Ernie Holden

By The Curry Coastal Pilot October 15, 2013 10:31 pm

Ernie Holden
Ernie Holden
Ernie Holden of Gold Beach died unexpectedly Oct. 11, 2013. 

He was born June 5, 1943, in Oakland, Calif. to Rodney Holden and Donna Wadman. 

Ernie was raised in Pleasant Hill, Calif., and graduated from Pleasant Hill High School. 

He earned an AA degree from Santa Rosa Junior College. He graduated from Long Beach State with a bachelor of science in Industrial Technology. He earned a Masters in Systems Management from USC (University of Southern California). 

Ernie worked at Hughes Aircraft in El Segundo Calif. He was proud of the fact he “honchoed a program from start to finish for an automated flat pack soldering machine” that was state of the art at the time — early 1970s. 

In 1972 Ernie met the love of his life, Terry Caldwell, in Playa del Rey, Calif., on a blind date set up by her parents. 

Ernie moved to San Francisco to live with Terry in 1973. After being together for 18 years they married May 25,1990, and were together until his death. 

Ernie was the owner/administrator/instructor of a private vocational school he and Terry founded in 1978. He trained industrially-injured workers in electronics, so they could get a job and be self supporting again. Ernie ran School of Manufacturing Sciences until its close in 1994. Ernie and Terry lived in Fairfax, Marin County, Calif., from 1973 to 2002, when they retired to Gold Beach. 

Ernie loved living in “our house in the trees” in Gold Beach and traveling between Gold Beach and his property in Little River Calif., in Mendocino County, which has 27 redwood trees on it. He always said he’d wanted to live and die within 20 miles of the ocean.

Ernie’s lifelong hobby was antennas. In Gold Beach he spent several years restoring and setting up an 8-foot satellite dish he salvaged from South Coast Education District. His goal was to be able to get the SF 49ers’ games from San Francisco. He had almost finished the project before he died. Ernie was an accomplished cook who enjoyed sharing his culinary skills with his friends in Marin when he lived there and also his friends in Gold Beach. 

Ernie was a longtime Rolling Stones fan. He and Terry enjoyed traveling to Eugene, Portland, Seattle and other points in Oregon and Washington to see concerts of all kinds. They also enjoyed visiting favorite restaurants and trying new restaurants everywhere they went. 

Ernie had problems with his heart for much of his life. He got his first mechanical heart valve when he was 30. It lasted 37 years — way longer than is usual. He got his second valve replacement in April 2011 at Oregon Health & Science University. He was especially grateful to his cardiologist Dr. Joseph Weiss and surgeon Dr. Howard Song for their skill, caring, and ongoing support.

Due to his health issues, Ernie did not have as much energy as he would have liked, but in spite of it all, he didn’t miss much.

Ernie was preceded in death by both of his parents and is survived by his wife, Terry Caldwell. 

Ernie will be sorely missed by his old friends from Marin, Sonoma, and Mendocino counties in California, and his new friends in Gold Beach, as well as his life companion, wife, and best friend Terry Caldwell.

At Ernie’s request, no service is planned. 

Remembrances may be made in Ernie’s name to Heart Research Center at OHSU, 3181 S.W. Sam Jackson Park Road L464, Portland, OR 97201.

Submitted by the family.