Ernest Howard

Obituary of Ernest Howard


It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of our father, Ernie Howard, on October 8, 2020 in his 94th year. He died peacefully at home after a brief decline. Much beloved by his second wife, Margo (nee van Gelder), he will also be greatly missed by his sister Suzanne Ewing of Bedford, New York, his four children; Peter, Adam (Janet), Jennifer and Leighton; his three step-children Peter, John and Jeffrey Wigle and his ten grandchildren, Alec, Andrew, Liza, Devon, Mary, Zina, Ginger, Hartley, Pattullo, Ballantyne.


He was born the eldest of two children to Ernest Ford Howard of Montreal and Zina Hope McCarthy of Toronto on November 25, 1926.  His early education took him to Trinity College School, Port Hope at the very young age of ten. Upon graduation in 1946 he continued his studies at Trinity College at the University of Toronto, graduating in 1950. While attending both school and university it was his participation in team sports such as football, hockey and cricket where he found his greatest enjoyment and lifelong friendships. Ernie was a natural athlete, and after completing his education he went on to become a world-class racquets player both nationally and internationally. He was the first Canadian to win the US squash championships in 1953, making him one of the top squash players in North America. He enjoyed being a lifelong member of the Badminton and Racquet Club, the Jester’s Club and the Toronto Racquet Club.


Following university, Ernie entered the investment business by joining the firm McLeod, Young and Weir (becoming Scotia Capital) until his retirement in 1988. Many colleagues at the firm continued to be valued and close friends. He was also a very proud Canadian, expressed through his travels by canoe through the Canadian Arctic, his love of Georgian Bay, his advocacy for the sovereignty of Canada and his keen interest in the artwork of the Group of Seven and Emily Carr.


Generosity defined our father. He cared deeply about giving back. His volunteer activities included organizations such as Trinity College School, Trinity College University of Toronto, the Family Service Association of Toronto and the Hope Charitable Foundation. Nothing meant more to our father than his family. We all knew it and, more importantly, we all felt it. He emphasized to us the important life lessons of loyalty, gratitude, generosity and kindness. He was always humble and much preferred to divert attention away from himself. He took great interest and pleasure in the lives and activities of all his grandchildren and was proud of their accomplishments, large or small. He played an important role in their lives.


A memorial service honouring Ernie’s life will be arranged for a later date when family and friends can once again gather together. Cremation and interment will be done through Mount Pleasant Cemetery. If desired, a donation in his memory can be made to either The Ernest Howard Bursary at the Trinity College School Foundation, Port Hope or The Georgian Bay Land Trust.  Condolences may be forwarded through