3 comments on “The Reclusive Life of Ernest Brooker

  1. Agreed, this is a pretty good story from the Enquirer and they should take a lesson from this. Finding well written stories there is few and far between.

  2. This story is actually quite sad. My husband and I knew Ernie and his wife Judy. I knew them for 11 years and he was friends with them for 25 years. What is particularly sad is that for the past year and a half since Judy died, Ernie had been to our home and Mr. Matacia’s place quite frequently. Ernie told us that Judy wanted to repay a debt that she felt that she owed us as we gave them a car (the Chevy Celebrity) and helped them with groceries and helped when we could with money. We didn’t have a lot, but they had a lot less. Ernie was training me in the martial arts that he knew and he visited often, bringing carloads of stuff that he thought Judy would have wanted us to have. He told us of his plans to go to Virginia and drive his car as far as possible into the National park where he had spent time with his parents so many years ago, abandon his car and hike into the wilderness and live simply. However he actually was cleaning his home out as much as a reclusive hermit could, and had planned to commit suicide all along. That is pretty much the consensus of the 3 of us who knew Ernie much more recently than Mr Pannell. Ernie actually had not spoken to Mr Pannell for at least 16 years. We loved Judy and Ernie and truly wish that Ernie could have managed to live in the world of people and not secluded in his home with the windows boarded and listening to the ‘doom and gloom’ reports. We will never know why. We only recently ( Sept 3rd) found out about Ernie. My husband last spoke to him in March of this year and Ernie was very curt on the phone and hung up on my husband. We didn’t hear from him for a while, but it was not unusual to go for months not hearing from him. I ‘googled’ his name and found the heart-breaking news about his death. So tragic and senseless.

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