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Saturday, 16 February 2013 16:55

Elbert Edgar Earnest: Happy 99th Birthday, February 23, 2013

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His son, Stephen Earnest, was asked to give a summary of his father’s most remarkable life:

 

“My dad, Elbert Edgar Earnest, was born February 23, 1914 in his grandmother’s farm house just outside Mena, Arkansas.  He lived his first twelve years on the family farm in Arkansas then in Oklahoma.   Due to his mother’s poor health, the family moved to the Estancia Valley in New Mexico, where he continued to be a hardworking farm kid.

 

“Dad graduated from Estancia High School then went on to UNM where he paid his way as a janitor, worked at the library, ran the school post office, and had other odd jobs.  He married my mom, Atha Love Wright, in 1935 at the little one room church in McIntosh.

 

“My parents moved to Hot Springs where my dad taught Spanish at the junior and high school.  He also worked at Carrie Tingley Hospital for two summers.  At the start of WWII, they moved to California where he worked for Lockheed building airplanes during the war.

 

“They moved to Espanola in 1945 where my dad taught at Espanola High School and had a farm to meet the family’s needs. He built two houses for the family, which are still standing today.  Active and concerned about local issues, he dedicated himself to help establish the Espanola Hospital.

 

“In 1954 our family moved from Espanola to Santa Fe where my dad started his own insurance business.  For many years he had his office above Zook’s Pharmacy overlooking the plaza.  In 1985 he retired and sold his business to Mark Muth.

 

“As he was his entire life, my ninety-nine year old dad is devoutly but quietly religious and goes to chapel every Sunday.  He is a political observer, keeping up with local, national and international news.  He was one of the founders of Common Cause New Mexico and is an anti-nuclear activist, a pacifist, and an insatiable reader, loves old time hymns, classical music, Roy Orbison, New Mexico’s tri-cultures and sopaipillas!

 

“My dad has written two memoirs, one of his personal life and one of his political activist life.   At ninety-nine he has a wealth of memories still there for instant recall at any time.  I can spend hours listening to him tell stories of his life.  I love my old man.”

 

as told to Maria Montez-Skolnik

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Maria Montez-Skolnik

Family

Both sides of my family trace their roots in the Santa Fé area to the 1600s.  In the earlier years they were primarily farmers, builders, craftsmen, artists (wood carvers and weavers), and educators.  I graduated from SFHS & NMSU and received my BA & MA in Speech & Language Pathology. I divide my time between Santa Fé and the San Francisco Bay Area.  

 

2 comments

  • Comment Link Polly Jackson Monday, 18 February 2013 17:57 posted by Polly Jackson

    Such a wonderful story and with much respect. Thank you, Maria and Stephen! And best wishes to Mr. Ernest (EEE)!

  • Comment Link Jerry Kerr Sunday, 17 February 2013 20:48 posted by Jerry Kerr

    A life to be appreciated. My folks were born in 1912 and 1914 and they and their peers (your dad), the ones who came to maturity during the Great Depression and then faced WWII showed a wonderful resiliency and ingenuity to survive. I do find it curious that your dad, an Anglo, taught Spanish in Hot Springs (now T or C), but that's more the initial response of a grningo from the east coast. I'm not especially familiar with the demographics of Hot Springs. Great post and I'm so glad your dad is still with you. I do miss my parents, gone these 18 and 15 years.

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