Ernie had a Huck Finn childhood exploring, fishing and hunting the countryside around Miami, Oklahoma. He was raised by his grandma after his father and mother died at early ages. After the 9th grade he decided it was time to start working, so he teamed up with his Uncle Dick at the Coleman Theater in Miami. In his adult years he became an accomplished military aircraft and ballistic missile technician. He worked on the Atlas in Nebraska and Kansas, and on Thor, Agena, Titan, Minuteman, and MX Peacekeeper systems at Vandenberg AFB. His cherished wife Marion passed away in 2015. Sons Richard and Robert, daughters Pam and Marsha, and many grand and great grandchildren will deeply miss Dad, Grandpa, Gramps, and Grandma (as named by 2 year-old great grandson Barrett).