Ernie Darrell Vankirk, 69, of W. 2nd St., Weston passed away at 5:12 p.m. on Thursday, February 18, 2016 in the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital in Weston after coming down with pneumonia while battling cancer.
He was born in Gilmer County, on February 8, 1947 a son of the late William Thomas Vankirk and Merel Gladys Ball Vankirk.
On February 4, 1972 he married Carolyn Joye Warner who loved him beyond words and will miss him beyond measure after 44 years of marriage.
His big-hearted, one-of-a-kind spirit will be carried on by his children: Kathy Belt and husband, Kevin, of Weston; Amy Vankirk Cochran and husband, Steve, of Buckhannon; and Bill Vankirk and wife, Rhonda, of Weston; who all considered him their hero; nine grandchildren who deeply miss their Papaw: Kayla and Tommy Alkire, Kasey and Kayla Belt, Korey Belt and fiancé, Mikala, Jacob and Kadee Vankirk, Lindsey Fisher, and Derek Dunham; two great grandchildren: Taya Alkire, and Emmalyn Fisher; several nieces and nephews; and his best friend, loyal companion, and beloved Chihuahua, Brandy.
In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by two brothers: Walter and Glen Vankirk; and two sisters: Susan Cawthon and Peggy Harris.
Ernie worked at the WV Glass Specialty Company for many years, then retired from Wm. R. Sharpe Jr. Hospital in Weston after several years of service. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, target practice, visiting the pawnshop, and riding his Harley Heritage Softail. Family was his greatest blessing and he loved their Sunday dinners together, and spending time with his grandchildren, who were the light of his life. He may have been a man of short stature, but his strength of character and generosity toward others made him ten feet tall. He was Methodist by faith.
Friends and family were gathered at the Pat Boyle Funeral Home and Cremation Service at 144 Hackers Creek Rd. in Jane Lew from 5:00-8:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 21, 2016. Funeral Services were held at 1:00 p.m. on Monday from the Pat Boyle Funeral Home Chapel. Reverend Mike Riffle officiated. Interment followed in the Peterson Cemetery in Weston.
The Pat Boyle Funeral Home and Cremation Service was honored and privileged to serve the family of Ernie Vankirk. Online condolences may be expressed at www.patboylefuneral home.com