WILMINGTON — Ernest Hugh Gruber, Jr. passed away on October 1, 2021, at age 94, after enjoying a long, active and healthy life. Born January 7, 1927 in Newberry, SC, Ernest graduated from Newberry College with a degree in education. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Second World War, followed by the Army Reserves. He was predeceased by his wife of 52 years, Martha Abney Gruber, whom he adored.
After being employed in retail management for many years, Ernest chose Wilmington to settle with his family. He lived in the same home in the Green Meadows community for over 54 years and made friends who were especially good to him in his later years.
Ernest became a registered gemologist and certified diamontologist, working with Kingoff’s Jewelers for over 25 years. Up until the day he passed away, people in the community still remembered him for his time at Kingoff’s, with his distinguished-looking white hair and close-cut beard.
Ernest’s greatest pastime was gardening, and he could usually be found in his large garden or one of his greenhouses. In the last year of his life, he was forced to slow down a good bit, but that did not stop him from planting a garden for the sole purpose of giving away vegetables to friends and neighbors.
Ernest was predeceased by his parents, Ernest H. Gruber, Sr. and Eugenia Peigler Gruber, and five of his seven siblings. He is survived by two sons: Kirk Gruber (Martha Hamel) of Pawleys Island, SC, and Tim Gruber of Wilmington. Ernest enjoyed telling stories about his younger years to his four grandchildren, Lynn Gruber Fortune, Bradley Gruber, Aaron Gruber and Wesley Gruber, and his four great-grandchildren, Grayson, Emerson, Kathryn, and Tyler.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Ogden Baptist Church.
Share online condolences with the family, here, in the guestbook.