Ernest C. Memos

Ernest Christopher Memos of Clermont, Florida passed away on Sunday, July 14, 2019 at his home. He was born in Nashua, New Hampshire on October 28, 1932, to Peter Memos and Alice Chamberlain. Ernie graduated from Nashua High School (1950) and then served proudly in the United States Air Force where he played in the Air Force Jazz Band. He was happily married to his second wife, Diana, until her passing in February 2014. He faithfully attended and supported the First United Methodist Church of Clermont. Ernie is survived by son Zachary of Gainesville, Florida, daughters; Laura (David) Lippert of High Springs, Florida and daughter Angela (Greg) Ratter of Clermont, Florida. He is also survived by his sister Evangeline Pappas of Nashua, New Hampshire, nephew David Pappas of Brookfield, Connecticut, niece Lynne Daleb of Nashua, New Hampshire, four grandsons and four granddaughters, all of Florida.

Ernest, Ernie to most people, is most known and loved through his work on radio and television in the Quad Cities, Iowa area most notably as Captain Ernie on the local television show Captain Ernie’s Showboat. This program included cartoons such as The Three Stooges and Gumby and Pokey, but its heart was the live audience of children and Ernie’s loving interactions with them. This show aired from 1964 – 1974 and was beloved by many who were privileged to have grown up with it. Following this, he continued on TV and radio at WOC in Davenport, Iowa until he retired.

Ernie’s other passion was jazz, and he was an incredibly gifted jazz trumpet player. He played with many local musicians throughout his time in the Quad Cities and could jump into any song and play like no other. He adored Frank Sinatra, Chet Baker, Maynard Ferguson, The Four Freshmen, and Miles Davis. Up until his passing, he kept his trumpet next to his favorite chair and played along with CD’s regularly.

Ernie loved his family and was a very devoted father and grandfather. His grandchildren will remember him for the many card games of War that he played with them and in which they begged him to play as soon as he entered the house or the silly cartoon characters he would make with numbers or the goofy things he would make with a napkin. He was always keenly interested in what his grandchildren were doing and made every effort to talk with each and every one.

To his children, he was larger than life. He was Captain Ernie to many but to them he was the steady force in the family, always striving to make sure they knew they were loved and prayed for. He was the kind of dad who created games from catalogs, made a baked bean sandwich seem like a gourmet meal, found a way to create reindeer tracks in the backyard, all the while loving and guiding and whistling a happy tune.

Friends (and once meeting him, you became a friend) will remember him for his wonderful sense of humor, finding well known songs containing your name and singing them to you and bringing his positive energy to any situation.

We were all blessed to have known and loved him, however long. He had incredible faith in God, so we are comforted in knowing he is in a better place and with his beloved Diana in Heaven.