On March 25, 2020 our sweet Pa and Grandpa, Ernest Zittlau left peacefully to be reunited with the love of his life Mary, his beautiful daughter Judy, and our Lord and Saviour, Jesus. He leaves his legacy of love to his daughter and best friend, Julia, his devoted son-in-law Wayne, Perry, and his cherished and dedicated grandchildren, Zachary (Landra), Mackenzie (Jordyn) and expected Great Grandbaby in June, Kirk (Brittney) and Derek.
Ernie was born November 16, 1923 on a ship in South Hampton, England enroute from Germany to Canada. Ernie grew up in the Freedom area and this was where his brother Bill, sister Brigitte, and himself started a band that would play for the community. This was the start of over 80 years of entertaining the communities of Barrhead, Westlock, and surrounding areas with bands being the Freedom Family Band, The Rhythm Aces, The Ron Kendall Orchestra, and his beloved Red Knights, which he proudly played in with his two daughters. The accordion and saxophone were his instruments of choice, but as a self-taught musician, with no formal training, at the age of 89, taught himself to play the piano. His tinkling of the ivories could be heard at Smithfield lodge almost daily right up until a week before his passing.
In 1964 Ernie moved his family to Westlock and opened up Zittlau Stockyards, a livestock depot and a hauling service. He and his wife Mary, operated this business for over 30 years until their retirement. Many special and wonderful friendships were developed during this time. Retirement saw them travel in their motorhome, watch their grandchildren grow, tend to their beautiful yard, and take yearly winter getaways to their beloved Hawaii, where once again, many friendships were made.
He will be remembered as a sweet, genuine and humble man with an infectious sense of humour. His talent and love of music brought joy to many. The accordion playing in heaven will have never sounded so good. A private family graveside service will be held on April 4th with a celebration of life service to be announced at a later date.
Memorial donations can be made to the Westlock Hospital Equipment Fund, STARS, or a charity of your choice and sent in care to the Westlock Funeral Home (10004-105 Street, Westlock, AB, T7P 1V2) or W/J Walker at Box 5117, Westlock, Ab, T7P 2P4.
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