He was born Aug. 5, 1921, in Parke County to Adam and Emma (Gravely) Philabaum.
He attended Brazil High School. On Feb. 15, 1942, he married Leona "Toni" Morlan.
For more than 40 years, Ernie spent his working career as a brakeman and conductor with the Pennsylvania Railroad and Conrail Railroad, retiring in 1982.
He was a member of the 32nd Degree Masons/Lodge 541, Scottish Rite, Kerman Grotto, Swords of Bunker Hill, Eagles and Moose Lodge. He was also a member of the Retired Railroaders Association, for which he spent time visiting those retirees who were ill and in health care facilities.
Ernie enjoyed auto racing, playing pool, dancing and trains. He also enjoyed spending time with his family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Leona "Toni;" brothers, Ralph, Leonard, Clarence; and sisters, Bridge Mae Sanders, Elsie Mager and Doris Porter.
He is survived by son and daughter-in-law, Arthur and Barbara Philabaum, Brazil; granddaughters, Leah Lawson and husband John, Terre Haute and Shelly Greene and husband Paul, Brazil; great-granddaughter Shelby Greene, Brazil; several nieces and nephews and extended family.
Funeral services will be held Thursday at 11:00 a.m. at French Funeral Home with Pastor Perry Mager officiating. Burial will follow in Summit Lawn Cemetery.
Visitation will be Wednesday from 4-8 p.m. and prior to services on Thursday.