Ernest L. Heath
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Norfolk - On Thursday morning July 25, 2013, Ernest L. Heath affectionally known as "Uncle Buddy" or "Buddy", peacefully made his transition Home to be with the Lord. A native of Edgecombe County, North Carolina, Buddy was the only child born to the late Charlie and Elnora Heath. Buddy received his early education in the Edgecombe County Public School System. As a young man; he relocated to Norfolk, VA and enlisted in the United States Navy. He actively served during World War II, the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War. In 1966, after 25 years of service, he retired with the rank of Chief Steward's Mate. After retirement, he continued work as a crane operator at the Naval Shipyard, a truck driver at the Navy Base, a security guard and as a gas attendant. Buddy was a Prince Hall Mason and also a member of the Breakfast Club that met every morning at the South Norfolk McDonald's. Buddy was married to his childhood sweetheart, Alice Mable Plummer for 72 years. She preceded him in death in November 2011. As a long time member of the First Baptist Church, Berkley family, Mr. Heath has served as an usher, a security guard and the coordinator of transportation. He also became affectionately known as the "Candy Man", as children and adults alike would seek him out to receive the little treats he always seem to have on hand. Uncle Buddy leaves to cherish his memory a loving and devoted son, Jessie Battle (Doreatha) of Fayetteville, NC; two loving daughters, Evangelist Dorothy Lockett of Lithonia, GA, and Felicia Jones (George) of Raeford, NC; one foster sister Bertha Jones of Bethel, NC; 10 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, 12 great-great-grandchildren, one sister-in-law, Ethel McNeil of Norfolk, VA and host of nieces, nephews other relatives and friends. As devoted husband and family man, Uncle Buddy routinely opened his home to family members in need of a place to live. Known as "Lil' Buddy" to his elders, "Uncle Buddy" to the younger generation and "Sailor Boy" to his friends, Ernest L. Heath touched many, many lives over many decades. He will be always remembered for his kind and giving spirit. A funeral will be held 11am, Saturday, August 3rd, First Baptist Church, Berkley. The family will receive friends from 6-7pm on Friday. Condolences may be offered at www.metropolitanfuneralservice.com
Published in The Virginian Pilot on Aug. 1, 2013