Ernie passed away suddenly to be with the Lord on April 2, 2021.
Ernie was born in El Paso, Texas on June 28, 1950 and grew up in Chamberino and Las Cruces, New Mexico. He served in the 101st Air Borne Division in Vietnam as a medic from 1968 to 1970. He held many jobs during his lifetime including insurance salesman, diesel mechanic, and cook at the Casa Luna restaurant in Las Cruces. He re-entered the military in 1981 and served 20 years as a Yeoman in the U.S. Navy. He served on the frigate USS Copeland, aircraft carrier USS Saratoga, and destroyer USS Ramage.
Ernie was a great cook and he loved fishing, hunting and crabbing. He also had a great sense of humor and loved to tell stories. He had the ability to strike up a friendly conservation with everyone he met. He lived for 13 years in the Waldport area and moved to Sutherlin in 2019.
Ernie is preceded in death by his grandmother Natalia Diaz; mother, Gloria; father, Manual Diaz Sr.; son, Steven Diaz; and aunt and uncle, Isabel and Rudolfo Marquez. Ernie is survived by his wife, LeAnn; daughter, Jamie; sons, Aaron Diaz, Adam Diaz, and Robert Diaz; sisters, Elvira Long, Maggie Daughtery, and Irene Pena; brothers, Manual Diaz Jr. and Benjamin Diaz; ten grandchildren and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
Due to health restrictions, there will not be a memorial gathering. Wilsons' Chapel of the Roses in Roseburg is taking care of arrangements.