Ernest (Ernie) Everett Tibbets, affectionately known by so many as Corky, was born on January 23, 1940, and passed away on May 26, 2017.
As a lifelong resident of The Dalles, Ore., Ernie considered himself “a kid from the wrong side of the tracks.” He attributes the best of himself to his wife, who enabled him to enjoy his children, family, friends, and life.
Ernie was a passionate man, his deepest passion was his wife Virginia, aka Ginger (Patten) Tibbets, who in 2013 preceded him in death. Ernie is the sixth of eight children born to Kenneth and Luetta (Morast) Tibbets, and is survived by his son Ty Tibbets and his wife Heidi; daughter Karen Tibbets-Lavine and her husband Mark; three grandsons, Timmy, Alex, and Eli; sister Mary Pirkey; and brother Lawrence Tibbets.
Ernie's passionate nature compelled him to activism in support of the United Steelworkers Union and the Democratic Party. His belief in the contributions, values, and necessity of these organizations guided his daily life for many decades. When asked what drove the activist in him, Ernie responded, “stupidity!” He said this with a chuckle and a recognition of the pressure, commitment, and occasional heartbreak it takes to remain involved and create change for the better. The Republicans in his life remain unforgiven!
Ernie is a U.S. military veteran and proud of his 14 years of active and reserve duty services in the Marine Corps. He served active duty as a rifleman at Twenty-Nine Palms, Calif. He also worked for many years at Sunshine Mill; he was the owner/operator of a successful lawn care business, and spent more than 30 years at the local aluminum plant, as well as held the union president post for many years.
Throughout his life, Ernie enjoyed many hobbies and activities, including hunting, fishing, gardening, bowling, coaching baseball, auto refurbishing, and dancing. He also enjoyed weekly cards at the senior center and the Eagles Lodge. Most may remember him best for his bright Christmas decorations he proudly displayed at 13th and G Street for many, many years. And of course he LOVED his local Dutch Bros team!
A potluck memorial for both Ernie and Virginia (Ginger) will be held Saturday, July 8, at The Dalles Eagles Lodge from noon to 3 p.m., all are welcome.
“Without people, you're nobody, you'll walk alone.”
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