Born in Luzk, Poland on November 12, 1935, Ernst came to Canada in 1954 to begin his learned trade of bricklaying. In 1959 he formed a well respected masonry company, which later grew into the general contracting company of Ernie Keller Contractors. He is past president of the Winnipeg Construction Association, past Chairman and founder of the Labour Relations Association of Manitoba where he served as National Chairman for two years. Ernst represented the Manitoba Construction Industry in Ottawa, and Internationally in Geneva. He was appointed in 1994 by the three levels of government as chairperson of The Forks North Portage Partnership where he served until 2000.
In 1989 Ernst was awarded the Order of the Buffalo Hunt, Manitoba's highest honour, in recognition of his dedicated service to the community for his significant contribution to cultural education in Manitoba. He was also a recipient of a Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal.
For several years, Ernst was a member of Khart0um Temple Shriners, which included time as President of the Motor Patrol. His devotion to St. Peter's Church and its community included church council membership, where he was known for his big heart, generosity, and active involvement in its development and construction.
Peacefully, on October 9, 2010, at Deer Lodge Centre, Ernst Keller passed away at the age of 74.