Ernest Tearso Virgil of Cottage Grove was born in Chicago, IL to Francisco & Annabelle (Weinberg) Virgil and passed away at RiverBend Hospital in Springfield, OR.
Ernie is survived by his wife of 52 yrs. Helen (Rich) Virgil; Daughters Vivian (Kevin) Marsh of CA; Stephanie (Brent) of Veneta; Ann (Don) Burke of Cottage Grove; Dawn (Shane) Dodd of Eugene. Son Michael (Andrea) Parker of Eugene. He was preceded in death by his sons Scott Virgil & David Parker. Ernie was a proud Papa to 15 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, and one on the way. He will be missed by five brothers, including Sol Virgil of Anaheim; Jack Virgil of Carson City, NV; Stan (Ann) Daza of Cottage Grove; Marshall (Tina) Daza of Dana Point, CA; Ted (Sue) Daza of Cottage Grove, sisters Mary Lou Negrete of Westminster, CA; Barbara Virgil of Corona, CA; Pat Valdez (Bernie) of Buena Park, CA.
Ernie enlisted in the US Navy in 1951. He served his country on the USS Rochester during the Korean War and was honorably discharged in 1955. After the Navy he spent many years as an ironworker in Southern California building skyscrapers. In 1979 the family moved to Cottage Grove where he began his career as an Equipment Operator for the US Forest Service and retired in 2005.
Ernie earned a brown belt in karate in 1966. Over his lifetime he enjoyed building dune buggies and 4X4s. He spent many weekends & Thanksgivings exploring caves with his family at his older brother’s desert property in California or driving through the woods. Camping with family and friends was always a good time. He loved to fish & hunt and won several bow competition trophies. He also enjoyed wood working and being an all-around fix-it guy.
A celebration of his life will be held at 1:00pm on May 21, 2022, at Calvary Chapel, Cottage Grove, OR. Services will be live streamed on the church’s FaceBook & YouTube channels. Arrangements are in the care of Smith-Lund-Mills Funeral Chapel and Crematorium.