Ernest Peter (Ernie) McNaughton passed away peacefully in Vernon, B.C., on January 11, 2007, at the age of 93 years. He was born near Rivers, Manitoba, as the youngest of seven children and spent his younger years living and working in Manitoba and Saskatchewan before moving to Lacombe, Alberta, to continue school.
After completing high school he continued working
in Lacombe as a linotype operator until he married Belva (nee Johnstone) in May of 1937. They moved to Oshawa, Ontario, where he worked as a linotype
operator, attended college and raised a family. This period was interrupted by two years of service as a medic in the Canadian Army.
In 1947 the family moved to Lacombe, Alberta, where Ernie completed his bachelor’s degree in 1949. They then moved to B.C. and settled in Vernon.
Ernie worked as a linotype operator for the “Vernon News” until retiring in the late 1960s. He now had time to work for causes he believed in, starting with Amnesty International and continuing with the Humanist Association of Canada, the New Democratic Party, and the North Okanagan Naturalist Club. He also began a study of plants that eventually made him one of the most knowledgeable amateur botanists in B.C.
His education in Botany was assisted by his friendship and collaboration with noted Ontario botanist Wilfred Botham. The two frequently made major trips to meet and study areas of both Ontario and B.C. Between these trips, and after Wilfred became unable to continue them, Ernie developed a similar partnership with Malcolm Martin. For many years Malcolm and Ernie travelled
and hiked extensively throughout B.C. searching for rare plants and more
accurate botanical knowledge. In recent years Ernie proofread a number of botanical books, including the comprehensive series “Illustrated Flora of British
Columbia” edited by George W. Douglas, Del Meidinger and Jim Pojar.
Ernie is survived by his daughter Mae Harper, his son William McNaughton, and grandchildren Gayla Howard (and her son Matthew), Daryl Shatzko (Nancy and family Brittny, Christopher and Tynan), Tony Shatzko (and family Chelsea with her daughter Kallie, Natasha, T.J. and Terry), Warren McNaughton
(Janine and daughter Bianca), and Janet Noakes (Tony and family Kayla and T. J.) as well as numerous nieces and nephews. This list includes 5 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter.
He was pre-deceased by his wife Belva, son-in-law Mal Harper, great-granddaughter Lisa Howard, four brothers and two sisters.
All those who wish to honour Ernie’s life are invited to attend a memorial tea at 2:00 P.M. Saturday January 27 at Abbeyfield House, 3511 – 27th Avenue in Vernon.
Ernie’s request for cremation has been arranged by Fischer’s Funeral Services & Crematorium Ltd. of Salmon Arm. Ernie has also requested that charitable donations be given in lieu of flowers. His suggested charity is Amnesty International, 312 Laurier Avenue East, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 1H9.