Ernest Leo Preedy was born May 16, 1931 in Sublette, Kansas. Ernie passed away peacefully Thursday, May 7, 2020 in Spokane, Washington. He is survived by his wife, Janice MacQuarrie Preedy, daughter Gail (Tom) Miller, son David (Natalie) Preedy and his brother Mel Preedy, grandchildren, Justin (Ashley) Preedy, Chelsea (Josh) Norman, Tyler, Ava, and great-grandchildren Jack, Noland, and Emma. He was preceded in death by his parents, Evert and Maude (Lindeman) Preedy, and brothers, Cloyce and Dale Preedy.
A graduate of Mead High School in 1949, Ernest spent his college years at WSC in Pullman where he received two degrees in Agriculture and Agricultural Engineering which was interrupted by two years of service in the U.S. Army as a Korean War Era Veteran. He formed close bonds with his Alpha Kappa Lambda Fraternity brothers. He met the love of his life on a blind date while at WSC, Janice MacQuarrie of Cheney, Washington became his wife in 1957.
Ernie was as a Professional Mechanical and Structural Engineer for his entire career. He loved to go camping, trailering and cross-country travel in his Airstream motorhome. His travels included Nova Scotia and PEI, sleeping with polar bears near Churchill, Manitoba, dipping his toes in the Arctic Ocean at Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, completing lighthouse tours along the Great Lakes, exploring the John Deere Museum in Moline, Illinois, climbing the Statue of Liberty, viewing NYC from the top of the Twin Towers and exploring most of the National Parks in the US and Canada.
He got addicted to golf while in the Army and could never kick the habit; still playing at age 88. He made a hole-in-one in 1997 and played the “Old Course” at St. Andrews, Scotland in June of 2008 exploring most of the famous bunkers and traps along the way. He marshaled at the Bob Hope Golf Classic as well as the Pebble Beach golf tournament for several years.
Continuing his farm-boy youth north of Spokane, Ernie and Janice bought a 10-acre hobby farm SW of Portland, Oregon. He planted an Heirloom apple orchard and four-acres of Hazel Nut trees and used his engineering skills to design and build a “Nut-Picker”, called Slow-Mo, for harvesting the nuts.
In the ‘80’s He and Jan were very engaged in square and ballroom dancing all over the Pacific Northwest. His brothers were expert ‘callers’ as they owned Mitcham’s Barn Dance Hall near Mt. Spokane where they went several times a year to dance and enjoy family gatherings. Ernie worked on two major dance events held in Portland, Oregon.
He taught his son, along with other Boy Scouts from Troop 855 of the Columbia Pacific Council, winter survival skills including how to build snow caves at their Mt. Hood Scout Lodge. He was instrumental in leading a 50-mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail in the mountains of central Oregon with the Troop.
He loved to share the ‘fruits’ of his labors. He hosted an annual “Apple Squeeze” – where friends brought their jugs; he made wonderful tart cider from his apple trees with his electric, wooden apple press. From the huge blackberry vines on their farm, they both made tasty blackberry syrup that was shared with the Airstream Club - Pendleton Roundup attendees the year he ‘ran’ the Airstream Rally in the Krusteaz parking lot.
After rusting for 40+ years, they sold the hobby farm in Oregon and bought another 10-acre ranch near Spangle, Washington where they grew big gardens and planted a new apple orchard to help feed the deer and moose who picked the fruit right off the trees. He spent the winters working and building various projects using his woodworking skills. His pride and joy was handcrafting two beautiful wooden, Redfish Sea Kayaks.
Ernie was a member of the Methodist Church and the Elks Lodge in Hillsboro, Oregon. He was president of the Oregon Unit, Airstream WBCCI Club and the Portland Toastmaster’s. He was a Downriver Golf Club member (Jackson Brown Boyz) in Spokane.
Ernie loved researching his Preedy and Lindeman Genealogy going back to England in the 1600s. He provided the LDS Family History Center – Salt Lake City, Utah with his findings to update their files. He was a member of the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society for many years.
A voracious reader, there was always a book in progress—from Tom Clancy, James Michener, Vince Flynn and Dale Brown to more recent interest in the Missoula Ice Age Floods that decimated Spokane and Easter Washington multiple times creating the “Scablands” with Erratics, Coulees and dry falls throughout the region.
It’s very probable that he is getting in his golf cart, grabbing his daily ‘mocha’ in one hand and holding his ‘short-handled dust mop’, (Mac, the Scottie dog), by his side, as he tootles down the road to the mailbox to get a letter from his ‘lover’, Jan!
May God Bless you, Dad, ‘til we all meet again.
Thank you to all his many caregivers, support groups and friends in his neighborhood of Whispering Pines in Greenacres, Washington.
Memorial gifts may be made to Alzheimer’s Association, UGM (Union Gospel Mission) or a charity of your choice.
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