having several jokes to tell... Special thoughts to Shirley, and Doug... sending love and comfort to all... Ernie we will be thinking of you always❤️.. Shelley and Joe Bammer

  • 02/07/2023

    Linda and Tom, So sorry for your loss. Our heartfelt sympathy to you and your family. ~ Sandy and Gary Cooke

  • 02/03/2023

  • 01/30/2023

    R.I.P. my friend

  • 01/29/2023

    Brian, Darlene, and Families: We were so sorry to hear of Ernie's passing. May it comfort you to know that we share in your sorrow. You are in our thoughts and prayers. My parents Harold and Lorraine were members of the Dartmouth Curling Club. Over the years the Alward and Mattatall families have done a few things together. David my brother curled in the Johnson with Ernie, I worked with Brian and Darlene, and also my nephew Andrew took a course with Bub a few years ago. Deepest Sympathy, Lorraine and Gail Mattatall

  • 01/28/2023

    To Linda, Tom and family, Please accept my deepest condolences on the passing of your father. Sandra Hughes

  • 01/28/2023

    My husband and I were some of the people who met Ernie at Madeira Beach who considered him a friend. We have lots of memories beginning in 1993; jokes in the pool at 2, shuffleboard, dinners out with the gang and Derby Day parties-that I like to think were because I was a Kentucky girl. One of his favorite memories of us would be the night my husband got thrown out of one of Ernie's favorite dive bars. He brought so much fun to everything. Rest in peace, Ernie. Shirley, Doug, Dee Dee and families, we wish you peace, comfort, courage and love for all the days ahead. Pam and Rick Hopkins

  • 01/28/2023

    Linda & Tom Our heartfelt condolences to you and your family. Rob and Elaine Elkin

  • 01/27/2023

    I had the pleasure to have met Ernie through Kelly and curling. He had the best jokes that he would whisper in my ear & make my face turn bright red. He was such a wonderful man & was always there to support us in our curling. He will be so missed!!

  • 01/27/2023

    Ernie will never be forgotten by present and past members of the Dartmouth Curling Club. He helped many of us learn the game and ran the club with firm control, but with a great respect for the members. Rest in Peace Ernie and thanks for the memories. Frank Carmichael

  • 01/26/2023

    Please accept our sincere condolences in the loss of your husband, father, and grandfather. We didn't know Ernie long but we were blessed to have known him for the short time that we did. He always had a smile and a joke to tell. RIP Ernie. Dave and Donna Simon.

  • 01/26/2023

    Dear Diana, Shirley and family, I had the honor of meeting Ernie a few years back. His smile and laughter was contagious when He entered the room ! He had an amazing zest for life ! He truly lived it ! God bless you all. He will be greatly missed ! ❤️ Mary Richard

  • 01/26/2023

    Dear Brian, Darlene and families, so sorry to hear of the loss of your dad and grandfather. Thinking of you all during this time of great loss as you remember Ernie's life with tears and laughter. Hugs to you all! Janet and Henry

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