On Feb. 15, 1925 in Deming, N.M. Ernest Wood took his first breath of life, and joy filled the hearts of his parents Antonio and Atilana Wood. He was later joined by his three brothers Manuel, Eddie and David. He grew up in Deming and learned early in life the importance of respect, honor and hard work. Learning his skills from his father as he grew he worked at the local farms and ranches to help supplement the family income. On the days he didn't work he enjoyed hunting with his homemade sling shot and kept the cottontail population hopping. Each one earned him 25 cents and that was admission to the local movie theatre for the cowboy matinee, a bag of popcorn and a candy bar. After becoming a young man he was called upon to serve his country during World War II with the U.S. Army
. He proudly wore the rank of sergeant in the 158th Regimental Combat Team-Bushmasters, with campaigns in Bismark Archipelago, New Guinea, the Philippines and Japan. His medals include the Bronze Star
, the Asiatic Pacific Theatre Ribbon, the Philippine Liberation Ribbon, Victory, Good Conduct and Combat Infantry man medals. Upon receiving his honorable discharge, he returned home to his family to start his civilian life again. It was during this time he met, courted and married the love of his life Manuela. Together they shared 64 years of wedded bliss and two children, a son Ernest B. Wood and a daughter, Deborah L. Wood. Ernest was employed at WSMR for 20 years until he retired in 1981. During his retirement he enjoyed traveling with his wife to visit relatives, making occasional deposits at casinos and watching the Dallas Cowboys win. He was an honest man with a lot of moxie, well respected, and a hero to his children. On April 3, 2013 he was received into the arms of our father in heaven, and is reunited with his wife Manuela; one granddaughter; one great-grandson; his parents and brother Manuel. Those left to cherish his memory are his daughters, son, daughter-in-law Susan , his two brothers, seven grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren. Serving as pallbearers will be members of his loving family. Services will be held at Santa Rosa de Lima Church on Monday, April 8, 2013 to begin at 9 a.m. Ernest will be laid to rest alongside his wife with military honors provided by the Fort Bliss Casualty Unit at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens Cemetery. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made in his name to the Santa Rosa de Lima Church building fund, or La Posada Mesilla Valley Hospice. Arrangements are with La Paz-Graham's Funeral Home.