Ernie Dragan – tattoo enthusiast, Cleveland Indians fan, music critic, Minion lover and peanut butter connoisseur – passed away suddenly on January 22, 2020, at Vancouver General Hospital from complications arising from colon cancer. He was 50 years old.
Ernie leaves behind his best friend and precious wife of 5 years, Renee Mitchell, sisters, Jennifer ( Louis ) and Mary Anne ( Jim ), brothers, Dan and Paul ( Ericka ), nephews Maximilian and Liam and niece Genevieve , and a wide and diverse circle of friends. Those who knew Ernie, even just a little, have lost a unique and special character from their lives. We are all devastated.
Born in Middleton, Nova Scotia, Ernie moved to Vancouver following high school. In retail for most of his working life, including stints at Marks Work Wearhouse and A & B Sound; for the past 11 years, Ernie was a shift supervisor for Choices Market at both their Kitsilano & Cambie locations. Ernie developed many great friendships at these locales, and had many a customer service tale to tell.
Ernie was an avid sports fan. Aside from the Cleveland Indians, he also was an ardent supporter of the Chicago Bears and West Ham United. He was always a proud fan of all the local teams, be they the Canucks, Lions, Whitecaps or Canadians, and would jump at any chance to attend in person.
His love of baseball was one of the signature things about him. Whether it was his 25 years selling beer at Nat Bailey Stadium, the scores of hats he'd acquired over the years, or the road trips to stadiums far & wide with his friend Rob, his love of baseball was one of the things that drove him. You always knew that he had an opinion on the state of the game, and if you wanted to discuss his beloved Cleveland Indians you had better have nothing to do for the next little while, because you were going to get an earful.
As much as Ernie loved his sporting and social events, the one true love of his life was his wife Renee. His marriage to her opened up a new world for him, and he often recounted to his friends how especially lucky he was to have found her. He truly recognized he was 'punching above his weight', and that she was a very special lady who chose him to share her life with.
Ernie’s family wish to recognize his long-time friend Rob McGowan, who was truly like another brother to Ernie, and who shared many of the most memorable moments of Ernie’s life with him, along with the fellow members of his beer hawking fraternity. Also, we want to acknowledge the kindness and generosity of his colleagues at Choices, who have been very supportive during Ernie’s illness, and the compassionate care of the ICU staff at VGH. We are very grateful.
There will be no formal funeral service by request, but should you wish to contribute to the Canadian Cancer Society in Ernie’s name, it would be most appreciated. Ernie lost his Mom, Hope, to cancer when he was only 19, and his father, Barrie, died of cancer in 2018.
A celebration of Ernie’s life will be held at Nat Bailey Stadium, on Saturday, February 8, from 1-3 pm. We will have an opportunity to share our memories of Ernie, have a bite and raise a toast to him. It will be a casual get together, as befits an Ernie occasion, so wear your favourite team jersey or purple Doc Martens in his honour, and have a story to tell.
To send flowers to Ernest's family, please visit our floral section.