Ernest Leroy Bryant was born on September 18, 1926 and passed away on April 1, 2020 at his home in Cameron Park. Born in Taft, Texas, Ernie was the oldest of three children. He and his sisters Dottie and Barbara spent their childhood living in Stockton and Monterey County.
Ernie was a 1945 graduate of Salinas High School. At the age of 18, he joined the WWII effort by enlisting in the United States Maritime Service completing three tours before spending six years in the U.S. Army (1950-52 Active Duty, 52-56 Reserves) during the Korean War.
He settled in Salinas and in 1953, married the love of his life, Nancy, where they raised three children. Ernie was employed by Joseph George Distributors where he received the honor of Schlitz Salesman of the Year. After leaving Joseph George, he worked part-time for Ray Holman’s Union 76 Service Station.
Upon retiring, he volunteered delivering Meals on Wheels and loved gardening, researching genealogy, taking walks, fishing and camping. In 2004, after living in the same house for 51 years, Ernie and Nancy moved to Cameron Park to live closer to their younger grandchildren.
Always willing to lend a hand and a loyal friend, Ernie was also a loving husband and wonderful father to his children and his grandchildren. His greatest joy was spending time with his family especially when all of his family was together for their annual camping trip to Wright’s Lake and at holidays. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Nancy and three children: Cindy McKibbin, (Mike), Margie, and Jeff (Tina) and five grandchildren Brandon, Zach (Michelle), Ashley, Casey, and Amy. His sister Dottie Thompson (John)and numerous nieces and nephews.
Donations may be made to Snowline Hospice or The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
He will be interred with military honors at the California Central Coast Veterans Cemetery in Seaside at a future date.
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