Major General (ret’d) Ernest Basil Creber, CD, CMM, passed peacefully away at home, surrounded by his loving family. Survived by his wife, Tina, his best friend, the love of his life and wife of 72 years; his children Michael (Monique), Catherine (Ernie Wong), and Christopher; grandchildren Jeff Wong (Haley), Andrew Franklin, Doug Wong, Grace Rei (Andrew), and Michelle Creber; and great-grandchildren Sawyer Wong and Rayla Rei.
Second only to his love of family, Ernie took enormous pleasure and pride in his career as a member of the military in service to Canada, especially as a member of the RCEME Corps.
Ernie was born in Vancouver and graduated from UBC with a BASc in electrical engineering. He married Tina in 1951. He joined the Corps of Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RCEME) and began a busy military career, a life of service and dedication he shared with his wife and family.
He was posted frequently in the early years in various staff and field assignments in Canada, including intensive studies in the latest technologies: RADAR in Kingston, Guided Weapons in Huntsville, Alabama, and Fire Control systems at the Military College of Science in Shrivenham, UK. His career also included two years at Staff College in Kingston and a year as commander of the UN Workshop at Camp Rafah in 1966, where he had to close the camp just before the Six-Day War. Returning home, he attended National Defense College in 1969 before a posting to Mobile Command in St. Hubert. After an intense course in French, Ernie was promoted to Brigadier General and assumed the position of Director General Land Engineering and Maintenance at NDHQ. In 1979, he was promoted to Major General and assumed the position of Associate Assistant Deputy Minister of Defense (Materiel).
Throughout his career, the RCEME Corps remained extremely important to him. He was dedicated to ensuring that RCEME officers had the technical knowledge to lead and provide strategic direction, and he worked to ensure that RCEME remained a separate entity within the Army.
For his outstanding service to his country, Ernie was honoured to receive the Commander of Military Merit in 1982 and retired from the Armed Forces.
He immediately went to work for Bristol Aersopace and was the founding president of the Canadian office of SAIC in 1986 before moving to Intercon Consulting Inc. in 1996. Retirement included positions on the Board of the Royal Ottawa Golf Club and as president of the Rideau Club.
Ernie lived a life exemplified by honesty, hard work, gentle humour, and love of family. Tina and Ernie shared a life of happiness. Leisure time was spent fixing and building things, including a boat (which featured in many family outings), cross-country skiing, swimming, scuba diving and, his favourite pastime, looking after the family cars. Golf became a great passion in retirement, and he and Tina spent many wonderful years golfing and travelling. He always enjoyed classical music, especially cello pieces, and Sunday family dinners included a rotation of favourite records on the phonograph. The RCEME Corps remained close to his heart, and the new flag, presented to him at the 75th Anniversary of the Corps, flew proudly at his home.
He was much admired by his many friends and associates and adored by his family. Ernie will be greatly missed.