Earnie Harder passed away quietly on Sunday Sept. 20th, 2020 at the age of 87.
He was born on January 13th, 1933 in Rosthern Saskatchewan. He took his schooling in Rosthern as well, excelling in Track & Field sports. Earnie loved all sports — baseball, hockey, and curling being his favourites. He curled in the 1952 High School Championships and also competed in one of the early Nipawin car spiels in 1951 where the team took their own curling rocks by train.
Working life started with the CNR railway followed by a job with the Negus Gold Mine in 1952 in Yellowknife. Being so far north he often told tales of playing ball at two in the morning for the local team “The Hogans”. In 1956 Earnie won a new Pontiac car at an outdoor bingo shortly after he joined Sask Power. He worked in different small towns always coming back to Rosthern to see the love of this life Julie. In 1957 Earnie and Julie got married and moved to Rosetown before finally making their way to Maple Creek in 1958. Earnie took pride in his work as a lineman and getting power back on for the ranchers and farmers in the area — always making lasting friendships along the way.
Earnie also played with the Mohawks ball team that won the championship in both 1964 and 1967. He also played with the Orioles hockey club and many curling teams throughout the years. From 1975 thru to 1995 he played with the Twilighters ball club which took the provincial championship in 1979 and earned him the ‘Coach of the Year’. I guess he didn’t kick any dirt on the umpire that year!
Curling and hockey kept him active in the winter winning many bonspiels in the area as well as the local club championships. Provincial Seniors and Masters curling play downs were high on the list as well. Winning the Senior Provincials in 1990 and placing 4th at the Canadian Championships in Whitehorse N.W.T. Earnie also was a provincial masters finalist in 2000.
Earnie still had time for hunting and fishing, especially those fly-in fishing trips with retired friends. Earnie and Julie raised three children enjoying family picnics in the Cypress Hills and maybe a little fishing at the same time.
Earnie also served as Chamber of Commerce President, a member of the Royal Canadian Legion, and a member of the Maple Creek Volunteer Fire Department for 22 years.
Over the last 12 years Earnie had struggled with Alzheimer’s and spent time in the Prairie Pioneer Lodge in Swift Current before coming home to Maple Creek lodge where the staff took incredible care of him.
Earnie is survived by his wife Julie, three children: Howard (Norma) Harder of Maple Creek, Cindy (Dennis) Brooks of Swift Current, and Stan Harder of Calgary; four grandchildren Erin Harder, Keith (Heather) Harder, Shelby Brooks (Jeff), and Graham; and four great grandchildren. Earnie is also survived by his older sister Ethel and his two younger brothers Clarence Harder and Harold (Noella) Harder. He is predeceased by his brother Phillip Harder and sisters Isabel (Jim) Longman and Irene (Archie) Blatz. Also by his parents Peter and Mary Harder and his parent in-law Dmytro and Parania Blocka.
Donations can be made to the Southwest Integrated Health Care Facility, Maple Creek Minor Sports, the Alzheimer’s Society of Saskatchewan, or the charity of your choice.
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