Ernest (Ernie) Junior Padgett, 91, passed away Saturday, September 2, 2017 from natural causes.
Ernie was born August 29, 1926 in Woodville, Mo. to Ernest Padgett Sr. and Hazel (Marlin) DeLong.
Ernie graduated from Cairo High School in 1943, and also attended Moberly Junior College. He served in the Merchant Marines during World War II and later in the Army Airborne as part of the occupation force in Japan. In 1947, he volunteered and served in the Naval Reserve until 1952.
After his active military service, Ernie established residence in 1947 in Moberly where he met the love of his life, Thelma Spelman. Ernie worked at Goddard and White for over 40 years. He was active in the Lions Club, and served as a member of the Moberly Park Board for many years. Ernie was an accomplished fast-pitch softball player when he was young and later became an avid golfer. He loved home projects and was the ultimate “do it yourselfer.”
Ernie’s greatest passion was for his family and friends. He was married 61 years to his best friend, Thelma, who passed away in 2010. Ernie and Thelma lived a true love story. They were seldom apart and loved to shop, travel, camp, canoe, and spend time with close friends. Ernie was an amazing father and role model to two sons, Scott and Curt. He was a loving grandfather and great-grandfather.
In addition to family, Ernie and Thelma shared their lives with a group of lifelong friends they met in the early 1940’s. They celebrated holidays, birthdays, and almost any event they could think of with a party.
Ernie lived a long and happy life– a life full of love, family, and friendship.
Ernie is preceded in death by his wife, Thelma Mae (Spellman); two sisters, Lois Engle and Louise Kepford; and one brother, Frank Padgett.
Ernie is survived by two sons, Curt Padgett and wife Debbie, who reside in Springfield, Mo. and Scott Padgett, who resides in Moberly; five grandchildren, Leslie Garrett (Robert) of Moberly, Jennifer Field of Moberly, Amy Hietter (John) of Springfield, Mo, Abby Lowe (Robert) Springfield, Mo, and Allison Shepard (Luke) Springfield, Mo. He is also survived by fourteen great-grandchildren, Haylie Garrett, Jack Garrett, Addison Garret, Charise Garrett, Rachel Field, Ryan Field, Hannah Field, Carter Field, Grace Hietter, Lucy Hietter, Emma Lowe, Taylor Coble, Lyla Shepard and Isaac Shepard.
The family would like to acknowledge the staff of Compasus Hospice /Macon for their loving care of Ernie and also the wonderful caregivers at Macon Healthcare Center during his last days.
A funeral service celebrating Ernie’s life will be held Monday, September 11, 2017 at Pathway Memorial Funeral Home at 1:00 p.m. Interment with full military honors will follow at the Missouri State Veterans Cemetery in Jacksonville, Mo. Visitation will be held Monday, September 11, 2017 at the funeral home from 11:00 a.m. until the time of service.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The American Cancer Society, 2409 Hyde Park Road, Jefferson City, MO 65109.