Charles “Chuck” David Ernst, age 40, of Silver Lake, died Friday, Feb. 8, 2008, at his home.
He was born May 27, 1967, at the Hutchinson Community Hospital, the son of Terry and Phyllis (Braun) Ernst. He was baptized June 18, 1967, at Peace Lutheran Church in Hutchinson, and confirmed April 12, 1981, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Lester Prairie.
Chuck attended Lester Prairie Public School and graduated with the class of 1985. During high school, he had various jobs which included employment at Roger’s Jack and Jill, Ralph’s Oil, and Lester Prairie Sportsman’s Club.
Upon graduation, Chuck enlisted in the US Navy and was stationed at the Great Lakes Naval Station naval base in Millington, Tenn., and on the USS Ranger Aircraft Carrier based in San Diego, Calif.
After his honorary discharge from the Navy in 1989, he returned to Lester Prairie and became employed at Jerry’s Transmission and later, Data Card Corp. in Eden Prairie.
Chuck had an interest in aviation which led him to the Thief River Falls Technical College, where he earned a degree as an aviation mechanic.
Chuck was married to Daphne M. Rhodes June 27, 1992, at Assumption Catholic Church in Richfield. The couple moved to Spencer, Iowa, where Chuck was employed as an aviation mechanic for United Express. A short time later, he accepted employment at Northwest Airlines in Minneapolis, where he worked until there was a large reduction in the work force.
Chuck then sought employment at Big Don’s Carthedral in Lester Prairie, prior to his present position at Polluck Industries.
Chuck was a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, the American Legion of Lester Prairie, the Lester Prairie Sportsman’s Club, and the Lester Prairie Fire Department. He had many interests, including hunting, fishing, water skiing, boating, flying, and working on his hobby farm.
He was preceded in death by grandparents Everett and Viola Ernst and Alfred and Cora Braun; uncles Donald Braun and Murl Kletscher; and father-in-law Bruce Rhodes.
Chuck is survived by his wife, Daphne; parents Terry and Phyllis Ernst; his brother, Brad Ernst (wife Christine); nephew Blake Ernst; niece Alexandra Ernst; mother-in-law Betty Rhodes; sister-in-law Diana Eckstrom (husband Joel) and sons; brothers-in-law Douglas Rhodes (wife Mary) and girls, and Damian Rhodes (wife Amanda) and daughter; as well as aunts, uncles, cousins, other relatives, and many friends.
Funeral services were Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 2 p.m. at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Lester Prairie with the Rev. Eric Nelson officiating. Congregational hymns were “Amazing Grace,” “How Great Thou Art,” and “Precious Lord, Take My Hand.” Interment was in the church cemetery.
Serving as casket bearers were Sheldon Ehrke, Bruce Kletscher, Pat O’Reilley, Pat Feltmann, Tim Grenke, Kent Dibb, Vern Flemming, and Dan Niederkorn. Honorary casket bearer was Blake Ernst.
Arrangements were with the Paul-McBride Funeral Chapel in Lester Prairie.