Ernest Clyde Bourne

January 5, 2022

PALM BEACH, FLORIDA – Ernest Clyde Bourne died on Jan. 5, 2022, from complications due to COVID-19, cutting short a life blessed by family and faith. He was 80 and lived a wonderful life.

Ernie, the son of Ernest Clyde Bourne and Helen Bailey Stowers, was born on April 10, 1941, in Princeton, W.Va. Ernie lost his father at age 16 and quickly had to navigate life as the man of the house. He put himself through school and graduated from Concord University in Athens, West Virginia. He then forged a successful career in three areas – investment banking, pharmaceuticals and finally real estate. He began his career as an investment banker working for Reynolds & Co. in New York before setting out on his own by founding a boutique mergers and acquisitions firm, Bourne & Co. Following the sale of Bourne & Co., he served on the board and as President of King Pharmaceuticals International (now a subsidiary of Pfizer), where he made memories traveling the world and doing what he truly loved – making deals.

While living in Charlotte, N.C., he was a devoted member of Calvary Church. Given his love of the water, boating and warm weather, he relocated to Palm Beach, Florida, in 2001, where he was an active real estate investor on the island. Ernie had a tight-knit group of lifelong friends from all walks of life. Some of his best friends were people he met casually at a restaurant, job site or church. He had endless energy, a sharp wit and was never one to pass up an airport pickup of a “Northern” visitor friend to the island. Ernie always had a story to tell, a deal to structurally ponder and a hand to lend. Three weeks before his passing, he was out with friends at dinner at the Sailfish Club followed by his usual meeting spot for an early prayer breakfast at TooJays Deli.

Ernie filled his life with meaning and fun – family, his church, friends, and many good times.

Faith and good were at the heart of Ernie’s life. He was an active member of The Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea and founding member of the Bourne Foundation. He traveled to Guatemala, Africa, India, Colombia, Israel and the Middle East on mission trips to serve those in need.

Ernie is survived by two sons – Banks Bourne and his wife, Molly Whitehurst Bourne, and Benjamin Bourne, all of Charlotte; and two grandchildren (Banks’ and Molly’s kids), Fairbanks and Mary Pope, both of Charlotte; and his beloved niece and nephew, Julie Penturff Gelb and Pepper Penturff, of Leesburg, Fla.

 A private service to celebrate his life will be held at The Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea, 141 South County Road, Palm Beach, when his Church and family deem it safe for all who wish to attend. A reception will follow at the Sailfish Club.

The family is deeply grateful for the care and kindness shown by all his caregivers, particularly those in his final days at the Cleveland Clinic in Weston, Fla.

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth W. Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC; 28204 (704) 641-7606. Online condolences can be shared at

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