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William E. "Ernie" Wilson
Birth: Feb. 1, 1921
Goldendale
Klickitat County
Washington, USA
Death: Mar. 27, 2010
Oregon, USA

This was the man I knew as Grandpa Ernie for most of my life. He was married to the woman I knew as Grandma Betty from 1942-1971, and they had two daughters, Carolyn (Wilson) Frey (who later became my first stepmother) and Beverly (Wilson) Aldrich.

Grandpa Ernie lived in Brookings, Oregon, during the latter part of his life, but I understand that he was taken to Eureka, CA, for surgery after a fall at a restaurant, and that he never regained consciousness after surgery. His daughter Carolyn and half-brother Allen Wilson were both with him when he died.

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Obituary, posted March 31, 2010, in the Curry Coastal Pilot:

Ernie was born Feb. 1, 1921, in Horseshoe Bend country, near Goldendale, Wash., the only child of Ira Wilson and Lillian Kamholz.

As his father worked at a variety of jobs, Ernie's first school years were spent moving from one school to another. In his early teens, the family moved to Myrtle Point, where his father worked for the local Ford dealer. During the Depression, the family lived on a small farm where they were able to grow their own food.

Ernie finished high school in Myrtle Point and moved to Portland where he attended business school for a year, to be close to his high school sweetheart, Betty DeBoer.

They were married in 1944 (sic), and moved to Eugene where he studied business at University of Oregon (UO) and Betty worked as a secretary. While there, he trained in the ROTC and took pilot training. Betty and Ernie traveled to different states during his training.

He joined the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II and flew C-46s over the Burma hump. This was one of the highlights of his life and a source of countless war stories. For the rest of his life, he would be enamored with planes and flying, continuing to fly small club planes for years.

After the war, Ernie returned to UO and earned a bachelor's degree in business.

His father, Ira and Ernie became partners in two businesses in Gold Beach. By this time, Ernie and Betty had two daughters.

He continued to work with his father, later expanding to a Firestone tire and retread shop.

In 1971 Ernie and Betty were divorced and he married Joan Scott. He helped raise her children, Joanie and Vance. After a few years, he and Joan moved to Brookings where he continued to operate the Firestone tire shop in Gold Beach and a new gas station and tire shop in Brookings. After 15 years, they divorced.

He served as a volunteer fireman, and was a Mason and a Shriner. He was a member of Brookings-Harbor Chamber of Commerce, Elks Lodge 1934. He was an officer and then state president of Oregon Tire Dealers Association.

Retirement didn't settle well with Ernie and during his late 70s he drove a U.S. Mail truck from Brookings to Coos Bay. He also worked as groundskeeper and maintenance man at Pacific View apartments in Brookings. Upon the retirement of his friend, Evelyn Hickey, he became manager of the 36-unit complex. In 2008 he was awarded Manager of the Year. He enjoyed the challenge of the job.

He lived a very active life and continued to be an eager learner until his death, reading daily papers and discussing the articles with friends and relatives, attending the coffee klatsch at McDonald's, trying out new recipes in his Crock Pot, living happily with his cat "Pie Dough." He advised and helped anyone he could.

A fall and broken hip on March 22 led directly to his death on March 27.

Survivors include his daughters Carolyn Frey of Salem, Beverly Aldrich of Chile; half-brother Allen Wilson of Gold Beach; and his former wife, Joan Scott.

His enthusiasm for life and his cheerfulness will be missed by Ernie's many friends and relatives.

A memorial service will be held in June.

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Obituary in the Curry County Reporter, printed April 8, 2010:
William E. (Ernie) Wilson: February 1, 1921 - March 27, 2010

Published: April 8, 2010

Ernie was born February 1, 1921, in Horseshoe Bend country, near Goldendale, Washington, the only child of Ira Wilson and Lillian Kamholz. As his father worked at a variety of jobs, Ernie's first school years were spent moving from one school to another. In his early teens, the family moved to Myrtle Point, Oregon, where his father worked for the local Ford dealer. During the Depression, the three of them lived on a small farm where they grew their own vegetables, had a cow and chickens, sold milk, cheese, butter and eggs.

Ernie finished high school in Myrtle Point and moved to Portland where he attended business school for a year, being close to his high school sweetheart, Betty DeBoer. They were married in 1944 and moved to Eugene where he studied business at the University of Oregon and Betty worked as a secretary. While there, he trained in the ROTC and took pilot training. Betty and Ernie traveled to different states during his training until he was sent overseas to India where he flew C-46's over the Burma hump. This was one of the highlights of his life and a source of countless war stories. He loved reliving those exciting years! For the rest of his life, he would be enamored of planes and flying, continuing to fly small club planes for many years.

When the war ended, Ernie returned to the University of Oregon and finished his business degree. Then his father asked him to join him in business in Gold Beach, Oregon, where he was the bulk dealer for Union Oil. By this time, Ernie and Betty had a two and a half year old daughter, Carolyn, and a six month old daughter, Beverly.

Ernie continued to work with his father, later expanding to a Firestone tire shop and re-tread shop, until Ira's retirement. In 1971, Ernie and Betty were divorced and he was remarried to Joan Scott, helping to raise her children, Joanie and Vance. After a few years, Ernie moved to Brookings with Joan. Here he continued to operate the Firestone tire shop in Gold Beach and a new gas station and tire shop in Brookings. After 15 years, Ernie and Joan were divorced and he continued with his business until he sold the business and retired.

During his business years, he was a member of many civic groups: volunteer fireman, Masons, Chamber of Commerce, Elks Club, Rotary, and Shriners. He was an officer and then state president of Oregon Tire Dealer's Association.

Retirement didn't settle well with him and in his late 70s he drove a mail truck from Brookings to Coos Bay. He also worked as groundskeeper and maintenance man at Pacific View apartments in Brookings. Upon the retirement of his good friend, Evelyn Hickey, he offered to take over as manager of the apartment complex which the company happily accepted. In 2008 he was awarded Manager of the Year. He enjoyed the challenge of the job of managing the 36 unit building, and though he did talk about retiring, decided he would just as soon continue working.

He lived a very active life and continued to be an eager learner until his death, reading daily papers and discussing the articles with friends and relatives, attending the coffee klatch at McDonald's, trying out new recipes with his hot pot, sharing his apartment with his pet cat, managing his building, advising and helping anyone he could who needed something.

A fall and broken hip on March 22 led directly to his demise by heart failure and complications five days later during the operation on March 27, 2010. Ernie is survived by daughters, Carolyn Frey of Salem, Beverly Aldrich of Chile, by half brother Allen Wilson of Gold Beach, and his former wife, Joan Scott.

His enthusiasm for life and his cheerfulness will be missed by Ernie's many friends and relatives.

There will be a memorial service in Brookings, sometime in the middle of June 2010.

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Ernie's memorial service is to be held June 26, 2010.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his stepmother, Hattie; his first ex-wife, Betty Allison; and his half-brother Bruce Wilson
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Ira E. Wilson (1891 - 1971)
 
 Sibling:
  William E. Wilson (1921 - 2010)
  Bruce Lee Wilson (1949 - 1976)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Unknown
 
Created by: Jo Frey
Record added: Mar 29, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 50414518
William E. Ernie Wilson
Added by: Jo Frey
 
William E. Ernie Wilson
Added by: Teri (Kei) Frey
 
William E. Ernie Wilson
Added by: Jo Frey
 
 
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Thank you, Grandpa Ernie, for your honorable service to our grateful country! You were a credit to veterans everywhere, and I can only hope to be as good an example without being in uniform. Love and miss you~
- Jo Frey
 Added: Nov. 12, 2012
Love and miss you, Grandpa Ernie!
- Jo Frey
 Added: Dec. 9, 2011
Thank you, Grandpa, for your service to our country. Love and miss you~
- Jo Frey
 Added: Nov. 11, 2011
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This page is sponsored by: Jo Frey

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