Memorable Manitobans: Ernest “Ernie” UnRuh (1926-2004)
Born at Lucky Lake, Saskatchewan on 22 April 1926, son of David Heinrich “D.H.” UnRuh (1894-1966) and Olga Regier (1893-1962), and later stepmother Agatha Bertha Rempel (1908-1997), he worked 23 years in Saskatchewan, as a businessman and politician, running against John Diefenbaker in 1958 as the Liberal candidate for the federal riding of Prince Albert.
He taught at Mount Nebo [near Canwood] (1945), Timberlost log school [near Big River] (1945-1947), Mistawasis First Nations School [near Mount Nebo] (1949-1951), Brightholme School [Mount Teviot, near Shellbrook] (1951-1953), Collins School [near Beechy] (1956-1957), Tweedsmuir School [Christopher Lake area] (1957-1958), Carlton Siding School [near Rosthern] (1960-1963), Cowessess First Nations Day School [near Broadview] (1963-1965), Sawanik First Nations School [near Prince Albert] (1965), and at the Saskatchewan Penitentiary in Prince Albert (1966-1967).
In 1967 he moved to Winnipeg and continued with his career in education, teaching at Stony Mountain Penitentiary (1967-1971). In May 1971, he simultaneously graduated from the University of Saskatoon (BEd) and University of Manitoba (BA). He next worked for the Winnipeg School Division as Vice-Principal (1971-1974) and Principal (1976-1981) of Aberdeen Junior High School, Vice-Principal of Isaac Newton Junior High School (1974-1976) and Sisler High School (1981-1986), and Principal of Churchill High School (1987-1989).
Having formally retired, he continued to work in hail insurance and helped with school fundraising. He and his wife Sylvia Benoit had four sons and two daughters.
He died at the Concordia Hospital in Winnipeg on 22 November 2004.
“How voting went across the nation,” Winnipeg Free Press, 1 April 1958, page 31.
“New contract okayed,” Winnipeg Free Press, 21 April 1978, page 6.
“Racist incidents rare, officials say,” Winnipeg Free Press, 18 April 1981, page 5.
“Unruh - Campbell,” Winnipeg Free Press, 1 October 1983, page 32.
“Separate settings urged for students,” Winnipeg Free Press, 29 June 1986, page 13.
“Principals deny slow police response,” Winnipeg Free Press, 28 September 1988, page 2.
We thank Ed Krahn for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer and Jo-Ann Bakker.
Page revised: 15 July 2023