Ernest Côté, WW II veteran and home invasion survivor, dead at 101

Second World War veteran Ernest Côté, who survived a violent home invasion at his Ottawa condo in December, died Wednesday night at the age of 101.

Ian Bush faces attempted murder charge after senior was left bound, with plastic bag over his head

The WW II vet who survived a violent home invasion in December died on Wednesday evening. 3:20

Second World War veteran Ernest Côté, who survived a violent home invasion at his Ottawa condo in December, died Wednesday night at the age of 101.

Ernest Cote received his Legion of Honour Award from the Ambassador of France, Phillippe Guelluy at the French Embassy to Canada in Ottawa on Thursday, May 27, 2004. (Tobin Grimshaw/Canadian Press)

Côté's family said in a French-language statement he died of natural causes at Ottawa's Montfort Hospital.

His family said the retired lieutenant colonel helped plan the Normandy landing and helped put together the World Health Organization charter. He received France's Legion of Honour award in 2004 for his service during the Second World War.

His funeral will be held at Ottawa's Notre-Dame Cathedral at 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 7. His family is asking donations in his name be made to Montfort Hospital.

Members of Parliament gave Côté a standing ovation in the House of Commons after his death was announced by Ottawa-Orleans MP Royal Galipeau and Veterans Affairs Minister Erin O'Toole.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper tweeted his "deepest condolences to the family of WW II Veteran & true Canadian hero, Mr. Ernest Côté" as well.

Côté made headlines after he was tied up and robbed inside his Ottawa apartment. He was left with a plastic bag over his head, but freed himself and called police.

"I was madder than a wasp, and I couldn't do a damn thing, and that's all I could do until he left," Côté said in January. "I was never afraid. I was madder than a wasp. Wasps ain't afraid; they're mad.

"Life is such that when you see these things happen to you, you try to get out. The important thing is to concentrate on how to get out of the position in which you happen to be. If you're afraid and paralyzed, you don't move. I was never afraid. I was not afraid of the landing, the D-Day landing. I was not afraid."

Ian Bush, 59, was arrested and charged with attempted murder following the incident. Last week Bush was charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of retired judge Alban Garon, his wife Raymonde and neighbour Marie Claire Beniskos​, who were all in their 70s.


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