Compiled by Kimberli Faulkner Hull
Daughter of Lt. Col. Ernest L. Faulkner
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© Kimberli Faulkner Hull
A profile for my father, Lt. Col. Ernest L. Faulkner will be written at a later date. The obituary I wrote and the eulogy I delivered are below.
Lt. Col. Ernest L. Faulkner Obituary
Ernest L Faulkner was born on 16 July 1923 in Chicago, Illinois to Charles Fountain and Lora (Swafford) Faulkner. Ernie grew up on the south side of Chicago, frequently skating on Lake Michigan and the flooded Midway. He graduated from Scott Elementary in 1937.
Ernest joined the National Guard, then entered the Army at 17, three weeks after graduating from Tilden High School in Chicago. Ernest participated in the Louisiana Maneuvers and then entered flight school. He graduated with the Class 43 B, Basic Flying class at Bush Field, Augusta, GA in Nov 1942. One of the youngest commissioned officers in the United States, Ernest received his 2nd Lieutenant Bars at 19 in Feb 1943.
After being transferred to Independence, Kansas airbase as a test pilot, and later a flight instructor, Ernest met Evelyn Phillis. Evelyn worked as a clerk at the base and issued him officer’s equipment. The couple wed a few months later on 5 June 1942.
Ernest retired from the Air Force as a Lt Colonel and worked in management positions with several manufacturing organizations during his later career.
Evelyn and Ernie were married 62 years and spent their lives raising their three children, Bob, Karen and Kimberli, traveling, playing golf and enjoying life. Ernie loved making people laugh, telling stories, and being with friends. Following Evelyn’s passing in 2006, Ernie lived in Dallas, TX, Denver, CO, Grand Junction, CO, Santa Rosa, CA and Reno, NV with his daughter, Kimberli, and son-in-law, Greg.
Lt Col Ernest L Faulkner died on 23 February 2015, in Reno, Nevada, at the age of 91, and was buried in Independence, Kansas.
LTC Ernest L. Faulkner eulogy delivered by Kimberli Faulkner Hull
When I spoke at Mother’s funeral, I began with Proverbs 10:7 which reads: “The memory of a good person is a blessing” – and we were so blessed by knowing and loving both Mother and Dad. Together for 62 years, we tend to speak of them as a pair. They loved to have fun, they loved to gamble and travel – and most of all, they loved each other.
After Mother was gone, I spent a lot of time with Dad and he’d tell me stories – lots of stories. Stories of flying and crashing planes – there were quite a few of those. Flying a plane through a barn; a plane catching on fire, then crashing in a field in Georgia; “borrowing” planes when he was in Texas to come see Mother here in Independence. We rarely went by a base, no matter what the state, without a story of when he flew in there.
Then, there were stories of growing up in Chicago. In the winters they’d flood the Midway at the University of Chicago and they’d ice skate & have races. The boxer, Joe Louis, would come hang out with them & Dad loved to tell the story of going a few rounds with Joe. And, of course, there were quite a few adventures from growing up poor in the 30’s on the south side of Chicago, and that included sitting on the curb across the street during an Elliot Ness raid. Despite all the stories of being the wayward youth that Dad loved to tell, one thing you may not know was that he was accepted to MIT before he changed plans and joined the Army Air Corps.
There were also the early years stories. Mother frying chicken for Mickey Mantle and the team. Countless Karen and Bob tales. Hunting and fishing escapades with Hanley. Later years were filled with golf, Vegas, happy hours, travel, and times with their friends.
And, over the last nine years, we created new memories. The week after Mother died we took Dad to Aspen and got him a suite at the Hotel Jerome. The Jerome was built in the 1800’s, is one of the priciest hotels in Aspen, and is decorated to period with red velvet wallpaper and the such. He walked in, looked around, and proclaimed it a dump. He liked shiny and new. There was a bakery / café across the street in a little house, which again he also stated looked like a dump until he tasted their pastries and then decided we needed to buy the place.
So, I did what became our solution for big ideas for the next decade – I went to the Shell station and bought lottery tickets. For years, Dad & I would buy lottery tickets in hopes of hitting it big. And, when we finally would win – we planned on buying a private jet. Dad even had the pinstripes for it picked out. When Greg would roll his eyes at us, Dad would say he was going to buy Greg a sponge and he could wash our jet for us when we won.
And, so it went. From Dallas to Denver to Aspen and Grand Junction, to Santa Rosa and on to Reno, the three of us moved, dined, drank, told stories, and created more memories.
And just shy of nine years later, Dad returns to Mother. Together again, I’m sure they are holding a scotch and water and a scotch and soda and watching down on us. Mother is probably inviting everyone over because she used to hate to see someone sitting alone. And, Dad is probably trying to sell them a mule farm.
The year after Mother died, I’d pick up Dad every day and we’d go to lunch. One day, he declared he wanted to write his own eulogy. I asked him what he wanted in it. He listed a few of the things I spoke of today and I said I’d take care of it. He chuckled and said he knew I would.
Eulogies are about memories and we all have our favorites, which is what we’ll hold on to as we move forward.
For me, there are so many, but my favorite is a very simple one. Each day when I walked in to see him, I’d say “Hi Dad” and he’d say “Hi Babe!” I loved that – and it’s what I’ll miss the most.
I’ll end with a poem Dad found about 20 years ago – he even had it printed and framed. It’s called:
Death is Nothing at All
by Henry Scott Holland
I have only slipped away into the next room. I am I and you are you, whatever we were to each other, that we still are. Call me by my old familiar name, Speak to me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference in your tone, wear no forced air of sorrow, laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Pray, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without effort, without the trace of a shadow in it. Life means all that it ever meant, it is the same as it ever was. There is unbroken continuity, why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am waiting for you somewhere very near just around the corner. All is well.
Citing this page: Kimberli Faulkner Hull, author, “Lt. Col. Ernest L. Faulkner,” Cool Adventures ( https://cooladventures.com/genealogy/ernest-l-faulkner-1923-2015/: posted 2021).