1928 – 2016

AUBURN — Ernest M. Fitts Jr., 87, of Poland passed away peacefully Tuesday, July 12, at the Hospice House in Auburn with family at his side, after a lengthy illness.

He was born in Mechanic Falls on Sept. 26, 1928, a son of Ernest M. and Phebe Alice (Strout) Fitts Sr. and graduated from Mechanic Falls High School.

He faithfully served his country in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, and was a medic with the 2nd Armored Division.

Ernest worked at A.C. Lawrence Leather in South Paris for many years. He had also worked for the town of Poland, where he served as Poland’s fire chief for several years, and was a former member of the Mechanic Falls Fire Department. He also operated Ernie’s Boat Repair, repairing boats and canoes.

He married Janice I. Avery on Aug. 12, 1954.

He leaves behind his loving wife, Janice, of 62 years of Poland; four sons, Ernest M. III and his fiancée, Cindy Turner, of South Paris, Ronald D. and his fiancée, Tracy Wheeler, of South Paris, Richard D. and wife, Colleen, of South Paris, and James L. and his wife, Lori, of North Carolina; a daughter, Kathy Mae Goforth and her companion, Ron Ward, of Bowdoin; a sister, June Bowman of Auburn; 13 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.

He is predeceased by a daughter, Sandra; a brother, Linwood; and a sister, Beverly Billings.

The family would like to extend a special thank-you to the Hospice House for the outstanding care Ernie received.

Condolences can be expressed to the family by visiting www.chandlerfunerals.com.