AITKIN -- Ernest P. Colas, 87, Aitkin and formerly of St. Paul, died Monday, Oct. 7, 2002, at Riverwood Health Care Center in Aitkin.
He was born Feb. 10, 1915, in St. Paul. He grew up and attended schools in St. Paul. He married Kathryn E. Wilson on Aug. 11, 1935, in Hudson, Wis. They made their home in Mendota Heights and he drove truck for a time and then worked in the family restaurant, The Paramount, on Rice Street. He moved to California and worked as a bartender for a year. He returned to Minnesota and opened the Barbecue Inn Restaurant on Rice Street. During this time he also worked in Alaska for about seven months. After a couple of years he went into the trucking business and ran trucks until 1950. He then worked for a construction company working heavy equipment. The family restaurant was sold and the Shell Oil Co. put up a gas station, which he ran for a time. He then secured a liquor license and turned the Barbecue Inn Restaurant into a liquor store and operated that from 1960 until the early 1980s. After his retirement he moved to the Aitkin area where he had resided ever since. He was a member of the Pine Lake United Methodist Church, had served as a reserve officer for the Ramsey County Sheriff's Department, was a member of the Ancient Landmark No. 5 Masonic Lodge in St. Paul of which he was past master, was a member of the Aitkin Mystic Masonic Lodge, the Duluth Scottish Rite and the AAD Temple of Duluth. His wife died in April.
Survivors include one son, Peter Colas, Vadnais Heights; one sister, Lillian Flack, Anoka; four grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
His wife died earlier.
Services will be 11 a.m. Saturday at Aitkin United Methodist Church in Aitkin with the Rev. Ruth Hograbe and the Rev. Larry Foote officiating. Burial will be 11 a.m. Monday in Acacia Park Cemetery in Mendota Heights.
Friends may call from 5-8 p.m., with a Masonic service at 7 p.m., Friday at the Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home in Aitkin.
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