Ernie is survived by his wife of 55 years Dianne, son Tracy Hildebrand (Kelly O’Rafferty), daughter Patti (Gary) Zelizney, grandkids Justin (Rylee) Petit, Chenise Petit (Justin Alisauskas), Chelsea Petit, great-grandkids Jaxson and Audrey Morrisseau, Kalli Rose Petit and baby girl Alisauskas, sisters Linda Klassen (John Friesen), Betty (Jake) Banman, Frieda (Abe) Teichroeb, Sylvia (Dan) Friesen, Irene Hildebrandt, sister-in-law Mary Hildebrandt, brothers-in-law Rick LeMay, Tim LeMay, Tom LeMay and numerous nieces and nephews. Predeceasing Ernie were his parents William and Anna Hildebrandt, parents-in-law Roy and Bunny LeMay, sister Edna Wall, brother Ed Hildebrandt, half-sister Anna Hildebrandt, brothers-in-law Corney Klassen, John Wall, and sister-in-law Janet LeMay.
Ernie was raised on the family farm at Neuhorst, Sk. Soon after leaving for the big city, his working career included the Co-Op Creamery from 1957-1975 and entrepreneuring Bruno’s Pizza, which was an idea slightly ahead of it’s time.
Ernie played hockey and fastball with the hometown Osler Comets and Monarchs – later playing fastball with the College Lads and K.K. Olson. He enjoyed watching fastball after his playing days were over, often with Roy LeMay at Gordie Howe Park and South Kinsmen Park.
When “off the clock”, Ernie coached minor softball and hockey, curled, fished, played cards and earned accolades far and wide for seeding and raising the best looking lawn in Saskatoon through the 70s and 80s. Quite possibly the first mixed-tape King, he started numerous weekends recording his favorite tunes onto reel-to-reel tapes to play at one of the many gatherings on Red River Road. He loved time with family and friends as well as beating any and all challengers at crokinole and cribbage. After a near lifetime of dedicated cheering, frustration and disappointment with the Cubs and Blackhawks, he was finally able to celebrate World Series and Stanley Cup victories. His sharp mind, dignity, sense of humor and loveable, selfless nature is dearly missed.
The family wishes to thank the staff of Samaritan Place, Dr. DeCoteau, Dr. Basker and Ryan Anderson (Accufit Denture) for their support.
Memorial celebration details will be communicated at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Alzheimer’s Society or Samaritan Place would be well placed . . . .