Ernest “Ernie” J. Hale passed away from complications due to Cerebral Vascular Collapse in the evening of Tuesday, August 2, 2022, at Benefis Peace Hospice House. Ernie was born on August 15, 1946, to EJ and Virginia Hale in Weldon, NC. Being an “army brat,” he spent his early years in Lawton, OK, then moving to Fayetteville, NC, where he joined the U.S. Air Force after graduating from Pine Forest High School. He served as Security Police in Georgia and Panama before being stationed at Malmstrom AFB in 1968. Ernie said he felt like his whole life would change after seeing the lights of Great Falls on his first trip down the hill. Little did he know.
Ernie met his future wife, Jackie Michelotti, when he fell in her lap at the Cartwheel Bar in Great Falls and asked her to dance. They married, started a family, and lived in Fayetteville, NC after he left active duty. In 1976, the family moved back to Great Falls, where he worked at Safeway. Ernie joined the Montana Air National Guard in 1977 as a Crew Chief and became a fulltime technician in 1983. He loved being around airplanes and traveling, and this job provided both. Ernie retired from the Air National Guard in 2002.
To read the complete obituary and share condolences, visit the Schnider Funeral Home website.