On Thursday, May 11, 2023, Harvey Lee Ernst, loving husband and father of three children passed away at the age of 88.
Harvey was born December 23, 1934, in Litchfield, IL, to the late Louis H. and Clara M. (Gehner) Ernst. Growing up, he helped his father farm in New Douglas, Waggoner, and finally Litchfield. He was confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church in Harvel, Illinois, and graduated Litchfield High School with the Class of 1952.
He married Dorothy Ann Hartke on February 12, 1956, in Trinity Lutheran Church, Litchfield, IL. Their first home was on Short Street, in Litchfield. He worked for Litchfield Floral Gardens, and in December 1956 he began employment with McDonnell Aircraft Corporation, in St. Louis, MO. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1957, stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; Fort Gordon, Georgia; Fort Sill, Oklahoma where he received a certificate of proficiency for artillery radio maintenance; and finally in Olmstead Falls, Ohio where he was assigned to the NIKE Missile site. In July 1959, he was discharged, and he resumed employment at McDonnell Aircraft until a work-related injury in 1974. During employment at McDonnell Aircraft, he received an award for his suggestion, which resulted in significant mechanical improvement in his department.
They moved to the country in 1963 where he farmed until his retirement. They raised two sons, Charles and Paul, and a daughter, Elaine. Harvey was a current member of the Amvets and a member of Faith Lutheran Church in Litchfield.
Harvey loved genealogy and could find some sort of relationship with most everyone he met! He loved farm life, from cutting wood, fixing fences, raising cattle, planting and harvesting crops, working on machinery, and other farm upkeep. He was an expert on flowers and gardening from his time working at the greenhouse and always planted some sort of flowers in their terraced flower bed. He enjoyed traveling with his family on vacations, and on trips won with Amway friends, to warm destinations. He was an avid map reader and could tell you most roads and destinations in the United States. He loved playing pinochle with friends and family, as it was often a competition between the men and the women! He has had many interesting adventures to share, including surviving two tornadoes in his lifetime. He loved to reminisce and was known for his sense of humor. He loved spending time and sharing his stories with his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
Besides his wife, Dorothy, surviving is son, Charles (Liz) Ernst, daughter, Elaine (Scott) Frerichs, son, Paul (Christine) Ernst, grandchildren: Cassandra (Christopher) Roach, Valerie (Josh) Cain, Eric Ernst, Jennifer (Jake) Fleming, Zachary (Deanna Weaver, significant other) Ernst, Kelsey Ernst, Kellie Frerichs, Cody Frerichs, Brooke Ernst, Carlee Ernst, great-grandchildren: Alec, Colin, & Clare Roach, Henry & Lincoln Cain, Emmitt & August Ernst, Sydney, Miles & Max Fleming, several cousins, nieces and nephews. He is also survived by one sister, Lois (Ernst) Volentine.
Harvey was preceded in death by his parents.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, May 16, 2023, 4:00-7:00 pm at Faith Lutheran Church, Litchfield, IL.
Funeral Services will be conducted at 10:00 am, Wednesday, May 17, 2023 at Faith Lutheran Church, Litchfield, IL.
Burial will follow in Trinity Lutheran Cemetery, Litchfield, IL.
Memorials may be directed to Faith Lutheran Church, Litchfield, IL.
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