Friday, June 27, 2008

Memories of Grandpa

Ice cream bars at Brookside
Yummy soups
Sunday Dinners
Watching golf on tv
Hard worker
Visits to Sun City, AZ

I'm glad that my grandpa and grandma can be together again. Grandpa's been pretty tired for a long time, he would always tell me how none of his siblings lived past their sixties and he didn't know why he was still hanging around (his 91st birthday would have been in August)! Delia didn't like to go visit him because she said he was grumpy, I couldn't really argue with that - he was grumpy! But he really appreciated the visits, he would tell me that he loved me and to come back again soon - grumpy and sweet at the same time.
I'm going to head out to Nova Scotia today and I'll be back on Tuesday. Jason's company is letting him work from home for the next few days - hopefully he'll be able to get some work done.

EDWARDS, Ernest Bertram
EDWARDS, Ernest Bertram - 1917-2008. Colonel Ernie Edwards passed away on Wednesday, June 25, 2008. He will be missed by his family and loved ones. Born in Glen Falls, Saint John, N.B., he was the youngest son of Frederick Edwards and Clara Shackell. He was predeceased by all eleven of his siblings, his son, Paul; two grandchildren and a great-grandchild. His beloved wife of 61 years, Bridget Roseleen "Delia", passed away in 2002. He is survived by his children, Murray (Diane), New Minas; Rozanne (Roger) Hall, Medford, Ore.; Judith (Gordon) Macmichael, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.; Sylvia (Michael Wells), Phoenix, Ariz.; David (Jeannie), Gary (Jennifer), Toronto; 27 grandchildren, 51 great-grandchildren, and his dear friend, Lillian Rodgers. Ernie Edwards spent his early life traveling throughout Canada with his widowed mother as she sought work as a cook in logging camps. Leaving school in grade six, Ernie worked variously as a butcher and soda jerk before hitting the rails during the Depression in an attempt to escape the dismal poverty that had enveloped the land. In Kansas City, he collapsed from hunger and was taken in off of the street by a restaurateur who provided food and lodging in exchange for dish washing duties. This is when Ernie had the revelation that would shape his life: if you were in the restaurant business, you and your family would never go hungry. The Second World War drew Ernie away from the dust bowl of the Depression and deposited him overseas with the Canadian Army Corps of Engineers where he rose to the rank of Sergeant, met his wife, Delia, and started his family. After six years of service to his country, he returned to the town of his birth and took work at a lunch counter. In 1948, Ernie brought his growing family to Nova Scotia in order to take advantage of an offer to manage the lunch counter at the Vogue Theatre on Gottingen Street in Halifax. A few years later, his employers helped him to acquire a small operation on Barrington Street, and Edwards Fine Food was born. The trust and generosity shown to him by his backers touched him deeply and influenced his dealings with others throughout his lifetime. Having developed a reputation for a great hamburger, Ernie soon had eight lunch counters around town, along with his flagship, the Town and Country, a family restaurant, on Quinpool Road. Around this time, he took an interest in the Canadian Restaurant Association (as it was then known) and in 1961 acted as the Association's President. Through the CRA, he met Colonel Harland Sanders and agreed to introduce Kentucky Fried Chicken to the the East Coast of Canada. In the early sixties, the Town and Country restaurant sold more KFC than any other outlet in the world. Before long, Edwards Fine Food was operating KFC outlets throughout the province. In recognition of this success, Colonel Sanders had Ernie inducted into the Honorary Order of Kentucky Colonels and from that time on, Ernie Edwards became known to all as Colonel Ernie. At its peak, Edwards Fine Food and its subsidiaries employed over six hundred Nova Scotians, many of whom refer to Ernie and his wife, Delia, as "Mom" and "Dad" to this day. Throughout his career, Colonel Ernie, together with his wife and family, sought to repay the province and the people that had brought them such success and prosperity. The poverty he suffered in his youth and his later associations with Colonel Harland Sanders, himself a world-renowned philanthropist, led Colonel Ernie on a path of unbridled generosity that continues to this day and will live on in perpetuity through his Edwards Family Charitable Foundation. His key area of interest in this regard has always been the health, education and well-being of children. In addition to his role as Chair of his family Foundation, which acts exclusively in Nova Scotia, Colonel Ernie was an Honorary Life Director of the Colonel Harland Sanders Charitable Organization, which has been making substantial gifts in the areas of children's health care and support for families in need, throughout North America. Colonel Ernie was the only surviving charter member of the Halifax Northwest Chapter of Rotary International, where he was a Paul Harris Fellow. He lived to see his Rotary chapter celbrate its 50th anniversary this past spring. With his wife Delia, he is an inductee of the Nova Scotia Business Hall of Fame. Recognized nationally by his peers in the hospitality industry, he is the recipient of the Jack C. Simms Award for Promoting Excellence in Education and, again with Delia, was bestowed with the Canadian Hospitality Foundation's Man (and wife) of the Year Award. The Colonel and his Lady's efforts were also recognized with the Nova Scotia Philanthropist's Society Community Giving Award. For many years, he was a member of the Armdale Yacht Club, where he kept his boat, The Lady Colonel. He was at one time an avid curler at the Halifax Curling Club and he remained an active member of the Ashburn Golf Club to the end of his life. Visitation will be today from 7-9 p.m. and Saturday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. in J.A. Snow Funeral Home, 2666 Windsor St., Halifax. The funeral service will be held Monday at 10 a.m. in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 205 Lacewood Dr., in Halifax. A reception will follow at the Ashburn Golf Club. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Edwards Family Charitable Foundation or the charity of your choice. E-mail condolences to:


Nisa said...

I'm so sorry Christina. Travel Safely.

Rebecca said...

Christina, I am so sorry about your Grandpa. I am so glad that you were able to work out going back home for the funeral, and hope all goes well for you and with Jason & the kids. It was fascinating to read about his life, thank you for sharing that.

Honey said...

We're so sorry to hear about your Grandpa, Christina. Doesn't it make you so grateful to know what we know when our loved ones pass away? It's still difficult, but we hope your family is blessed and comforted at this time. Your grandpa sounds like a great man. I'm glad you can be back in NS right now.

Joel, Sara, Landyn & Miles said...

wow! what an amazing wonderful life your grandpa led. no wonder you are the amazing person you are.

Mrs. Cropper said...

I meant to email you and forgot and so I am writing it right here on your blog before I forget: Thanks for the package! Those suckers will be a fun treat for Blaine. We LOVED having you here, only wished it was longer. And I for sure want to come up there.