There are but a very few people who leave a lasting mark on everyone they meet. Ernie King was clearly one of those unique, bigger than life individuals. Hence the name “Big Ern”.
Ernest Joseph King, age 78, of Hooks, Texas, died Monday, December 19, 2022.
He was born November 11, 1944, to Bryan and Pauline (Goodman) King. He was a proud Marine and Vietnam Veteran. He was a member of the Vietnam Veterans Association, the Disabled American Veterans and Marine Corp League where he served in various roles, most recently as Commandant. He had a career in law enforcement, first as a deputy for Bowie County and later the Death Row Administrator in the Federal Bureau of Prisons. He was twice named “Employee of the Year.” He was a member of Liberty Eylau Baptist Church.
Ernie was preceded in death by his parents and his four siblings, Martha Heflin, Bobbie Ramsey, Buddy King and Chunky King.
Survivors include his loving and devoted wife of 59 years, Shirley King; his children, Denise and David Watson of Spring, TX, Bryan and Meaw King of Midland, TX, Kimberly King of Texarkana, and Steven and Nikon King of Texarkana; grandchildren, Jennifer and Conner Williford, Ali and Daniel Howard, Shelby Watson, Kelsey and Wow Kelley, Danielle Schoening, Samantha and Adam Meehling, Presley King, Joseph King, Evelyn and Arya King; Bobby Martin, Josh Guy and the late Kevin Guy; thirteen great-grandchildren, Savannah, Charlotte, and Everett Williford, Bennett and Mason Howard, Leela and Moses Kelley, Payton Shahadey, Malikai Barker, Lucah Barker-Schoening, Parker and Taitum Meehling, and Knox Keith; along with numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives.
Big Ern loved to hunt and fish, and he loved to talk about both. His love language was food and he loved to cook for people. Sometimes cooking for a few and often cooking for a hundred. He was a lifelong learner and loved to share his knowledge. He never met a stranger and never left being a stranger. He was proud of his faith. He was patriotic and a flag waving American. He LOVED his wife – family and friends. He was one of a kind and the world was a better place because of him.
Whether you called him Boss, Big Ern, Pop, or Dad, friend or brother, he loved you and you knew it. He often jokingly said, “Call me anything but don’t call me late to supper.” But his favorite title of all would be Papaw. He was so proud to be a grandfather EVERY time!
Funeral services will be at 2:00 PM Tuesday, December 27, 2022, at Chapelwood Funeral Home with Dr. Dwight Lowrie and Rev. Roy Ford officiating. Burial will follow in Chapelwood Memorial Gardens.
Visitation will be from 5:00-7:00 PM Monday, at the funeral home.