Gerald “Gerry” Lee Ernst, 92, of Bellevue, passed away on Friday, July 16, 2021 at University of Iowa Hospital & Clinics. Funeral Mass will be 10:30 am, Wednesday, July 21, 2021 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Bellevue. Visitation will be 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm, Tuesday, July 20, 2021 at Hachmann-Mier Funeral Home & Cremation Service in Bellevue, additional visitation will be 9:00 am – 10:00am, Wednesday, July 21, 2021, prior to Mass at the funeral home. Burial with Military Honors conducted by Bellevue American Legion Post 273 will be in St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery in Bellevue.
Gerry was born June 27, 1929 in Bellevue, Iowa, son of Vernon and Augusta Ernst. He graduated from St. Joseph High School in 1947 and after graduation, began working at John Deere Dubuque Works. He enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1948 and after several training schools, was assigned as a cryptography instructor at Scott Air Force Base, Belleville, IL, where he served until 1952. While in the Air Force, he married the love of his life, Dolores "Dee" Wellen in Trenton, IL on May 23, 1951. He returned to John Deere after his military service, retiring in 1984.
Gerry was actively involved and held many positions with the American Legion at the local, state and national level. He was very proud of Bellevue and served his community volunteering at Bellevue Bread Basket, the Bellevue Zoning Board, Municipal Utilities Board and the Bellevue Ambulance. He was also a member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus, and the John Deere Retiree Assoc. He was an avid Cubs fan; he enjoyed his last visit to Wrigley Field a few years ago, where he stepped onto the field with his family.
Those left to honor his memory include three sons, Ken (Barb) of DeWitt, IA, Chuck (Judy) of Bernard, IA and Randy (Ana) of Bartlett, IL; two daughters, Shari (Michael) Beadle of Tampa, FL and Cathy (Doug) Oberbroeckling of Crystal Lake, IL; three sons-in-law, Bill Lubbers of Dubuque, Kenny Laaker of Sterling, IL and Ron Duccini of Gulfport, MS; a daughter-in-law, Elaine Ernst of Barrington, IL; one sister, Carol Agosta of Bettendorf, IA; 24 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, one great-great grandchild and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Gerry is preceded in death by his wife of 67 years, Dolores; his parents; four children: Dianna Lubbers, Jean Laaker, Lori Duccini and John Ernst; grandchildren Melissa Ernst and Alexander Ernst; brothers Vern and Bob Ernst; and sister Marilyn Doland.
The Ernst family would like to thank daughter-in-law Dr. Ana Gephart, and the entire community for the kindness, generosity and friendship shown to Gerry throughout his years.
Online condolences may be left for the family at www.hachmannfuneralhome.com