Margaret "Maggie" Ernst

Obituary of Margaret "Maggie" Ernst


In the early hours of February 9, 2021, Margaret Helen Ernst (nee Flaherty) closed her eyes and drifted into a well-deserved rest. She was 97. The caring staff of Columbia Forest, Breithaupt Floor, stayed by her side.


It was a peaceful end to a full and fruitful life, filled with wonder, miracles, laughter, and the occasional sadness. 


Margaret was born in Toronto, March 24, 1923. The eldest of five children, Margaret was often tasked with caring for her younger siblings, which began a lifelong passion for children. She later took in countless foster babies. A framed picture of every child who came through her doors hung in the hallway.


Despite being city-bred, Margaret always followed the call of the countryside. She enjoyed being with nature, taking long walks in the forest, camping in one of Ontario's many Provincial Parks, and driving up North to see the fall leaves' color.


In her lifetime, Margaret saw the world change. She lived through a World War, survived the Depression era, witnessed the assassination of an American President, saw men walk on the moon, watched The Beatles North American debut, and saw the twin towers fall. She kept up with technology as far as the creation of the VHS player. She never owned a computer. She lived to greet 15 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren. She remembered all of their names.  


Margaret embraced each moment of life with a zest and a love and a passion. She was strict but fair, sensible but silly, strong but gentle, firm but giving. She believed in miracles and angels and in souls that linger long on after death.  


Margaret had several hobbies. Some lasted while others faded away. She took up painting, the Harpsichord, gardening, and once turned the family dining room into an aviary. But the hobby that stuck was knitting. Margaret wielded a knitting needle like she was casting spells. She knitted and donated hundreds of little hats for newborn babies at Grand River Hospital. Her annual gift of bright coloured, warm, and comfy Grandma socks became a family Christmas tradition.  


But of all Margaret's passions, none match the love she had for her family. She took immense pride in her children and adored her grandchildren. 


Margaret is survived by her sister Jean (Sivyer) from Baden, ON and brother Stan from Halifax, NS. She is predeceased by her husband Clare and sister Noreen (Beech), and brother Bob. 


She will be missed by her daughters Valerie (Freund) and her husband Wayne, Linda (Hergott) and her husband Jim and son Thom and his wife, Nicole (Sen).  And by her grandchildren David (Freund) and wife, Cindy, Dennis (Freund) and wife Andrea, Bethany (Hergott-Richtarcik) and husband Brian, Jeremy (Hergott) and wife Lisa, Melodie (Hergott) and Michelle (Ernst).


The family wish to thank the loving care Wendy, Michelle and the entire staff of Columbia Forest, Breithaupt floor extended to Margaret through her stay there.  


Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a private family visitation will be held. In the spring a private graveside service will take place at Doon Presbyterian Cemetery, Kitchener.


Condolences for the family and donations to the Heart & Stroke Foundation may be arranged by contacting the Erb & Good Family Funeral Home, 171 King St. S., Waterloo at or 519-745-8445.


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