It is with heavy hearts that we share the passing of Ernest “Ernie” Randolph Jones (Loon Clan) on Friday August 12th 2022 after a brief and courageous battle with cancer.
Ernie grew up playing on the banks of Garden River First Nation (Ketegaubseebee) stamping (counting) crows with his friends, Ed, Charlie and Sydney. Ernie told many childhood tales to his children and grandchildren of running loose, eating lard sandwiches and “poochins”, swimming in the river and breaking his foot falling out of the treehouse. As a teenager, he had an opportunity to join the Sea Cadets in Sault Ste. Marie. Although it required walking quite a distance in all types of weather, he always managed to attend and was even chosen to travel to Halifax for training.
As a young man, Ernie moved to Couchiching First Nation for work at the International Falls Pulp and Paper Mill before joining the OPP Administered Special Constable Program in 1978.
Through a vision for culturally appropriate and “for-the-people, by-the-people” police service, he helped create a Tri-Policing Agreement amongst local First Nations and then eventually the Treaty Three Police Service. Ernie was a determined advocate for community policing and served on several community-based boards throughout the years. He retired from policing in 2006 as Deputy Chief of the Treaty Three Police Service.
Ernie married his soulmate and love of his life, Linda in 1990 and together enjoyed life with a blended family. Ernie loved to spend time with the grandkids building zip lines, tree houses, pillow forts and watching them play sports.
Dad was a welcoming person and looked forward to visits from his adult children and his many close friends and family. He was a humble person and never passed a chance to have a laugh at his own expense. We will all miss his loud laughter and his animated story-telling.
Ernie had many hobbies over the years that included fishing, houseboating, driving his Mustang and helping his kids with renovations and odd jobs. He was a talented fastball pitcher and loved playing in tournaments. His “jump/ hop” on the mound was unique and the family loved hearing many baseball stories throughout the years.
When it came to fishing, Ernie was happy to take anyone who wanted to go, including; Dave, Randy, Lew, Sonny, Susie, sister Melinda and neice Melanie. Susie can tell countless funny stories of how she had to throw back the walleyes that were too “small” but how he kept the ones he caught that were more than often the same size or smaller. He loved driving his Mustang and the many rides and adventures with Linda. Ernie was very handy and was always working on decks, docks and renovating at home or at the cabin. His favourite indoor hobby was to put on a team jersey and cheer for his beloved Maple Leafs and Minnesota Vikings.
Ernie was a great Papa “Pops” to all the kids. He attended countless events in rinks, baseball and soccer fields and gymnasiums to support them at whatever sports or activities they were involved in.
Although Ernie was of the Loon Clan, we would like to believe that there was a crow outside his window while he slept as a baby. The crow signifies wisdom, wit, selflessness and occasional mischief, all of which were qualities Ernie displayed throughout his lifetime. Ernie could not recall how many crows he “stamped” during his life, but that number would be infinite, just like the infinite number of people that Ernie has influenced, helped, guided and positively impacted during his time here on earth.
Ernie, (Dad, Papa) is deeply mourned by his wife Linda (nee Logan), and his seven children; Theresa (Bobby), Susie, Randy (Kelly), Jamie (Allison), Angela (Dave), Corrina (Trevor) and Harriette. Also left to mourn Papa Ernie are his 22 grand- children; Darcy, Sydney, Brandon, Bailey, Maddison, Ivy, Jagger, Litah, Vai, Ellie, Grace, Krystal, Emily, Mark, Andrew, William, Hunter, Jon, Kenny, Gregory, Joseph and Elena and 6 great-grandchildren, Jesse, Martin, Ember, Eden, Ryder and Lyric.
Ernie was predeceased by his father, Ernest Jones Sr, mother, Jane Jones, sisters Cathy Nicholson and Doreen Esquega, brothers Edward and Peter Jones as well as Lucille Jones, the mother of his three children.
A sacred fire was lit for Ernie for four days in Garden River First Nation and the family had a final feast on the fourth day with a pipe ceremony by his niece, Melanie Goodchild at his cabin on Rainy Lake. Ernie is now with his ancestors in the Spirit World.
Ernie had requested no funeral service and cremation has taken place. The family has asked that donations can be sent to the Chemotherapy Unit at Riverside Health Care Facilities.