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DAMKAR, Ernest “Ernie”

April 8, 1931 – Calgary, Alberta
September 12, 2018 – Calgary, Alberta

Ernie Damkar peacefully passed away on September 12, 2018 at the age of 87 years.

Ernie was born April 8, 1931, the second brother of three brothers and one girl to Abel and Anna Damkar, in Calgary, Alberta.

In 1942, his family moved to the Symons Valley area to rent the Hays farm and began to milk cows. On January 19, 1944 there was a large prairie fire that completely wiped out the farm. All their possessions burned except the clothes on their backs. In May 1944 they purchased the farm in the Glenbow area, Northwest of Calgary. The family worked hard together to improve the scale of the farm. His mom would always have hot chocolate waiting for the kids after school before they would all head out to do chores. Ernie’s love of hot chocolate continued to the end of his days.

When Ernie was 14 years old, he was kicked in the head by a horse and nearly died. The only neighbour who had a car drove Ernie to the General Hospital; he was in surgery for six hours, removing bone splinters from his brain. It was a miracle he survived. After the accident and not particularly liking school, he decided not to complete Grade 8. He then pursued his interest and ability in machinery and field work.

He attended Olds College from 1949–1951 and graduated from Agriculture. Ernie continued further education at SAIT in 1951–1953, completing ag mechanics, machine shop, welding, carpentry and drafting. In the winter of 1957 he attended the Canadian Lutheran Bible Institute (CLBI) in Camrose.

While at CLBI, he met Iris, marrying her August 5, 1961. She preceded him in death by only 40 days. They settled on his family’s dairy farm. For the next nine years Ernie farmed with his brother Norman and father Abel Damkar. In 1970, Ernie, Iris and Norman purchased the farm from Ernie’s parents. In 1999, they sold the dairy with Ernie and Iris continuing to live on the farm.

Suffering from a recent stroke, Ernie peacefully passed away with family and friends by his side.

Ernie is survived by his brothers Bent (d.Eleanor) Damkar, Norman (Ester) Damkar; his brother-in-law Ken (d.Ruth) Koskinen; two-sisters-in law Treva (d.Warren) Felzien and Letha (Don) Saltvold; and many nieces and nephews.

Ernie was predeceased by his parents, Abel and Anna Damkar; his beloved wife, Iris Damkar, and his sister Ruth Koskinen.

Funeral Services will be held at Centre Street Church “Central Campus” (3900 – 2nd Street N.E., Calgary, AB) on Monday, September 24, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. Graveside Service is 11:00 a.m. at Queen’s Park Cemetery. Reception to follow in the church atrium. Condolences may be forwarded through If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to Samaritan’s Purse – Canada, 20 Hopewell Way N.E., Calgary, AB T3J 5H5 Telephone: 1-800-663-6500

In living memory of Ernie Damkar, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Crowfoot, 82 CROWFOOT CIRCLE N.W. CALGARY, AB, T3G 2T3, Telephone: 403-241-0044.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Harold and Joyce Rust

    Our deepest sympathies to all the extended family on Ernest’s passing so soon after his dear wife Iris. May God fill you with deep peace as He assures you of resurrection hope in Jesus Christ.

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  2. Norman and Esther,

    Please accept my condolences on the passing of Ernie. He was very kind, helping those who need help. Our family will always appreciate that he used his grader (or front end loader) and cleared the driveway of snow after a storm for my Mom, many times since my dad passed away in 1986.

    John and Iris Piera

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  3. Very sorry to learn of Ernie (and Iris’) passing. Condolences to the whole Damkar family.

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  4. Norman,
    I will miss seeing Ernie out at the farm during harvest. He was a true ambassador for the farming community and I will always remember him for his genuine kindness and wit. My prayers are with you as Ernie rests now.

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  5. So sad that now Ernie has passed away but such peace and comfort knowing both he and Iris are in presence of their Savior whom they cherished in life and now in death. May his family be at peace and find comfort in Jesus finished work on the cross.

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  6. I’m sure going to miss my visits with Ernie. He would always get me to sit as close as I could get to his easy chair where he would tell me endless stories about the old days. I am going to miss Iris too. Together they made quite the pair and it really was no surprise when Ernie left us to be with his beloved Iris. I hope the family holds on to the home quarter and gets to enjoy it as much as Ernie and Iris. Thanks to Ernie and Iris for allowing me to pursue my love of archery on the property. I will always be grateful for their generosity and hospitality.

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  7. my condolences to the family and especially Norm and Ester

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  8. Our condolences on the passing of Ernie. Our prayers and thoughts with you at this difficult time.

    Kirk and Tina Rutley

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  9. To Norman and the Damkar family,
    Both Iris and Ernie exuded a strength to be admired. Our occasional visits to the house included stories of their experiences on the land, told with great pride. Never far apart, their constant care and concern for each other was evident and now they are together once again. Share eternal peace.

    Sincerely, Bob and Barb Cheadle

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  10. Joy McKinnon LPN

    Oh Ernie, I will miss hearing just one more story. You and Iris blessed my life with your strength courage and vision and the many stories of your lives together.

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