Ernest Provost
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- Ernest Provost
Dr. Ernest Edmund Provost (Ernie), 90, passed away peacefully on Friday evening, November 25, 2011, at his son's home in Sylva, NC. A native of Needham, Massachusetts, Ernie was born June 19, 1921, the son of the late Ernest M. Provost and Martha Wilson Provost and was preceded in death by a younger sister, Phyllis Marie Provost. Ernie volunteered and served with the U.S. Marine Corps in the South Pacific for 3 years during WWII in spite of being qualified for a service deferment due to his employment as a machinist at the Springfield, Massachusetts Armory. Dr. Provost, a zoologist, received his undergraduate degree from Purdue University and his Master's degree and Ph.D. from Washington State University. Provost worked for the State of Washington as a Game Warden during his enrollment at WSU. He was a faculty member at the University of Georgia for 31 years where he taught in both the Department of Zoology and the School of Forestry, retiring in 1991. Ernie received an award from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources for 30 years service providing instruction to Conservation Rangers through the UGA Center for Continuing Education. He also was the recipient of the first annual (2011) Crockford-Jenkins-Hayes Wildlife Conservation Award from The Georgia Wildlife Society and was a former recipient (late 1960s) of the Outstanding Teaching Award from the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at UGA. Ernie was an avid skeet shooter and held numerous national and world championship trophies and awards from his many years participation in the sport. He was also a life member of the Athens Rifle Club in Athens, GA. Dr. Provost was married in 1947 to Marguerite Emily Bareiss. He is survived by two sons, Randall (Randy) Paul Provost, M.D., Sylva, NC, and Wayne Seton Provost, Bishop, GA and 5 grandchildren, Joli Dawn Provost, Arlington, VA, Beverly Roberson-Provost, Ramstein AFB, Germany, Nicholas Ernest Provost, Valerie Michelle Provost and Renee Catherine Provost, Sylva, NC. A memorial will be held in Athens, GA on Sunday, December 4, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. at Flinchum's Phoenix, University of Georgia Whitehall Forest. The family requests that in lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the "E. E. Provost Undergraduate Fisheries and Wildlife Scholarship", c/o Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602-2152. An Online registry is available at

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Published in Athens Banner-Herald from Dec. 1 to Dec. 3, 2011.
Memories & Condolences
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4 entries
December 3, 2011
Wayne & Family,

We exend our sympathy in the loss of your father. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Wendell & Betty Dawson
December 1, 2011
Ernie was one of my best friends at the Warnell School of Forest Resources. I have many fond memories of our trips to Southeastern Wildlife Society meetings. The long car trips were filled with pleasant and stimulating discussions of a variety of important and not-so-important topics. He loved words and insisted they be used properly. Ernie may not have been born in the South, but he was a true Southern Gentleman. He was a gifted teacher/mentor. He was an inspiration and role model for me and many of the best and brightest wildlife biologists, professors, and students in the United States. We will miss you!!!
Ronnie Gilbert
December 1, 2011
I was a student of Dr. Provost in the mid-70's. It was a pleasure to have known him. I vividly remember the field trip to Sapelo Island for a weekend in May. His specialty was herpetology, and we had a sudden cold snap that weekend. All the snakes, frogs and other creatures holed up. He only caught one snake all weekend. He was highly disappointed. I have a picture of him holding that snake. He also had a funny saying. He said that before World War Twice he probably could have heard the birds much better! Thanks for the memories.
Doug Vaughters
December 1, 2011
It was a pleasure and an honor to have known Ernie for more than 45 years. We had a lot of fun together. He was a rare individual who had a tremendous impact on the lives on thousands of young men and women during his illustrious teaching career at the University of Georgia.

One of Ernie's many favorite sayings:
He who knows not and knows not that he knows not is a fool - avoid him.
He who knows not and knows that he knows not is a student - teach him.
He who knows and knows not that he knows is asleep - awaken him.
He who knows and knows that he knows is a wise man - follow him.

Ernie will be mourned and missed by many. My condolences to Randy and Wayne and their families, and to his many friends around the world.
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