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1967 Ernie 2023

Ernie Willeford

May 19, 1967 — November 3, 2023

Ernie Douglas Willeford

May 19, 1967 – November 3, 2023


Ernie Willeford, 56, of Wharton passed away peacefully on Friday, November 3, 2023, at his residence surrounded by his loving family.  He was born on May 19, 1967, in Houston, Texas to the late Gene and Clarabell Gay Cox.


Ernie was raised in Buffalo and graduated from Buffalo High School in 1985. On May 18, 2006 he married Valerie Russell in Houston. They made their home in Wharton, where Ernie worked as a correctional officer with Wharton County in the Jail. He had worked in Brazoria County for over 20 years. Ernie enjoyed martial arts, and achieved the rank of black belt, loved cooking and BBQ, watching movies and Motortrend TV, forging knives and picking on his grandchildren. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Mary Burt, twin, Marla Cox, and Tina Willeford, brothers, Bobby McVeay and  Ronnie Shugart.


Ernie will be missed by his wife, Valerie Willeford, daughters, Jessica Flournoy Kasper and Emily Melton and husband, Justin, sister, Charlotte Kester, sister-in-law, Virginia Shugart Aunt Pat Herndon and grandchildren, Cooper Sherwood, Judson Melton and Kendall Smith and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.


Memorial services will be held at a later date with his brothers and sisters of the Thin Blue Line, Northwest Chapter serving as honorary pallbearers. Special thanks to Sandra Trahan and Derrek Russell.


In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to help the family offset expenses at Ernie “Easyrider” and Valerie Willeford on


Arrangements are under the direction of Wharton Funeral Home of Wharton. Condolences for the family can be left at 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ernie Willeford, please visit our flower store.


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