Ernie Palfrey leaves legacy as Coldstream pioneer

Coldstream dairy farmer and former politician Ernie Palfrey is fondly remembered by his friends and family after he died in his sleep Thursday. - photo submitted
Coldstream dairy farmer and former politician Ernie Palfrey is fondly remembered by his friends and family after he died in his sleep Thursday.
— image credit: photo submitted

A Coldstream pioneer has passed on.

Ernest (better known as Ernie) Palfrey died peacefully Thursday morning at home in his sleep.

The 83-year-old was widely known throughout Coldstream both for his role in helping to shape the community and as a “generous and loyal” man.

His legacy will be remembered at a service Friday at 2 p.m. at the Pleasant Valley Funeral Home.

“He’s definitely always been there if you needed anything,” said granddaughter Kayla Palfrey, who used to live on the farm with her grandpa but now resides in Langley. “He was always good to me and my brother.”

Palfrey served nine years on Coldstream council before he was elected mayor in 1985, and he spent another 10 years as mayor.

He was also a charter member of the Coldstream Fire Department, where he was a volunteer fireman for at least 24 years and was on the Vernon Irrigation District Board for 18 years.

“He was a community-minded person,” said Jamie Kidston, long-time friend who has known Palfrey “ever since I can remember.”

In fact, Palfrey’s father came to Coldstream from England to work for Kidston’s grandfather.

Palfrey, born on June 6, 1929, was raised in, and dedicated to, his community of Coldstream.

“He lived all his life on the Palfrey farm,” said Kidston of the dairy farm that Palfrey worked from a young lad until he finally retired a few years ago. “That was his love, was the cows.”

Palfrey also had a strong sense of pride and knowledge of the community he called home.

“He remembers everything,” said Kidston. “He could tell you stories about Coldstream and Vernon for hours on end, and he loved to tell those stories.”

So when he wasn’t tending to the farm, Palfrey could be found chatting over coffee at Friesen’s Countrytyme Gardens or bumping into friends and acquaintances at Fishers Hardware.

“He liked to go around and talk to people,” said Kidston.

Palfrey is survived by one son and two grandchildren.


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