news and events » obituaries

Obituaries Header

Obituaries

return to Obituaries

Ernest J. Longanecker ( North Cascades 1970 )

posted: Apr 15, 2014

Ernie, age 66, died unexpectedly in his sleep of a heart attack on April 13, 2014, at the home of his sister in Okanogan, WA. He rookied at NCSB in 1970, the year of the big bust, where he jumped through the 1974 season. He made 105 USFS jumps, about a dozen jumps in the 101st and 85th Airborne Divisions. For his bravery in Vietnam he was awarded the Silver Star (with valor) medal.

Ernie earned a BA degree and an MBA from Eastern Washington State College. After smokejumping he worked in the aluminum production industry at Kaiser Aluminum and later as an independent aluminum broker, in Spokane, WA, where he lived since leaving smokejumping. He enjoyed his extensive travel throughout the world for his work and for fun.

Ernie skydived, built and flew ultra-light airplanes, hanglided and drove flashy sports cars way too fast. He was wonderfully witty, and he enjoyed his family, friends and life to the fullest.