Ernest R. Strawn, 81, passed away at his home in Central Point, Ore., with family by his side on July 21, 2011.

He was born in Byars, Okla., to William Emery and Ellen (Mullins) Strawn, on October 2, 1929. The youngest of ten, Ernest was playfully teased by his siblings that his birth caused the "Black Tuesday" stock market crash. Much of his childhood was devoted to working on the large family farm.

He served in the U.S. Army as a medical technician in Japan and Korea until 1950, when he was honorably discharged as a corporal.

He then was employed at Josephine General Hospital, in Grants Pass, Ore., where he worked alongside Jean Robinson, whom he married on January 31, 1951. He was lovingly devoted to Jean for nearly 54 years, when she passed in 2005.

Ernest worked various jobs until, in 1955, in Tillamook, he began his 36.5 year employment with the Oregon State Highway Department.

He was a charter member and served as vice president of Southern Oregon Pinto Association in the early 1970's and also served on the Oregon State Employee Association board. He was a member of West Main Church of Christ since 1962, where his gift was visiting the sick. He was involved in the senior group, Hilltoppers, with whom he enjoyed outings. One of his favorite activities was serving snow cones at youth events with good friend, Bob Hood.

From his patio, Ernest enjoyed bird watching and was especially fond of the many doves that he fed daily. Growing a garden and sharing its produce was a delight to him. His greatest joy was spending time with family.

Ernest is survived by daughter, Patricia (Dwight) Heffner; son, Terry (Jackie) Strawn; grandchildren, Tracey (Eli) Dukes, Travis Heffner, Katie and Jason Strawn; great grandchildren, Caden, Saylor, and Connor Dukes.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Jean; and all nine of his siblings.

The family would like to especially thank our wonderful Providence Hospice team. Although we will miss him greatly, it is a treasure to know he is in heaven.

A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m., Friday, July 29, at West Main Church of Christ, 1701 W. Main St., Medford. Ernest's nephew, Gregg Strawn, minister of Circle Church of Christ, Corvallis, will officiate. Visitation will be Thursday, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Conger Morris Funeral Chapel, Central Point. Interment at Eagle Point National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, you may send donations in his memory to West Main Church of Christ designated for Hilltoppers.