(MONTGOMERY) Orvin Bernard “Buck” Earnest, Jr. passed away Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023, at the age of 87 in Montgomery. He was born on Jan. 21, 1936, in Muscogee County in Columbus, Ga., to the late Orvin Bernard Earnest, Sr. and Lula Maud Kirby Earnest. He grew up on the dairy farms in Randolph County that his father managed during the years around the Great Depression. Mr. Earnest acquired the nickname “Buck” from his great-grandfather, Allen Buckner Earnest, who was also known as “Buck.”
Buck was preceded in death by his wife, Norma Ellen Smith Earnest, who passed in June 2006 after 45 years of marriage; his parents; and three sisters, Edith Jerine Earnest Dockery (Ray), Clarice Janette Earnest Terry, and Doris Elinor Earnest Dunford (Peyton).
Buck graduated from Georgetown High School in Georgetown, Ga., in 1954. He attended Auburn University and graduated in 1959 with a degree in Forest Management. He worked with the U.S. Forest Service in northwest Montana and Oregon during semester breaks at Auburn. After serving in the Army, Buck joined the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1965 when the Walter F. George Dam construction was underway. He retired in 2003 after over 40 years of federal service.
Buck was a family man. He cherished his wife and loved her dearly. He was also a devoted father and grandfather. Buck had a passion for genealogy, and he logged more than 5,000 entries in Ancestery.com while researching his family’s history. He served for many years as the president of the Earnest family reunion, which has been active for over 100 years.
Buck was a loyal friend to many in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Many at First United Methodist Church of Eufaula were dear to him. He was a long-time member and teacher in the Adams Sunday school class. He was well-known in the community through work with the Lion’s Club and the Eufaula Little Theater.
Buck is survived by three children, Karen Earnest Fowler (Chip), Amy Earnest and Allen Earnest; and three grandchildren, Ellen Fowler, Trey Fowler and Will Fowler. He was loved by a host of cousins, nieces, and nephews.
In his last months, Buck studied Scripture about Heaven. Just before he died, he spoke of knowing the Lord and his desire to go to the Promised Land. We are comforted to know that he is there now. A Celebration of Life is was Monday, Oct. 23, at First United Methodist Church in Eufaula. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the charity of your choice.