Ernest (Ernie) Dove, Sr.

March 3, 1943June 7, 2018
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Norfolk - Ernie went home to be with his Lord and Savior on June 7, 2018. He was born on March 3, 1943 to the late Rev. Claude and Claudia Dove in Blacksburg, VA. Besides his parents he was preceded in death by his Brother, Ted Dove.

Ernie was a painter by trade and he was a partner of the Dove Paint and Wallpaper Company. He was a member of Gateway Church where he served as Bus Captain, Usher, Greeter and Senior Ministry Leader. Ernie loved spending time with family, hunting, fishing, Nascar and the NY Yankees. One of his greatest traits was that he never met a stranger.

Left to cherish his memory are his Wife of 54 years, Eva Jo Dove; Daughter, Shanna Simmons (David); Son, Wesley Dove (Nancy); Grandchildren, Kara Simmons Jeffcoat (Josh), Lauren Dove, Cory Simmons, Weston Dove, and Frannie Simkins; Great-Granddaughter, Karleigh Jeffcoat; Sister, Janice Hodge; Brother, Calvin Dove (Darlene); Sister-in-law, Dianne Dove; Brothers-in-law, George Epperly and Neil Epperly (Jackie); as well as a host of nieces, nephews, other family members and numerous friends.

The family will receive friends from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., on Sunday, June 10, 2018 at Gateway Church, 5473 Virginia Beach Blvd, Va Beach 23462. The Celebration of Ernie’s Life will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, June 11, 2018, also at Gateway Church with the Rev. Brent Patrick officiating. Burial will be following the service at 1:00 p.m., at Colonial Grove Memorial Park on Princess Anne Rd, Va Beach. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations to the Senior Ministry at Gateway.

Please share your stories and memories at


  • Visitation Sunday, June 10, 2018
  • Celebration of Life Monday, June 11, 2018

Ernest (Ernie) Dove, Sr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Ruby Skittlethorpe

June 10, 2018

Dear Eva Jo and Family,
I was so saddened to hear of the loss of your loved one. My thoughts and prayers are with you. You and Ernie were a special couple to me and my family while we were attending Gateway Church. I know that your faith is strong and I know that our Jesus will help and comfort you during this time. Please know that I will continue to remember you and your family in my prayers. My sister Ruby also sends her love and sympathy and will also uplift you in her prayers.
With all my love,
Eva Spruill, Edenton NC.

Patsy Martin

June 10, 2018

Remember you well Ernie you were so outgoing . My sincere condolences to family and friends in the loss of their loved one . I remember those days at the Church of God your dad was such a good singer and preacher you are with the Lord now Ernie God bless you all.

Carol Burroughs

June 10, 2018

The memory I will always keep of Ernie will be his ready smile and the love of his Lord. Eva Jo, I will be keeping you and your family in my prayers.

Bill Skelaney

June 10, 2018

Ernie always had a smile on his face whenever I saw him. He loved the Lord and it showed when you met him. I loved Ernie. He always tried to get me to join up with the "seniors" even though I look old but am not that old! I know Ernie was scared when he told me about his disease and the inevitable conclusion. I told him that I would pray for him, and I did, with the full confidence that God was either going to cure him or if not, take him up in his arms. I am glad to say that Ernie is now with Jesus! What a way to finish! Good for you my brother, I will see you on the other side of eternity when my time comes as yours did. To Ernie's assured that he is having a blast right now and there's no reason to be sad. Halleluiah!

Harry Tyree

June 10, 2018

Had wonderful times with Ernie at Daytona watching the races. Playing farkle at my sisters home in St. Augustine. He was truly a great friend. It is not good bye, it is good night. Will see you in the morning on the other side.

Henry Cross

June 9, 2018

I have no pictures except the ones I carry in my heart.
I may not have visited often or often enough. But Mr Dove ment so much to me growing up, and as an adult.
His impact on my life he will never know. Or maybe in some way he does.
I often think of him when NASCAR is on due to the unbeleivable collection of memorabilia he has.
Most of all, is his big heart, and always kind. He instilled in me how to be nice, and how to be yourself around others.
He was genuine, true, and what you see is who he was.

Christi Harrell

June 9, 2018

I've been wracking my brain to think of one special memory of Mr. Dove because I have so many more than just ONE. He made a lasting impact in that way on just about everyone he met!
My very earliest memories of him are from when I was very young and would see him and his huge grin approach me and my parents at church. I quickly learned to know what that meant. He was going to give me a quarter or two and tell me, "Now go buy yourself a co-cola." I remember asking my mom if that was the actual name of a drink I should go find because I wasn't familiar with any soda named that. I admit that I even practiced saying "co-cola" like he would, but I don't think I ever got it right.
In the years that followed, he and Mrs. Eva Jo took me and many other young people under their wings and let us share just a little of the love they had for their own grandchildren. (Thank you, Dove grandkids, for sharing your amazing Pappaw! As kind as he was to the rest of us, I could always tell you all held an extra-special place in his heart.) They allowed me to be part of their Sunday morning trips to Hardees, and I loved getting to see Mr. Ernie interact with the cashiers, fellow customers, Mrs. Eva Jo, and his grandkids on these visits. Everyone's eyes sparkled and faces grinned just a little more when he spoke to us.
I could go on and on. One of my last meaningful conversations with him was in Walmart, of all places. I'm so glad we paused to chat for several minutes in the middle of a busy aisle filled with last-minute Christmas shoppers. He spoke of his upcoming appointments and some discouraging news, but he also flashed his trademark smile multiple times and displayed a trust that God knew what He was doing.
What a man of faith! We'll all miss him on this side of Heaven, but I know that he's enjoying the joys and healing of eternity with Christ now. And I can only assume that his huge grin and laughter are shining brighter than ever before!

Diana Postlewaite

June 9, 2018

When I think of Bro. Ernie, I think of the word GIVING. He was one of the most giving men I’ve ever known. He gave his time, his money, his skills, and mostly his love —without expecting anything in return. He, no doubt, could have been a rich man if he’d not given so much away. I could mention a long list of things and amounts of money that he and Eva Jo freely gave to our family over the 30+ years we have known them....but I’m limited to 2000 words. One story will have to suffice.
When I was well into my 30’s, Bro. Ernie gave me my first ever Barbie doll. I was raised in a very strict home and wasn’t allowed to have them. He gave me a University of TN cheerleader Barbie! He also gave Christi a UVA one. (Does that surprise you knowing his love of the Hokies? 😁)
Heaven is sweeter, if that’s possible, because Ernie Dove is there.

T. A. & Betty Powell

June 8, 2018

The Powell family loves the Doves. We crossed paths in the mid-1980s at Gateway School & Church. We experienced some very sweet fellowship times together. Ernie was always laughing and ribbing me about the Washington “Deadskins” read it right “Deadskins” 😊 All of the Doves are very real and authentic Christ Followers......we are blessed that the dear Lord allowed our journeys to intersect at “such a time as this.” Ernie’s talent and expertise in painting and wallpaper hanging was always fun to watch. He always did it right. Wesley & Shanna as well as Eva are so precious to us and we will love you forever. ❤️❤️

Ashley Hopper

June 8, 2018