Cover photo for Ernest "Ernie" Orvall Elkins's Obituary
Ernest "Ernie" Orvall Elkins Profile Photo
1932 Ernest 2023

Ernest "Ernie" Orvall Elkins

February 20, 1932 — September 10, 2023

Ernest Orvall Elkins, a longtime resident of Seminole, passed from this life into God’s Kingdom on September 10, 2023. He was 91 years old.

Ernest was born in Oklahoma City on February 20, 1932, to David M. Elkins, a city worker, and Ethel Cathrene Elkins, a homemaker. He had three siblings. Growing up, “Ernie” rode horses and worked to help support his family.

In 1945, he met his future wife, Pauline Marie Reynolds. He often said he knew that she was the love of his life when he was thirteen years old. They were baptized together in a pond behind a church in Cogar, Oklahoma.

In 1951, Ernest went into the army to serve in Korea. He was a member of the 224th Regimental Tank Company. He was also stationed briefly in California and Japan. In addition to combat service, Ernie was tasked with preparing meals for his fellow soldiers. He was popular for configuring a way to warm meals by boiling water in oil barrels and heating the food in metal pans - much appreciated by his fellow soldiers when the temperature was below zero. He retired with the rank of Corporal and received three Bronze medals and the Purple Heart.

On June 3, 1952, while on a three day leave from service, Ernest married his great love, Pauline. Through all of life’s ups and downs, they remained married for the next 71 years. They had two beloved children together, Ernest Lewis Elkins and Connie Marie Smith.

After serving his country, Ernest began welding at Tinker Air Force base. He worked there for many years as a welder and industrial radiographer before officially retiring in 1972. He continued to weld and work in his tool shop for the rest of his life. Other favorite hobbies included playing his fiddle, studying his Masonry memory work (he was 32nd degree), and watching sports and Westerns. One of his favorite pieces of life advice was, “There are no good deals among bad people.”

In 1993, Ernest and Pauline moved to Seminole, which is where they spent some of their happiest years. They ran a cattle farm and grew fresh vegetables together. By this time, he had become “Pa” and “Grandpa” to three beautiful grandchildren, BJ, Shai, and JD.

Ernest battled Alzheimer’s in his last years, but he never let it stop him. He continued to mow his own yard until he was 90 years old. He died peacefully in his home with his family by his side. His final coherent words were to his daughter, “I love you.” Graveside services were presided over by Brother Wayne Childers, a longtime family friend.

Mrs. Elkins would like to extend gratitude to Larry and Tracie Grant for the friendship and care they gave over the years. They are like family. She also wishes to express gratitude to Connie, BJ, and JD for the constant care they gave Ernest in his final months - that’s love.

Ernest Elkins was truly one of a kind and will never be forgotten by anyone who knew him. Some ways to honor his memory might be to read your favorite book of the Bible, practice an instrument, plant vegetable seeds in the spring, drink coffee outside in the morning with a loved one, take the day off to go fishing, or call someone and tell them you forgive them, just as Christ told us to do.

A graveside service will be Thursday, September 14, 2023, at 2:00 P.M. at Little Cemetery in Seminole, with C. Wayne Childers officiating.  Services are under the direction of Swearingen Funeral Home in Seminole.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ernest "Ernie" Orvall Elkins, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

Little Cemetery

, Little, OK 74868

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