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“I miss you so much Ernie and my heart breaks for my Sister, Kaye I love you ”
1 of 7 | Posted by: Pat Spearman - Palm Springs

“I'm very grateful to have had this very inspirational man in my life for as long as I did. He was a loving man and was loved by everyone. He will be...Read More »
2 of 7 | Posted by: Megan Hanson - Gardnerville, NV

“I'm incredibly blessed to have had Papa in my life for as long as I did. I have so many great memories with him, from the countless hours spent on ...Read More »
3 of 7 | Posted by: Michael Hanson - Gardnerville, NV

“I have so many memories with Papa. I can remember when I was little picking off of his beloved plants and making "soup". So many great trips in ...Read More »
4 of 7 | Posted by: Rachel Hanson - Gardnerville, NV

“Dad, I love you more than words can say. You were always my hero and the one I would call when I needed help. There is a big hole in my heart that...Read More »
5 of 7 | Posted by: Karyn Barnes - Cathedral City, CA

“So sorry to hear about Ernie's passing. We only met one time many, many years ago, when we were visiting CA to see my dads family. You are all in my...Read More »
6 of 7 | Posted by: Lynn Forson-Traub - WV

“My sincere and deepest condolences to Kay and all of Ernie's family. I have known him for over 20 years. He was a wonderful man, hard working...Read More »
7 of 7 | Posted by: Nate Israelson - Palm Springs, CA


Ernest Ray (Ernie) Smith passed away peacefully at his home in Cathedral City, CA on February 27, 2017. Ernie was born March 3, 1935 to Roscoe and Alma Forson Smith of Columbus, KS. Along with his brothers Bob and Bill, and sister Doris, Ernie and his family emigrated from Columbus in 1944 to San Fernando, CA, where he eventually met the one and only love of his life, Kathryn. They were married on April 23, 1954. In retirement, they moved to Palm Springs, CA in 1992, to be closer to their immediate family, where they remained except for a short time spent recently in Northern California.
Ernie was passionate about family, and spent much of his lifetime coaching and mentoring the younger members of his family and the youth of the community in one of his other passions, baseball. He also played on, and managed teams in the Palm Springs Senior Softball League for 19 years, until he could physically no longer play. His time at the senior field with "the guys" was one of his favorite things in his later life. Ernie also loved his ski boat "Tomboy", which he and Kaye purchased in the 1960's and continued to enjoy with the entire family until only just a few years ago.
After moving to the Palm Springs area, Ernie became very involved in various volunteer efforts. He was a volunteer and Docent at the Palm Springs Air Museum for over 10 years, and a graduate of the Palm Springs Police Department Citizen's Police Academy and a PSPD C.O.P. (Citizens on Patrol) for 12 years. Ernie was also a very important part of Parades of Palm Springs, the non-profit producer of the Palm Springs Festival of Lights Parade for 18 years. Upon his recent return from Northern California, Ernie also volunteered for the City of Cathedral City 35th Anniversary Parade, and had applied to become a Cathedral City PD C.O.P. as well.
Ernie will be missed greatly by those who survive him: his wife of 63 years, Kathryn; daughter and son-in-law Karyn and Stan Barnes of Cathedral City, CA; Grandchildren Rachel Hanson, her husband Mark and their children Michael and Megan of Gardnerville, NV; Jeremy Barnes, his wife Alyssa and their children Cayden, Logan and Paisley of Cathedral City, CA; and Wayne Barnes and his wife Katie of La Grande, OR. Ernie will also be missed by a great many extended family members who were a very big part of his life.
Visitation will be held from 12pm to 1pm on Thursday March 2, 2017 at Wiefels and Sons Palm Springs Mortuary at 690 S. Vella Road, Palm Springs, CA 92264. A private graveside ceremony will be held later at Desert Memorial Cemetery in Cathedral City, CA. The family is asking for donations in lieu of flowers to be made to the COPD Foundation at www.copdfoundation.org .