Ernest Bolivar
Ernest Bolivar
Ernest Bolivar
Ernest Bolivar
Ernest Bolivar
Ernest Bolivar

Celebration of Life

11:00 am
Saturday, March 30, 2024
Bridgewater United Church
87 Hillcrest Street
Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Canada


following the funeral service, everyone is invited to a reception in the Christian Education Centre of Bridgewater United Church.

Obituary of Ernest William Bolivar


BOLIVAR, Ernest William ‘Ernie’ - It is with great sadness, yet grateful for a life well lived, the family of Ernie announces his peaceful passing which occurred on March 21, 2024 at the South Shore Regional Hospital with his beloved family by his side.  Born in Bridgewater on June 21, 1939, he was the son of the late Clyde and Bernice  ‘Bunnie’ (Mailman) Bolivar. 


Despite hardships and very humble beginnings, Ernie was blessed and grateful to be surrounded by the love of family, special friends and a supportive community. Growing up in Baker Settlement, Ernie would walk 4 miles each way to his one room school-house, to his credit he achieved 100% attendance. Ernie graduated in 1958 from Bridgewater High School where he was voted Mr. BHS and excelled at track and rugby. He then attended Bridgewater Commercial School where he studied business and accounting. Ernie began his career with Canadian National Railway as a ticket agent at Halifax’s Pier 21, welcoming people to Canada from all around the world. On November 2, 1963, he married his high school sweetheart and love of his life, Marilyn. In 1965, Ernie and Marilyn moved to Bridgewater and he began working in the Accounting Department at Acadia Construction where he spent 27 years. Later, Ernie was pleased to join Dexter Construction as a Sales Manager, Lunenburg and Queens Counties for 30 years, recently retiring.


Ernie was dedicated to public service and served with distinction. Passionate about his local community and wanting to advocate for change, he chose to run for public office. He was elected to Bridgewater Town Council in 1969 and later served as Deputy Mayor. In 1991, he was proud to be elected Mayor of The Town of Bridgewater, serving the people and community for 13 years, to date the longest sitting Mayor of Bridgewater. Ernie took on many leadership roles over his career in office: Chair of the Bridgewater Board of School Commissioners, Board Member of Dawson Memorial Hospital and South Shore Regional Hospital, Presidents of both the Nova Scotia Union of Municipalities and Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Chair of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, President of the Nova Scotia Association of Police Boards and Chair of the Resource Recovery Fund. Ernie loved to help others and be of service. He was President and Life Member of the Bridgewater Kinsmen Club, a K40 Member and a Bridgewater Fire Department volunteer.


Ernie was honoured for his leadership and service with the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal as well as the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal. 

Ernie was a man of strong faith and hope. A loyal member of Bridgewater United Church, he took on many roles to be of service to the congregation, including Sunday School Teacher, Elder and Clerk of the Congregation.  

Ernie was a true sportsman. He loved to watch, discuss and participate in all sports. He adored golf and would look forward to playing with his amazing ‘golf crew’. Over his golfing life, he shot 4 holes-in-one, a thrilling accomplishment for Ernie. Ernie ‘Ace’ Bolivar was an avid card player and took glee in skunking his friends at crib or taking a few dollars off of his poker buddies. 


Ernie enjoyed family time on the beautiful beaches of the South Shore, boating on the LaHave River with treasured friends and making his famous lobster sandwiches for almost every occasion. Ernie and Marilyn enjoyed entertaining family, friends and neighbours at their former Glenridge Avenue home with cooked meals, great music and laughter. 


Ernie was a devoted and proud grandfather. Forever encouraging and supporting his grandchildren in their education, sports, careers and life. Check in phone calls, voicemails and Facetime visits with Grampie were the highlight of their days - no matter how frequent. Many cherished memories were made together on special family vacations.


Ernie’s energy, generous love, wisdom and selflessness will always be remembered and missed dearly. 


Ernie is survived by his cherished wife of 60 years, Marilyn Anne (Hebb) Bolivar, Bridgewater; his children, Andrea (Mike) Weagle, Halifax; Brian Bolivar, Calgary; Jane (Dannie) Bolivar Steeves, Halifax; grandchildren, Jessica (Alex) Weagle and Justin Weagle, Patrick and Alison Bolivar, and Caroline Steeves;  brothers, St. Clair Bolivar, Chester; George (Mary Lou) Bolivar, Newcombville; Vernon (Linda) Bolivar, Lower Branch; sister-in-law, Carole  Bolivar, West LaHave; a very special cousin, Paulette Woodworth, Bridgewater, and many devoted nieces, nephews and cousins. 


Besides his parents, he was predeceased by dear Uncle Gerald & Aunt Shirley Hirtle, brother, Douglas Bolivar; sister-in-law, Mary Bolivar; dear mother-in-law, Jean (MacLeod) Schmeisser.  


Ernie’s family extends heartfelt thanks to Dr. Everett Weagle, Dr. Sarah Tennant, Dr. Paul Salomon and the nurses and staff at the South Shore Regional Hospital for their exceptional care, kindness and compassion.


A Celebration of Life will be held at 11 am, Saturday, March 30, 2024 in Bridgewater United Church, 87 Hillcrest Street, Bridgewater. Rev. Neil McEwen and Rev. Hans Nie officiating. Reception to follow. A private family burial will be held at Brookside Cemetery, Bridgewater.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Bridgewater United Church or South Shore Hospice Palliative Care Society.


Arrangements entrusted to Sweeny’s Funeral Home, 35 York Street, Bridgewater, where online condolences and messages may be made by visiting





A Celebration of Life Memorial Service was held at Bridgewater Untied Church on March 30, 2024. Rev. Neil McEwen and Rev. Hans van Nie officiated. A very special thank you to the Bridgewater Firemen’s Honour Guard in memory of Ernie. Reception followed in the C.E. Centre. Thank you to the U.C.W. for hosting the luncheon. A private family burial was held in Brookside Cemetery, Bridgewater.


Ernie’s family extends heartfelt thanks to Dr. Everett Weagle, Dr. Paul Salomon, Dr. Victoria Smith, Dr. Sarah Tennant, Dr. Jeff Ratushny, Dr. Ian Culbert and staff, 3rd Floor and E.R. nurses and ER staff at South Shore Regional Hospital, for their exceptional care, kindness and compassion. A special thank you to Rev. Neil McEwen, Rev. Jennifer Joudrey and Franics Varner for their visits, and comforting prayers. We are truly grateful for all the many donations to Bridgewater United Church and South Shore Hospice Palliative Care Society. Thank you for your sincere condolences, phone calls, flowers and food. Many thanks to Adam Tipert and Staff at Sweeny’s Funeral Home, Bridgewater, who were always there for us. We are truly grateful for the love, caring and support shown to us by our family, friends and community.


Marilyn, Andrea, Brian and Jane and families

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