Ernest Joseph Collette, Jr.

Ernest Joseph Collette, Jr. born May 10, 1926, to Alice (née Maddock) and Ernest Collette, Sr., in Grand Forks, ND passed very peacefully from this world on Sunday, February 12. 2023.

Ernie (aka Bunky) graduated in 1944 from St. James High School in Grand Forks. Ernie enlisted in the Navy and left two days after graduation; he  was discharged in June 1946.

Following his return home to Grand Forks, Ernie enrolled at University of North Dakota and was an active member of Theta Chi Fraternity. Upon graduating in 1950, Ernie embarked on his life’s journey to Montana with Standard Oil Company, where he met Myra Mattern, a lovely lady he would spend 35 years with and raise five children together.

Ernie was known by his family, colleagues and friends as a man who always had a smile on his face and a joke to share. He was an avid racquetball player, enjoyed snow skiing and served as a board member for many local organizations including Kiwanis Club, YMCA, Elks Club, Knight of Columbus, SCORE with SBA and Holy Family Church. Ernie started Interstate Realtors in Grand Forks in the early 1960’s and continued the Collette family tradition in real estate.

Ernie is survived by his children Vicki Heimark (Ron), Chelan, WA; Renee Collette, Gilbert, AZ; Dianne Bergstrom (Scott), Seattle, WA; Janine Weber, Eden Prairie, MN; and Craig Collette, Tampa, FL.; nineteen Grandchildren, and countless Great Grandchildren. Ernie is also survived by his brother John (Ann) Collette, and many nieces and nephews.

Ernie was preceded in death by his parents, sisters Ellen Rose LaSeur, Patricia Meagher, Marjorie Fromm, and Loria Kelly, brothers Terry Collette and Denzil “Bud” Collette.

A graveside service will be held at the Collette family plot at Calvary Cemetery in Grand Forks on Friday, July 14th at 1pm. All are welcome.

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