Obituary for Ernest "Ernie" Swierstra
Ernest "Ernie", beloved husband of the late Norma (nee Brown), passed away on Friday, January 5, 2018. Ernie was born in the Netherlands on August 14, 1930. He graduated from the Agricultural College in Groningen, the Netherlands, prior to serving in the Dutch Artillery. He came to Canada in 1953. He obtained a Bachelor and a Master degree in Agriculture from the University of British Columbia and a PhD from Cornell University, USA. It was at Cornell where he met his wife, Norma. They came to Brandon in 1962 and Dr. Swierstra started his professional career at the Agriculture Canada Research Station. His research focused on reproduction in farm animals. In 1976, he was transferred to the Lethbridge Research Station, Alberta, where he first was the Head of the Animal Science Section and later the Assistant Director. In 1986, the family returned to Brandon and Ernie took up the directorship of the Research Station. Ernie was predeceased by his wife Norma. He is survived by his son Roger (Lisa Krzyzewski), daughter Carole (Quintin Rybuck) and grandchildren Luke and Liam Rybuck. He is also survived by brother John (MaryAnn), sister Grace Jansma, brother-in-law Charles Brown, sisters-in-law Maureen Swierstra and Eleanor Brown and several nieces and nephews. Ernie was a Rotarian and served as a director of the International Peace Garden for many years. He enjoyed gardening, woodworking and camping as well as listening to the stories his friends told him, some he took with a grain of salt. A Celebration of Ernie's Life was held at Memories Chapel on Friday, January 19, 2018. Ernie was laid to rest at the Brandon Cemetery Columbarium in a private ceremony. Donations in memory of Ernie may be made to the Brandon Rotary Club Westman Foundation Inc., 3360 Victoria Avenue, PO Box 21041, Brandon, Manitoba, R7B 3W8.
His hands and mind worked for us
His heart beat for us