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Ernest Payton Aune

Ernest Payton “Ernie” Aune died Wednesday, July 26, 2017, in Oxford, at the age of 89. Visitation was planned for Saturday, July 29, 2017, at Seven Oaks Funeral Home in Water Valley from 4 until 6 p.m. Funeral services were held 3 p.m. Sunday, July 30, 2017, at First Baptist Church with Dr. Randy Bain officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to service time at the church. Burial will follow in Oak Hill Cemetery with Bob Aune, Kyle Aune, Curtis Berry, Cam Tyler, John Ingram, and Lee Lott serving as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Water Valley Lions Club, Bob Brooks’ First Baptist Church Sunday School class and Odie Shuffield.

Ernie was born to the late Ole and Carrie Mae Kelley Aune and raised in Water Valley, where he attended the public schools. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Mississippi State University in 1951 and enlisted in the United States Air Force soon thereafter. While stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City, Louisiana during the Korean War, he met and married Ernestine Holt. Before long, the newlyweds were rotated to Elmendorf Air Force Base outside Anchorage, Alaska. The couple lived in Anchorage for eighteen months and their oldest son was born there in the military hospital. In 1955 after an honorable discharge from service, Ernie brought his young family home to Water Valley. During the next nine years, the family was blessed with three more sons.

Ernie and his family were faithful members of First Baptist Church where he served as deacon, Sunday School and Training Union teacher, and as a leader for the Royal Ambassadors organization for young boys. He served on two search committees when the church was without a pastor. These services were some of the most heartfelt blessings in his church life for his Lord.

Ernie worked for Mechanics Bank for 35 years and attended LSU School of Banking of the South, graduating in 1968. When he retired in 1992, he was President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board. He was a charter member of the Water Valley Lions Club and served in every office from president to chief pancake chef. He helped negotiate a lease on the depot building with the city. His interest in the railroad led him to get involved in starting the Casey Jones Railroad Museum in the depot building. He was personally instrumental in having the caboose brought down from Memphis and placed at its current location. Lions Clubs International presented him with the Melvin Jones Leadership award in 2002.

In addition to his parents, Ernie was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Ernestine Holt Aune; his grandson, Mike Aune; and two brothers, Ole E. Aune and James B. Aune.

Survivors include four sons, David P. Aune of Saratoga, California, Eddie Aune of Oxford, Kelly Aune of Huntsville, Alabama, and Kris Aune of New Orleans, Louisiana; five grandchildren, Bob Aune, Kyle Aune, Jessica Aune Giadrosich, Laura Lee Aune Homan, and Juliann Aune Choe; and three great grandchildren, Parker Aune, Eli Aune, and Lillian Grace Giadrosich.

Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church, Water Valley, MS, P.O. Box 1472, Water Valley, MS 38965.