Sunday, March 3, 2013

Trooper Ernest H. Collier, Fiddler's Green

April 1, 1922 - February 17, 2013

With a heavy heart and sincere sympathy, we honor,

Trooper Ernest “Sarge” Collier


Fiddler’s Green

When a cavalryman dies, he mounts up and begins a long ride
to his ultimate destination. About half-way along the road
he enters a broad meadow dotted with trees
and crossed by many streams known as,“Fiddler’s Green.”  

As he enters “The Green” he finds an old canteen, a single spur,
and a carbine sling. Continuing on the road he comes to a field camp
where he finds all the troopers who have gone before him
with their campfires, tents and picket lines neatly laid out.

All other branches of the military must continue to march without
 pause. Cavalrymen though are authorized to dismount, unsaddle and
stay in Fiddler’s Green, their canteens ever full, the grass always
green, and enjoy the companionship and reminisce with old friends.

Trooper Collier's Obituary:

Ernest Herman Collier was born on April 1, 1922 at Fort Stotsenberg in the Philippine Islands to William an Feliza DeLeon Santos Collier. The family moved to San diego in 1929, and Ernest was the oldest of ten siblings.

He attended Stockton Elementary, Memorial Junior High, and San diego High School where he played football, ran track and was Co-Captain of the track team. During his time there he was active in the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) as an officer. After graduating from San Diego High he attended Santa Ana Junior College and became a distance runner on the track team, he won many awards and trophies. Ernest was an assistant starter on the US Olympic team beginning in early 1979. He was on the training committee for San Diego Mesa Olympic Training Center and the official starter for California State track meets.

Ernest, affectionately known as "Sarge", was a member of St. Rita's Catholic Church in San Diego, California. He was the first altar boy at Christ the King Catholic Church at an early age. Sarge participated in many church functions, especially the Friday night Bingo games at St. Rita's and was an active member of the Knights of Peter Claver.

Ernest enlisted in the United States Army, where he was assigned to the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments, known as the Buffalo Soldiers in 1942, and then trained at Fort riley, Kansas and fort Clark, texas for moderate combat  duty. His medals and memberships earned over the years have been very impressive: the American Defense Service Medal, the European African Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, and the Korea Victory Medal. He was seriously injured for the third time in the battle of Pusan, Korea; he was sent to the Letterman Army Hospital in San Francisco, California where he was awarded the Purple Heart by general Mark Clark. He received an honorable discharge in 1954. He is a life member of the Order of Purple Heart (MOPH) #49 and Disabled Veterans Chapter 2, member of the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, San Diego, the 9th and 10th (Horse) Cavalry Association of San Diego and Los Angeles, the 1402 Army Engineers Association, the Infantry Association and a life member of the Marine Memorial Association.

Sarge was a member of the San Diego Friends of Allensworth Chapter #12, where he served as an advisor. He was honored to have one of the original Buffalo Soldiers as part of the Governing body. As a volunteer at the Neighborhood House in Logan Heights, he taught sports and english language to non-english speaking children. He had a giving spirit, always willing to help the less fortunate. Sarge has given many donations to help the needy, or red the hungry, or whatever the need may be. Each year he donated turkeys to his church to make sure others had a blessed Thanksgiving. His donations were endless.

He had outstanding work ethics, need believed in wasting time when there was work to be done. After 22 years of service with the United States Federal Government Civil Service, Sarge retired from North Island, San Diego, California.

On February 17, 2013 Ernest "Sarge" Herman Collier departed from this life around 4:45 a.m. at the Veterans Hospital in La Jolla, California. He leaves his family to cherish his memory. His wife Juanita, nearly 60 years of marriage, daughters Michelle Hearns her husband rodney o Colorado Springs, CO, Evaughn Collier of Richmond, CA, son Michael Dean Collier of Detroit, MI, adopted son Troy Walker of San Diego, CA, sisters Birdie Baldwin of Los Angeles, CA, Mary Agnes Jackson, Adeline Alexander and brother Williams Collier all of Los Angeles, CA. A thanks to niece Julia Collier and Jennifer Henry, who took excellent care of Sarge and Juanita, fie grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, a host of nieces and nephews, church family and a host of friends. His mother, father, two sisters Rachel Collier Tucker and Ophelia Collier and brother Simeon DeLeon Collier preceded Ernest in death. Sarge will be greatly missed and forever in our hearts.

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