Earnest E. Hite, Sr. (1922-1985) was the son of the late Earnest S. and Helen (Johnson) Hite. He was born October 7, 1922 in Champaign. He married Dorothy L. Patterson in 1954 in Indianapolis. Mr. Hite attended Champaign Schools and joined Salem Baptist Church as a youth. He worked at Clifford-Jacobs Forging Company for 42 years. He was a member of the Ironworkers, Boilermakers, and Shipmakers Local 1626. Mr. Hite was also a U.S. Army Veteran. He was an accomplished musician playing with the Soul Brothers (also called the Tan Band) and had played with the Lus Hite Band in the 1940s; he was a member of the Champaign Federation of Musicians Local 196, where he held an emeritus position.
His sons include Louis Hite, Earnest E. Hite, Jr., Darryl E. Hite, and Marvin L. Hite; a daughter, Karen J. Hite; six grandchildren, one brother, Luster J. Hite; one sister, Margaret H. Smith and many other relatives and friends.
The photo on left is of Earnest E. Hite, Sr. The photo at right is of Earnest "Ernie" S. Hite (father of Earnest E. Hite, Sr.) and his brother, bandleader, Leslie "Les" Hite.