Services

Visitation One

Thu. May. 19, 2022
10:00 am

Bethel Tabernacle

1020 FM 1960
Houston , TX 77073.

Funeral Service

Thu. May. 19, 2022
11:00 am

Bethel Tabernacle

1020 FM 1960
Houston , TX 77073.

Graveside Service

Thu. May. 19, 2022
1:30 pm

Houston National Cemetery

10410 Veterans Memorial Drive
Houston , TX 77038.
Thu. May. 19, 2022
10:00 am
Bethel Tabernacle
1020 FM 1960
Houston , TX 77073.
Thu. May. 19, 2022
11:00 am
Bethel Tabernacle
1020 FM 1960
Houston , TX 77073.
Thu. May. 19, 2022
1:30 pm
Houston National Cemetery
10410 Veterans Memorial Drive
Houston , TX 77038.
In Memory of
Ernest Howard Taft
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Ernest Howard Taft, “Ernie”, was born May 5, 1945, to Howard Wilson and Sudie Fay Taft in Houston, Texas. He passed away after suffering for many years with the progression of muscular dystrophy on May 6, 2022, one day after his 77th birthday. 

Ernie spent his childhood in Houston, Texas, Encinitas and Bonita California, and Belgium, raised by his father, mother, grandmother and grandfather. He and his siblings, Carla and Frank, had many memories of their childhood adventures together. 

Ernie also lived in Mississippi and Fort Hood, Louisiana.

He attended the University of Houston learning drafting until Uncle Sam called on him to become a member of the United States Army. Ernie wanted to push the boundaries and eagerly signed up to become a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam era, when the life expectancy of a helicopter pilot in combat, was only nineteen minutes. 

While serving in the Vietnam War Ernie became a true hero, saving many lives extracting soldiers while taking on heavy enemy fire. On one such mission, Ernie skillfully balanced his Huey helicopter on the edge of a hillside in order to rescue a group of soldiers. Quite often, Ernie was uniquely selected for such missions based on his bravery and incredible level of skill. He was immensely proud of the service he provided his country in the Vietnam War from 1969 to 1970 as a member of the 101st Airborne Division, A Co.158th Assault Helicopter Battalion, known as the Ghost Riders.

Ernie was fully devoted to God and his country. He would often be heard saying “God is not my co-pilot, He is my pilot”. He received the Holy Spirit at Texas Youth Camp as a teenager and faithfully served God through Irvington Pentecostal Church for many years as a Sunday School teacher, bus minister, and in the nursing home ministry. Additionally, he would volunteer in any areas where his ability and expertise were needed such as painting the church building and busses. Ernie then attended Church of Champions where he continued to serve God and fellow saints. He has also lent his skills to churches where he was not in attendance, all in furthering God’s Kingdom.  Later, Ernie and Barbara attended Bethel Tabernacle.

In August 1973 Ernie married Barbara Ann Barclay, to whom he was married for nearly 49 years. They had 3 children, Aaron, Micah and Jeanene and one grandson, Logan. Ernie was a devoted family man who enjoyed spending time with his family. The family adventures would range from camping and fishing to enjoying a day in the sun at the beach or theme parks. 

Ernie’s passions included vintage car restoration, historical aviation, gardening, and animals. When he wasn’t at work, you could usually find him “under the hood”, restoring one of many classic vehicles that he had in his life. Ernie was truly an artist in this, his craft. 

As a gifted storyteller, Ernie loved to share tales of his life experiences with everyone he met, the impact of which will continue to carry on. 

Memories of this tenderhearted hero resonate deep with all who knew him. He will be greatly missed.