Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Robert Ernest, 81, Oak Island, North Carolina, died at New Hanover Hospital in Wilmington, N.C. on Thursday, June 11, 2009.
He was born in Greenville, Alabama, the son of Beulah Kennedy and Frank Hurd Ernest. He was preceded in death by a son, Charles Robert Ernest Jr. and sisters, Constance, Mary Lee and Lib.
Growing up in Greenville, Bob was an enterprising young boy. In an autobiography that Bob wrote for his Grandkids, he said “When I was about 12 or 13, I got a job delivering groceries on Saturday for Hill’s Grocery Store for $1.00. I also delivered circulars for stores and worked for The Greenville Advocate on the night the paper was printed. I had a paper route and later the Birmingham News made me distributor for the entire town.”
Known by his classmates as “Herd”, Bob was an outstanding athlete and leader at Greenville High School. He played football and basketball three years as a Sophomore, Junior and Senior. He also played baseball and ran the mile in track. He was a member of the Student Council for four years, vice president of his Junior class and president of his Senior class.
After graduating from High School, Bob had an 18-month tour of military service at Lackland Air Force Base, Teas before going on to college at Auburn University. His college days were interrupted by the draft which led to several years on active duty in the US Army Corps of Engineers culminating in a tour of duty in France. Returning to Auburn, Bob graduated with a degree in Engineering in 1953 and joined the Western Electric Company in Greensboro, North Carolina, where he worked for over 30 years. Shortly after starting employment with Western Electric, Bob met Sue Starrette in Greensboro and they were married September 8, 1956.
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Robert’s death was from lung cancer. He was diagnosed with cancer in September, 2008, took chemo and radiation and did very well for a short while until the cancer returned.
In addition to his wife, Sue, survivors include a daughter, Charity Stone and her husband Steve of Advance, NC; a son Scott Ernest and wife Karen of Charlotte, NC and son Frank Ernest from Raleigh, NC ; granddaughters, Haley, Nichole and Ashlyn Stone and grandson, Samuel Robert Ernest; sisters, Anne Blackmon and Fannie Lou Douglas.
Funeral services were held Sunday, June 14 at Oak Island Presbyterian Church. Robert was buried in Greensboro at Westminster Gardens on Monday, June 15.
If you would like to express condolences, you may do so to Sue Earnest at 3916 West Dolphin Drive, Oak Island, NC 28465. Memorial gifts may be sent to Oak Island Presbyterian Church,1503 East Oak Island Drive, Oak Island, NC 28465, or the charity of your choice.
The members of the Class of 1946 at Greenville High School will greatly miss the voice and leadership of their longtime friend, Robert Ernest.