Ernest Poor King

NALCREST, Fla. – Ernest Poor King, 98, Nalcrest, Florida, formerly of Cumberland, Maine, passed away at his home Febr. 13, 2021.

Ernest was born on April 17, 1922, to Howard E. and Vera (Rackliffe) King in Bath, Maine. Due to his mother dying at an early age, Ernest grew up in the Bath Military and Naval Orphans Asylum. He attended Morse High School in Bath, where he played quarterback for the Morse Shipbuilders and developed a lifelong passion for football. Ernest enlisted in the Navy in 1941 to assist in the World War II effort. After the war ended, he returned to Maine where he met his first wife Lilla Blackwell of Portland, Maine. They wed in 1945 and had three children, Howard, Ernest Jr., and Patricia.

Ernest re-enlisted in the military in 1948, this time serving in the Air Force. He and his family traveled widely, being stationed in many countries around the world. In 1966, he retired from the military with the rank of Senior Master Sergeant after serving in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. He and his family returned to Maine, residing in Cumberland. Ernest then worked as a letter carrier for the USPS. During this time, he spent many weeknights and weekends building a camp on Crescent Lake in Raymond, Maine, where his family was able to enjoy idyllic weekends and summers. Lilla King died in 1980. After retiring from the USPS in1984, Ernest became a snowbird spending the cold months in Florida and warm months in Maine.

In Florida, Ernest met his current wife, Deanna (Hodge) and they married in 1995. They enjoyed many years in Florida and Maine, eventually settling in Nalcrest, Florida. He enjoyed relationships with stepdaughters Christina and Vicky, as well Deanna’s extended family.

Ernest had many interests and passions. He loved football, especially the Patriots. He was an avid hunter and angler and regaled anyone who would listen with stories of the hunting adventures he had with his buddies. He had a love for animals and the outdoors which he passed along to his children. He was very active into his 60s and 70s, playing tennis and swimming daily, rollerblading, bungee jumping, parasailing, and dancing. For several years he was a member of the Krewe of Rex in the Lake Wales Mardi Gras Parades. He enjoyed country music. He was a life-long Democrat and union supporter, avidly following politics. He loved the United States, strongly supported the military and belonged to the American Legion and VFW.

Ernest valued the importance of family and friends. He maintained many decades-long relationships with family and friends from childhood, high school, the military, the USPS, and his years in Florida. He will be missed terribly at the 4 p.m. happy hour…

Ernest was predeceased by his parents and nine siblings, his first wife, Lilla, and stepdaughters, Christina and Vicky. He is survived by his wife, Deanna, his son, Howard (Judith), son, Ernest Jr. (Jeanne), daughter, Patricia, grandchildren, Adina (Eric), Matthew and Meagan, many nieces and nephews, and many good friends.

Ernest will be inurned at the Maine Veterans Cemetery in Augusta. Celebrations of Ernest’s life will be held for family and friends in Florida and Maine when COVID-19 precautions allow.

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