Ernest V. Darpinian
Sept. 18, 1927 - July 6, 2014
Ernie has left the building and is now exploring the universe and the heavens in the company of those friends, loved ones, and hunting buddies who have been waiting for him.
While not an L.A. kind of guy, Ernie was born there and at the age of 17, his adventurous spirit and zest for life got the better of him and he joined the Merchant Marines. With the wind at his back, he cruised the world and returned with incredible stories, including a few that, well, aren't really fit for the newspaper.
In between one of his voyages, he stopped in Modesto to visit relatives, saw a photo of a beautiful girl with a lovely smile, and had to meet her immediately. The rest is an everlasting romance spanning 66 years. In 1949, Ernie married Evelyn - his soul mate, business partner, love of his life, and best girl - and the two settled in Modesto for good.
Ernie proudly served in the United States Marine Corps and upon return to civilian life, he was hired as a delivery boy for Modesto Floral, which he eventually purchased along with Loomis Seed & Floral, and Loomis Modesto Floral was born.
Throughout his years in business, he was an active, enthusiastic community member and was strongly involved in numerous organizations and clubs including the Modesto Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Merchants Association, the S.O.S. (president in 1979), and Del Rio Country Club ("my office" as he would call it) since 1975.
He bagged elk and deer in Wyoming and Montana, hooked blue marlin in Mexico, caught salmon in Alaska, and even scored a few local duck and pheasant for his famous backyard barbecue. Upon retirement, Ernie and Evelyn traveled the world together, played a million rounds of golf, and whooped it up with family and friends.
Ernie loved life and lived every moment with gusto and no apologies. His generous, kind, funny, honest, tenacious spirit and legacy are held and remembered by his beloved Evelyn, his daughters Lissa and Jennifer, and his grandsons William and Luke.
Ernie's Celebration of a Life Well-Lived will be held at Del Rio Country Club on Friday, July 25, from 11:30am - 2:30pm.
In lieu of flowers and in Ernie's memory, please do something nice for the next veteran or enlisted warrior who crosses your path.
Published in the Modesto Bee from July 12 to July 20, 2014