Ernest Herman Hurd (1919-2013)

Ernest Herman Hurd, a long time Fillmore, California resident, known to many as Ernie or Paka, died at home in Denver, Colorado on April 26, 2013. He was born on February 9, 1919 in Cosmospolis, Washington to Theodore Truman Hurd and Edith Atkinson Hurd. Ernie’s father died at an early age, leaving his wife with their two young sons to care for. Ernie eventually went to live with Helen Doty, a kind hearted widow lady that needed help on her small farm outside of Eugene, Oregon while his older brother, Theodore Sheldon remained with his mother at her parent’s home in Eugene. Mrs. Doty became “Aunt Helen” to Ernie and her only son Max helped influence him to further his education at a university.
Ernie was in junior high school when he and another student, Nelson Treadway were challenged to build a telescope as a class project and before graduating from high school in Eugene, Oregon, their telescope was the only one completed. While in high school, Ernie also learned code and earned a radio operators license, which benefited him later in his career. He also learned to play the harmonica and he and his pal Nelson, both became quite accomplished playing duets together. They played on the radio at the college station in Corvallis, Oregon, winning accolades with their harmonicas.
Ernie was a second year engineering student at the Oregon State University in Corvallis when he had to drop out due to lack of funds. He then learned radio electronics at a vocational school in Eugene and from there started teaching code to men at the United States Naval station in Seattle, Washington to become qualified radio operators. When this teaching program closed, Ernie was offered a Chief Petty Officers commission but instead went into working for the Civil Aeronautics Association, beginning a series of civilian assignments with the CAA. He worked in Butte, Montana, Minchumina, Alaska, and Palmyra Island in the South Pacific and with assignments on all the islands of Hawaii after World War II ended.
Ernie met his future wife, Marvis Jean Robinson on board the steamship USS Matsonia, when he was coming home on furlough. Marvis had been vacationing in Hawaii and was returning to her home in Fillmore, California. They married July 27, 1946, in Fillmore, a marriage which lasted fifty-one years, until her death in 1997. Ernie and Marvis made their first home in Honolulu, Hawaii, while Ernie continued his work in civil aeronautics. Shortly afterwards, Marvis’s father, in declining health, asked if he would return to California to learn and take over the Robertson family citrus farming business. So Ernie resigned and they moved to Bardsdale, near Fillmore. While farming was always a challenge, he loved the work and was always available in helping others. Marvis and Ernie became the parents to two sons, Mark and Chris. A son, Barry, died in infancy.
While Ernie had no architectural or building experience, he was instrumental in the drafting and construction of the beach house in 1976. In addition to operating the family citrus farming business, he was active in his church. He joined the Bardsdale United Methodist church shortly after he and Marvis moved to Fillmore from Hawaii, remaining faithful to its teachings during his entire lifetime. He served in various capacities within the church and was a member of the board of trustees for many years.
Ernie was a member of and served as Master of the Fillmore Masonic Lodge. He served as chairman of the Bardsdale school board as well as chairman of the Farm Bureau Citrus committee. He was a member of SPEBSQSA, a barbershop harmony singing group, in both the Ventura and Oxnard chapters, serving as their president for many years. For thirty-five years, Ernie was a science judge for schools at the city, county and state levels. He was instrumental in the operation and maintenance of several water boards for the Bardsdale community, until leaving the area a few years ago.
In 1978, they held a meeting with the remaining family members within the Robertson ranch, and it was decided to sell the property and retire. Ernie and Marvis then travelled extensively to various countries around the world, including a visit to Vienna, Austria to see the exchange student who had lived with them, when their own boys were still at home.
After the death of Marvis, he met Bonnie Nijenhuis on an airline flight, and they married in 2000. Until Ernie’s health prevented it, they both continued to travel. For a time, they divided their time between her homes Florida and Colorado, as well as his home in Bardsdale.
Surviving are his wife, Bonnie of Denver, Colorado, his sons Mark Evan and his wife Sharon of Fillmore and Christopher Thomas and his wife Anne of Firebaugh, California, step-daughter Diana Hawkins of Show Low, Arizona, step-son Brent Mickey of Oldsmar, Florida, grandsons Chad (Jennifer), Neal (Carrie Ann), Kevin (Allison) and Dusty (Sarah) Hurd. Also surviving are step-grandchildren Jamie, Trevor and Hannah Hawkins, Austin and Devon Mickey and great-grandchildren Kylie, Justin, Gannon, Yetta, Moriah, Griffin, and Duncan Hurd. Step-great-grandchildren are Emily and Ethan Burroughs.
His Memorial service is to be held at the Bardsdale United Methodist church, 1498 Bardsdale Avenue, Fillmore, California on the 6th of May at 11:00 o’clock. A luncheon reception follows. Inurnment will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the above church or to any community food bank in his memory.