The Reverend Ernest L. Bebb, Jr. (Ernie) was born April 10, 1932 to E. Leo Bebb and Nellie Bebb in Scotts Bluff, Nebraska. He died October 18, 2018. Ernie lived knowing what he wanted from life and loved serving God, his country, his community, his profession and most of all his family. He is survived by his loving wife Jane and son Kevin, his nephew, brothers-in-law and their families.
On July 11, 1959 Ernie married Jane Woollam at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Their son Kevin was born on April 23, 1961 in Oswego, New York. Ernie encouraged and supported both Jane and Kevin to pursue Master’s degrees in their chosen fields.
Ernie was a very active member of the Episcopal church. In 1980 he entered training with the Rev. Dr. Peter Van Hook to become a priest and was ordained on November 1, 1987. He served All Saints Episcopal Church as associate priest until retiring in 2015. Prior to this he served on the vestry, Episcopal Campus ministry board, finance committee, as director of Acolytes, and as clergy on the Institutional Review board of the Salt Lake Clinic. His sermons usually ended by reminding those present that they are and always will be God’s children, and that are all beloved.
Ernie served his country from 1954 to 1958 first as Lieutenant and then Captain of the United States Air Force. He was a Purchasing and Contracting Officer and was awarded the Nebraska AFROTC Outstanding Senior award in 1954.
Ernie also served his community as a charter member of the Foothill Club of Rotary International, on the Work Activities Center Board, Job Corps Community Relations Council, and Foundation Development Board of Westminster College. He served as a Sheriff’s Chaplain for the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office and was a member of the Salt Lake County Allocation Panel for the Social Services Block Grant Program.
Ernie attended Omaha Central High School and was on the honor roll for four years. He was active in student government and on the student Union board, where he planned social activities. He received the Omaha World Herald Certificate of Merit award for outstanding leadership and popularity. As a senior, Ernie attended the American Legion’s Boys State leadership program. He was active in the ROTC program and also president of the art club.
From 1950-1954, Ernie attended the University of Nebraska where he continued his involvement in student activities and government. He was a member of the Innocents Society (men’s senior honorary), Alpha Kappa Psi Business fraternity and Alpha Tau Omega fraternity.
In 1957, Ernie enrolled in the Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management School at Michigan State University. He received his Master’s degree and became Director of Hewitt Union at the State University of New York–Oswego. In 1968, Ernie accepted a position as Director of the Olpin Union at the University of Utah. He retired in 1995 and was elected to the Professors Emeritus Club of the University.
Ernie served his professional association, Association of College Unions International (ACUI), in many capacities. In 1976, he became President of ACUI and went on to receive ACUI’s highest honor, the Butts Whiting Award in 1983. He was granted honorary member status and received the Pat Moonen service award in 1995. He wrote, consulted and spoke at many professional seminars and consulted at King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in 1985.
Ernie loved helping students and staff to grow, develop and pursue dreams. He was described as a very positive role model and mentor for his students and staff. He was also known for his “Bebbisms” such as “I believe people do what they do best” or “this is potentially and probably our first firm decision—I think” and “remember, clean decisions come from a tidy table”.
Ernie died as he lived his life, with courage, character, wisdom, caring, humor and most of all love. He was an educator and godly man. He was a loving and supportive husband and father, and a fair and honest person and employee. His life is an inspiration to all who knew and worked with him.
A celebration of life service will be held at All Saints Episcopal Church, 1710 Foothill Blvd., Salt Lake City, Utah, at 2:00 pm on Thursday, October 25, 2018. High Tea will be served in the parish hall following the service. Jane and Kevin will be at All Saints from 12:30pm to 1:45pm to greet friends and those who are unable to attend the service.
His ashes will be interred in the Memorial Garden at All Saints.