Erna Claire Grantier Nesbitt, 79, passed away June 27, 2013 at home in Medford after a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer. Born June 16, 1934 to Jay and Clara Roesner Grantier on their ranch near Watford City in western North Dakota, she grew up in that region, graduating from Dickinson Central High School in 1952. She attended Wartburg College in Iowa for two years, transferring to the University of North Dakota, where she graduated with a B.A. degree in speech therapy in 1956. She earned a master's degree in counseling at Kean College of New Jersey in 1976. During the 1980s and early 1990s she held research positions in the development offices of Princeton and Rider universities.
She married John Trubee in 1955, and together they had five sons. The couple divorced in 1983. She resided in Princeton and later, Pennington, New Jersey, from 1959 until 1993, when she moved to Medford, Oregon. In 1994 she married Hadley Nesbitt.
Born to a ranching family that raised horses and cattle, Erna got her first pony, a Shetland named Patsy, at the age of four. She had a lifelong interest in equestrian sports, maintaining memberships in both national and local dressage organizations. While in her forties in New Jersey she and her favorite horse, Brass Buttons, successfully competed in trials and dressage shows. She served as advisor to the Rider University Equestrian Team. After moving to Oregon, she volunteered at, and was a board member for, the HOPE Equestrian Center, and assisted at local dressage shows. Up to the age of 75 she continued to ride regularly.
For 16 years she was a volunteer for the Jackson County Court Appointed Special Advocate program for abused and neglected children (CASA). Over that time she advocated for forty such children, some of whom remained in touch with her long after their cases were resolved. She was a member of Ascension Lutheran Church, where she served on the church council and Good Samaritan committee, and was a member of its quilting group. She was an accomplished pianist and loved to cook and bake.
Preceded in death by her parents, an infant brother, and six half-brothers, she is survived by her husband, Hadley Nesbitt; five sons: John Trubee of Santa Rosa, CA; Jay Trubee (June) of Palm Desert, CA; Brian Trubee (Amy) of Redmond, WA; Brooks Trubee of Seattle, WA; Evan Trubee (Kristen) of Palm Desert, CA; as well as a stepson, Scott Nesbitt (Mary) of Richmond, VA. Also surviving are eight grandchildren: Robert Trubee, Philip Trubee, Jillian Trubee, Mackenzie Trubee, Patrick Trubee, Cameron Trubee, Holly Trubee and Mary Callison Callie Nesbitt. She leaves a brother, A. Jay Grantier of Walla Walla, WA; as well as a stepsister, Margaret Hedin of Spokane, WA; a niece, Ginger Grantier; and two nephews, Ken and Dan Grantier.
A memorial service is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, July 3, 2013, at Ascension Lutheran Church, 2617 Black Oak Drive, Medford. Private interment will take place at Siskiyou Memorial Park in Medford.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Ascension Lutheran Church, or to CASA of Jackson County, 613 Market Street, Medford, OR 97504. The family is especially appreciative of the compassionate care furnished by the Providence Hospice team.