Ernest (Ernie) Ross Heighton

May 31st, 2021

It is with great sorrow we announce the passing of Ernest (Ernie) Ross Heighton. Ernie passed away on May 31st at Vernon hospice after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 86 years young.

Ernie was a dedicated husband to his wife Joan for about 67 years. He was a great brother, dad, grandfather and great grandfather. He will be enormously missed by all his survivors.

Ernie began working in the Armstrong Machine Shop at the age of nineteen. He became so good at his profession it was not unusual for customers to travel great distances to have Ernie do their work. In 1989 Ernie took over ownership of the Machine Shop and ran it until he retired in 2017 at the age of 83. Ernie had a huge heart; he would gladly accept a $2.00 payment on an old customer’s bill whenever they could afford it. And if they couldn’t afford it, he would write the bill off. He was also extremely generous and a soft touch for any 4H member looking for someone to buy their beef every fall. You’d be hard pressed to go anywhere in BC or the Yukon without finding somebody who knew Ernie. One time in Dawson City after such an incident Ernie remarked, “I can’t remember that person’s name but I can tell you the exact job I did for him 36 years ago!”

Ernie loved spending whatever free time he had in the backcountry. He would hunt, fish and ride his side by side. He always insisted on riding at the back of the pack so he could view the country side at his own pace. That was the way Ernie lived his life, on his own terms. Over the years Ernie had several canine friends who would love nothing better than bomb around the country side with him in his ATV. We take solace knowing Ernie is once again reunited with said friends looking for new roads to explore and terrific sunsets to view. Ernie will be sorely missed but not forgotten.


I knew Ernie until I left Armstrong in 1983. Many days he helped repair the old logging trucks. Kind, helpful, empathetic and smart as whip. I am late posting however to Joan and his children please accept my sincere condolences May you find peace somehow and somewhere in the times ahead David Fletcher

I had the pleasure of selling Ernie seals for his cylinder repairs for many years. A more kind hearted and friendly man, and customer would be hard to find. Glad I had the chance to visit him in the shop a few times - always amazed he knew where everything was - and looked forward to listening to his stories when I was up there.

Ernie was one of the greatest guys I knew. One winter I was heading of to work and I lay in the snow to fix it at 2am. At the end of the day I brought the truck into Ernie. He said I should just have brought it to the shop and phoned him at 2am. I asked him what he would do after and he just said he would find something to do. He and the shop were a big part of my life. He was more than a business man - he was a friend. Christmas get togethers at the shop are another fond memory. So sorry for your loss.

My deepest condolences to the Heighton family. I will always have fond memories of Ernie. He was not only a great employer, he was a mentor a friend and, an incredible person. He will be greatly missed Kelly Storla

Brian once said, “our fathers are our super heroes”. I believe Ernie definitely lived up to that. I am forever grateful of Ernie teaching me to make a living with my hands and all the life lessons that went along with that. I will think of him whenever I see dirt on my hands. My deepest condolences to the Heighton family. Tim Crane


Sad to hear of Ernies passing. Well known as a kind man. Condolences to his family.

Joan, so sorry to hear about your loss and Ernie’s passing.. let’s hope he’s joined a forever bowling league with the gang.. hugs.

So sorry for your loss Joan and family. Herb has such good memories of discussing some of his inventions with Ernie and appreciative of his solutions to any problems he was having.

We are so sorry to hear the news of Ernies passing.He was a true gentleman and it was a pleasure knowing him for all these years. I will always remember his smile and friendly manner and willingness to take a moment to catch up no matter how busy he was in the shop.Our sincerest condolences go out to Joan and all the family and please know that we are thinking about you. Brian and Bev Keith

I'm so very sorry to hear that Ernie has passed away. It was always a pleasure to talk to him. My deepest sympathy to Brian and the rest of Ernie's family.

My condolences to the Heighton family . Mr Heighton was great to person to talk to whenever you met him ,at his workplace or on the street . Enjoyed his stories of the old days of Armstrong

Joan, kids and extended family, I was very sorry to hear of Ernies passing but glad that he had some years of pure personal pursuit. I will be forever indebted to Ernie for his generosity and his business insight. He counselled me many times in early morning talks. A couple of things come to mind about him, he actually put himself in danger while warning me not to climb out of my truck after I had snagged the power lines and shut down the shop for a few hours. Thank-you. And also as many clients of Armstrong Machine knew if you brought in something to be repaired it left better than new and about 500 lbs heavier. A good man ......missed!

We met Ernie twenty years ago and found him to be one of the nicest people we have ever met both professionally thru the Machine Shop and personally. We cannot imagine the grief you are facing at this time. We offer our condolence and hope the many happy memories offer some relief.

Our deepest sympathy to Mrs. Heighton and family. We always appreciated Ernies willingness to share his knowledge on any project. He was a generous and fair man.

Our condolences to Ernie's family on their loss.

My Condolences to Ernie's Family and Friends. I had several great conversations with him at his Machine shop he always made time for people and always made you feel like you were important. An awesome human being!

I am very saddened by the passing of my father in law Ernie. I loved his cheeky grin and would often fight him to attempt to get to the restaurant check before he did; I most commonly lost. My heart goes out to my mother in law, Joan, I can’t imagine her pain. I’m looking forward to a giant hug very soon. Please accept my loving condolences. My husband, Randy, lost his father, his friend, his quadding buddy; my heart breaks for him. Ernie will be missed by all who knew him.

I met Ernie only a few times and he was always very welcoming, generous and sweet. I have enormous sympathy for Mrs. Heighton. I am so sorry for her loss and offer my sincere condolences to all the family. Children are a reflection of their parents. Ernie’s son Randy is my brother in law, he is one of the nicest men I’ve ever met!

My condolences to the familly. Ernie was a very fair and kind person. It was a treat to do business, and to socialize with him.

We are saddened to hear of Ernie's passing. He was such a kind hearted, generous, hard working man ...his pain and suffering are gone. our condolences to the family....Tim and Marvel Taphorn

Very saddened to hear of Ernies passing. A passionate man for his craft, his fellow man, and most importantly, his family. First meeting in '99, we had great discussions on everything from politics, to welding, and raising kids. The political discussions will always remain great memories. A true friend, great citizen of Canada, B.C. and Armstrong/ Spallumcheen, your rest is won, your challenges and pain now gone. Thank you for being my friend, and I will always remember you.

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