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Ernie, 66, died in his sleep of a heart attack on April 13, 2014, at the home of his sister in Okanogan, WA. He rookied at NCSB in 1970, the year of the big bust, where he jumped through the 1974 season. He made 105 USFS jumps, about a dozen jumps in the 101st and 85th Airborne Divisions. For his bravery in Vietnam, he was awarded the Silver Star (with valor) medal. Ernie earned a BA degree and an MBA from Eastern Washington State College. After smokejumping he worked in the aluminum production industry at Kaiser Aluminum and later as an independent aluminum broker, in Spokane, WA, where he lived since leaving smokejumping. He enjoyed his extensive travel throughout the world for his work and for fun. Ernie skydived, built and flew ultra-light airplanes, hang-glided and drove flashy sports cars way too fast. He was wonderfully witty, and he enjoyed his family, friends and life to the fullest. He jumped at NCSB 1970-74.
Smokejumping; Smokejumpers -- United States; National Smokejumper Association; Wildfire fighters; Obituaries
National Smokejumper Association, "Smokejumper Obituary: Longanecker, Ernest J. (North Cascades 1970)" (2014). Smokejumper Obituaries. 839.