William Fred Ernst, age 92, of Howard Lake, formerly of Annandale, died Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, at his home after a battle with kidney failure.
He was born Dec. 18, 1920, in Lester Prairie, to William and Agnes (Schmaltz) Ernst. William grew up in Lester Prairie, with the nicknames of Bill and Johnny.
He was baptized as Wilhelm Freidrich Gustav Ernst, was confirmed and married, all at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Lester Prairie.
William attended parochial and public schools; graduating from Lester Prairie High School with the class of 1940.
He was united in marriage to Eunice Emich Feb. 1, 1942. William farmed for 50 years in Carver, McLeod, and Wright counties. He also was employed as a custodian at Annandale School District, and drove school bus for 15 years in Annandale and Howard Lake.
William has been a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Annandale since 1965, where he has served as a trustee and an elder. He also served on the Clearwater Township Board.
He enjoyed farming, playing sports, and watching his kids and grandkids play sports. He tried downhill skiing for the first time at age 60 with his family.
William is survived by his children, Charlotte (Dale) Jopp of Hutchinson, Susan (Peter) Lenz of Waconia, William Jr. (Faye) of Young America, Nadine (Dennis) Jopp of Maple Lake, Nancy (Gerald) Adams of Jackson, MO, Wanda (Rob) Yelton of Maple Lake, and Jill Ernst (fiancé Richard Moore) of Howard Lake; friends of family Rose Shumpert and family, and Phil Delarosa; 17 grandchildren; two step-grandchildren; 30 great-grandchildren, four step great-grandchildren; eight great-great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Eunice; parents William and Agnes; step-father Helmet Barke; son-in-law Gary DeMorett; granddaughter Baby Jopp; parents-in-law William and Leona Emich; brothers Harold and Alvin; sisters Helen Emich and Lois Jenneke; brothers-in-law George and Earl Emich, Emmert Jenneke, Vernon Holtz, Robert Brown and Leon Kohler; and sisters-in-law Glenna Kohler, Ruth Brown, Joarda Ernst, Doris Holtz, and Ethel Emich.
Funeral services took place Saturday, Aug. 31 at 11 a.m. at Zion Lutheran Church, Annandale, with the Rev. Thomas Queck officiating. Burial followed at Corinna Cemetery. Family and friends called two hours prior to the service at the church.
Pallbearers were Troy Lenz, Todd, David and Timothy Jopp, Eric Ernst, Nathan, and Joshua and Jacob Adams.
Memorials are preferred to the National Kidney Foundation or Fresenius Medical Care, Buffalo.
Arrangements were entrusted will Dingmann Funeral Care Burial & Cremation Services of Annandale. Obituary, guestbook, video tribute and funeral Webcast online at dingmannfuneral.com.