Ernest (Ernie) Prouty, 80, of Turlock passed away on Jan. 25 in Modesto with his wife and children by his side.
Ernie was born at St. Mary’s Hospital in Modesto to Ethel L. and Russell C. Prouty.
He is survived by his wife, Darlene; his five children, Dennis (Arlene) Prouty of Hughson, Russell (Luanne) Prouty of Hickman, Doug Prouty of Ajo, Ariz., Debra (Don) Volk and Diane (Tom) Watling of Turlock; 13 grandchildren; and eight great grandchildren. He is also survived by brothers, Bert Prouty of Keyes and Richard Prouty of Adair, Okla.
Ernie attended Keyes grammar school, Turlock High School, and Brown Military Academy. He received his driver’s license at the age of 14 and he proudly still held his commercial A-1 license which he acquired in 1944. He began driving truck that year and worked as a partner in a family-owned trucking business. In 1964, he started his own trucking company, Ernest Prouty & Sons, Inc., with one truck, building it to 40 trucks at the height of his career. He was proud to have developed a business that provided employment for his children, grandchildren and several long-term employees.
Ernie was a member of the Antique Truck Historical Society, and the Moose and Elks lodges.
In 1950 he married Darlene Borba of Newman, his best friend and true love, and they resided in Turlock throughout their lives.
Ernie and Darlene enjoyed spending time traveling in their RV and every winter they spent a few months in Yuma, Ariz., where Ernie took pleasure in riding ATV’s in the desert with friends.
Ernie was a lifelong animal lover, and although his beliefs ran more on the side of the Elephant, the “Democratic Headquarters” on the corner of Keyes and Geer roads expanded in the 1980s after the adoption of a pair of donkeys from the Grand Canyon. Ernie was a very patriotic man and took great pride in flying the American flag — on his truck, his cars and on the ranch.
In 2010 Ernie and Darlene celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on a cruise to Mexico with their entire family, and just last August they gathered their friends and family to celebrate their 80th birthdays together.
Ernie cherished his time spent with family and most of these functions ended with singing, dancing, and lots of laughter! He was a sensitive and honest man, with an infectious sense of humor. He was happiest when he was with Darlene, behind the wheel of his truck pulling an RV trailer. He will live on in each and every one of us . . . Please Believe Me.
Funeral services were held on Monday, Jan. 31 at Turlock Funeral Home. Pastor Greg Frazier of First Christian Church officiated. Entombment followed at Chapel of Memories at Turlock Memorial Park.
Contributions may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice or SPCA of Stanislaus, 4733 Yosemite Blvd., Modesto, CA 95357.
Services are entrusted to Turlock Memorial Park & Funeral Home.
Please share your memories and condolences at www.turlockmemorialpark.com.