ATASCADERO — Ernest J. Way Jr., 89, died peacefully on March 2, 2013, with family by his side.
Ernest was born in October 1923 in Richmond, Ind., the first of 14 children to Ernest J. Sr. and Charline Reese Way. At age 17 he joined the United States Marine Corp. and was delighted to be sent by train to the sunshine of San Diego. Unfortunately, within weeks Pearl Harbor was attacked and he was shipped to the front line fighting of the South Pacific. He was awarded two Purple Hearts and his division received two Presidential Unit Citations.
After being honorably discharged Ernest made his way to St. Louis, Mo., where he met and married the love of his life, Julie Jane Kish. He attended LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas, where he earned a degree as a metallurgical engineer. Upon graduation he moved his family to California where he was hired in the aerospace industry. He was able to travel a great deal, belonging to the Million Mile airline club in the 1960s as well as a trip to China that made a large impression on him. He was involved in both the Boy Scouts and Little League when his sons were young.
He and Julie shared 59 years together before she passed away in 2007.
Ernest is survived by his remaining siblings, Kara Stevenson and Robert “Doug” Way; children, Susan (Pete), Ernest C. (Debi), Sondra, Linda (Norman) and Thomas (Jana); 10 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren and he was looking forward to the birth of his ninth in May.
There will be a viewing at the Chapel of Roses Mortuary in Atascadero on Friday, March 8 from 5 to 7 p.m. Ernest will be laid to rest with his wife at the Atascadero Pine Mountain Cemetery with a service on Saturday, March 9 at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations can be made to the Wounded Warrior Project at woundedwarriorproject.org, the Fisher House Foundation or the Quality of Life Plus Laboratory, c/o College of Engineering, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA 93410.For the complete article see the 03-08-2013 issue.
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