Ernest C. “Ernie” McCabe, 97, longtime Heppner resident, died Friday, February 18, 2022, at Pioneer Memorial Hospital. A graveside service with military honors will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, February 26, 2022, at the High View Cemetery in Ione.
He was born on February 3, 1925, on Rhea Creek near Ione, Oregon, the son of Alonzo and Lola Olden McCabe. He was raised and attended school in Ione where he graduated from high school in 1943.
Ernie was a World War II Veteran, serving four years in the United States Navy. He worked in a Munitions Depot on Guam and also on a mine sweeper.
On April 18, 1948, he married Mary Jean Bristow at Ione. The couple had four children.
He was a longtime member of the Heppner Elks Lodge #358 and at the time of his death he was the oldest member, and an active member of the United Methodist Church. Ernie sang in their choir for 25 years during his younger years.
His occupation was a butcher, starting in Ione at the grocery store which was Bristow’s Market. He was also a meat cutter at Bay City, Oregon, for 2 ½ years. He followed that career in Heppner at what was then Central Market. He custom cut many a fine Morrow County beef over the years. He later bought Central Market with his partner Forrest Burkenbine.
Family was foremost to Ernie. He especially loved his brothers in law, the famous Bristow Boys, and enjoyed many wonderful times with them and their wives. He was very fond of all his nieces and nephews. Many years of enjoyment were had through high school sports watching his son play and then his grandchildren.
Ernie enjoyed gardening, wood working (having made many birdhouses), the Oregon Coast, and decorating his house with lights at Christmas.
Survivors include his wife of 73 years, Mary Jean, of Hermiston, their four children, Pam Doherty and her husband Jim, of Golden, Colorado, John McCabe and his wife Sonja, of Heppner, Lisa Gifford and her husband Joseph, of Hermiston, and Laurie Wilson and her husband Dan, of Newberg, twelve grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Heppner United Methodist Church, PO Box 733, Heppner, Oregon 97836.