October 23, 2013
Ernie passed away, peacefully, on Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at the age of 87. Ernie leaves behind his loving children, Marc (Deborah), Kelly (Rod), Carol; and his granddaughter, Jordan. Ernie was predeceased by his beloved wife of 53 years, Pierrette (Simard); his parents, Lt. Colonel Samuel Ernest Beech Stones and Maria del Carmen Stones (Jimenez); his brother, Arthur; and his sister, Margaret MacGaul. Ernie also leaves behind loving nephews, nieces and lifelong friends.
Ernie was born on June 6, 1926 into a British military family stationed in India. He attended military boarding school from the age of six and later served in the British Army as a paratrooper and artillery instructor. After leaving India, Ernie and his family moved to England and then relocated to Lima, Peru, where he and his brother, Arthur started a boat building business. In the mid-1950’s, Ernie took a job in the Canadian Embassy in Lima, where he met his future wife. On June 29, 1957, Ernie and Pierrette were married and left for Vancouver.
Soon after his arrival in Vancouver, Ernie joined Canadian Pacific Airlines. During Ernie’s career, the couple and their three children lived in a number of different cities in Canada before finally settling in the Lower Mainland in 1975. By the time he retired, Ernie and Pierrette had developed many everlasting friendships.
During his final years with CP, Ernie and his brother, Arthur, now a successful Naval Architect, joined forces in an entrepreneurial venture again involving boats, a central theme of their lives. Their offshore oil supply business operated under contract to a New York based oil company drilling off of the coast of Peru. By the early 1980’s, their business employed over 350 seamen and operated 31 crew and supply vessels ranging 65 to 181 feet.
In the late 1970s, the brothers also decided to invest in a marina, and became the owners of Stones Marina on Stewart Avenue in Nanaimo. The marina operated, at the time, the world’s largest marine travelift. After Arthur’s unexpected death from cancer in 1983, the business continued under Ernie and his family, with Ernie always maintaining his role as trusted advisor.
Ernie will be remembered for his great sense of humour and sharp wit, his intellect and his knowledge of history, politics and current events. Ernie was a true gentleman, a devoted family man and an extraordinary husband and father.
The Stones family would like to thank all of the staff at Woodgrove Manor for the care and compassion they showed to Ernie in his final days.
A Celebration of Ernie’s Life will be held on Sunday, December 1, 2013, at The Grand Hotel Nanaimo, 4898 Rutherford Road, from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. Everyone is welcome. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made, in Ernie’s memory, to the Heart and Stroke Foundation (BC).