OAK RIDGE, TN – Ernest Jerome Heyward, 69, husband of Cassie M. (Greene) Heyward departed this life on Saturday, September 28, 2019. Ernest was born July 26, 1950 in Beaufort, SC to the late Johnnie James Heyward, Sr. and Annie Mae (Knowles) Heyward.
His early home ended and he moved to an eternal home, one not made by man. Ernest, also known to some as “Ernie”, graduated from Robert Smalls High School (Beaufort, SC), and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Philosophy and Religion from Wilberforce University (Wilberforce, OH). He was employed at Y-12 (United States Department of Energy Corporation) as a Chemical Operator for 31 years upon his retirement in 2006. Shortly thereafter, Ernest sought additional employment with the United States Enrichment Corporation (USEC) as an Operations Engineer for approximately five years.
Ernest accepted Christ in his life and became an active member of Oak Valley Baptist Church. He was committed and devoted to his family, enjoyed spending quality time with the sick and shut-in, and never once shied away from helping those in need. Ernest also enjoyed outdoor extra curriculum activities such as fishing, hunting. gardening and sports. He was beloved, highly respected and will be sorely missed by his family and friends.
On December 25, 1973, he was united in holy matrimony with his high school sweetheart, Cassie M. (Greene) Heyward, and shared their matrimonial bond together for 46 years. His passing leaves a vacancy in the hearts of those he loved and those who loved him.
He was preceded in death by his son, Rashad J. Heyward, Sr.
He leaves to mourn his passing: loving wife, Cassie Heyward; two daughters, Lieutenant Colonel Uche T. Heyward of Woodbridge, VA and Mrs. Jocelyn N. Heyward-Tharpe (Antonio) of Oak Ridge, TN; adopted daughter, Charmion Heyward of Dallas, GA; seven grandchildren; one brother, Reverend Nathaniel Heyward (Lela) of Greenport, NY ; nine sisters, Johnnie Mae H. Smith (James) of Burton, SC; Carol A. Jones (Paul) of Albany, GA, Flora Mae H. Coley (Walter) of Riverdale, GA, Terri Griffin (Stanley) of Cleveland, OH, Rose H. Atkins (Walter) of Greenville, SC, Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Geneva ‘Penny’ Heyward of Ellenwood, GA, Patricia ‘Toto’ H. Green (Robert) of Burton, SC, Sandra H. Cannon (Kevin) of Burton, SC, Beverly A. Heyward of Lithonia, GA,; mother-in-law, Mary (Maxwell) Greene, Dale, SC; sisters-in-law, Mrs. Margaret McBride-Maxwell, Dale, SC and Mrs. Albertha Coakley, Dale, SC, ; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and special friends.
Saturday, October 5, 2019, the family will receive friends from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. with a Homegoing Celebration to follow at Oak Valley Baptist Church, 194 Hampton Rd., Oak Ridge, TN 37830. Reverend Derrick Hammond, Pastor/Eulogist. Interment will immediately follow at Oak Ridge Memorial Park where a white dove release will conclude the service. Flowers may be delivered to the church on the morning of the celebration. Professional arrangements entrusted to Patton Funeral Home, Brian L. Buckmon, LFD 1-800–824-8283 or www.pattonfuneralhome1962.com.