Ernest Barrett

Ernest Lester Barrett

Monday, May 28th, 1928 - Monday, November 9th, 2020
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Quietly in the early morning of November 9th, 2020, in his 93rd year. Left behind to remember him with love are daughter, Peggy Robinson (Hugh), son Kevin Barrett (Lois), grandchildren Hayley Buckler (Mark), Jordan Robinson (Jen), Kathleen Barrett and Luke Barrett (Emily Zimmermann), great granddaughters Stella and Audrey Buckler and Madeleine Robinson, brother Beatty Barrett (Verna) and many dear family and friends. Ernie was predeceased by his parents, Hector and Stella, brothers John and Eric, sisters Berdina Horvatt and Mary Sheppard, and his beloved wife of 65 years, Barbara (Smith). Though proud of his Newfoundland heritage (which started back in the late 1600’s, when his 9th great grandfather, John Barrett left Poole England for the Americas), Ernie started travelling as a young man with his father to Greenland. In 1950, he went to Korea with the Canadian Armed Forces PPCLI, fought at Kap Yong, was critically wounded and subsequently decorated for extraordinary heroism. For his entire life, he carried the harsh memories of that time along with a love for the Korean people. Returning from Korea, Ernie was met at Union Station in Toronto by Barbara, a cousin to Ernie’s childhood best friend, and they rekindled a love story that had begun when they were 12. After marrying in August of 1952, Barbara encouraged Ernie to think about his spiritual life, something that had been on his mind for many years. He made a decision to put his trust in Christ and follow and serve Him from that time on. He and Barbara faithfully did so as partners in a home that was full of love and laughter, music and meals, and where everyone was welcome. They loved to read their Bibles and enjoyed wonderful times of worship at Pape Avenue and Newmarket Gospel Halls and, from 1970 onwards, at Lansing Gospel Hall. Ernie worked for CNR for 35 years in and around Toronto. He loved country gospel music, played steel guitar and sang every day. Young friends and old, family and passersby, enjoyed his gift and were invited to join in. Ernie’s children, grandchildren and great grandchildren adored him and were treated with special projects every summer, like building a wooden playhouse, a treehouse and a hot rod, a fish pond and a vegetable garden. Our gratitude goes to the VON PSWs of Sarnia. As well, we especially thank the loving people of Lansing Gospel Hall who cared for Dad faithfully through the years, treating him and taking him places, visiting him with family and sending a flurry of cards and letters proclaiming their continued affection. We also thank the many friends who have demonstrated love and care of Dad in many ways, both over the years and in recent days. We plan to hold a proper memorial, and greet many of you face to face with grateful hugs for your love and friendship, when it is possible to do so.
In the meantime, a private funeral service for the immediate family only will be held on Saturday November 14 at 11am at Marshall’s Funeral Home on Yonge Street in Richmond Hill. The service will be streamed via Zoom - please contact Peggy or Lois for the zoom link. Donations to Gospel Trust Canada would be gratefully accepted by any who wish to do so.
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Service Details

Due to the Covid pandemic, attendance is by invitation.


Donations are being accepted for: GOSPEL TRUST CANADA.


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Private Condolence

Cathie Turner

Posted at 09:07pm
My parents, Ike & Lorraine Smith, asked if I would send along their condolences to the family in the recent loss of your Dad. While visiting with them this past week I was able to show them a good portion of the funeral service after seeing it shared by Uncle Roland. Mom and Dad remembered their long time friendship and shared loved of country music with your parents during their visits to each other’s homes. (Ajax & Richmond Hill mostly). You may not know but the family’s friendship goes back to our 4 Grandparents. “Uncle Hector” was a good friend of my grandfather Ralph Smith.

Peggy Robinson Posted at 05:44pm

Thank you Sharon. I remember your parents very well. My dad loved to play country music with his friends. Thanks for reminding me of the deep connection our families have. My father’s mom Stella was a Smith before she married & my mom was a Smith before she married dad too.

Peggy Robinson Posted at 02:59pm

Sorry Cathie! That last comment was for you not Sharon.

Sharon Hildebrandt

Posted at 08:22am
So sorry for your loss but look forward to seeing him again with our Lord Jesus Christ. “Absent from the body present with the Lord”. What hope we have in Christ.

Posted at 01:09pm
I have known Ernie for many years. A sharing of stories and a true gentleman. A number of years ago, I lost the use of my oven as I was about to put the turkey inside. I knew that Ernie was going to Peggy & Hugh's for Thanksgiving dinner with the family. I called and mentioned my dilemma and Ernie's response was "what temperature".

There are no words to express my sadness at this time. My condolences to Kevin & Peggy and the family. Rest in Peace dear friend. Sharon P

Peggy Robinson Posted at 01:57pm

Thank you Sharon - you are a treasured part of mom & dad’s condo family. We knew we could count on you for backup when dad didn’t answer his phone.

The Zimmermanns

Posted at 08:57am
Sending love to you all. Dan and Theresa
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Janice Wilson

Posted at 01:59pm
Saddened to hear of the passing of “Uncle” Ernie. Glenda and I have many wonderful memories of Sunday night sing songs which were filled with accordion playing, piano music, toe-tapping, laughter and good food! Ernie was a storyteller that drew us in as children. Special friends like the Barretts can never be replaced. Our prayers and love. Janice (Brewster) Wilson

Glenda Rickard Posted at 02:23pm

I echo your thoughts Janice. Such beautiful and precious memories from childhood involved being in the Barretts’ home which was filled with love, laughter, and hospitality. “Uncle” Ernie’s love of the accordion encouraged me to try it too! Thinking of you all at this time. Glenda (Brewster) Rickard

Peggy Robinson Posted at 01:59pm

Thanks so much Glenda & Janice. Our parents had so many good times together, trips south & great fun.

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