Lester Ernst

Lester Ernst
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Lester E. “Les” Ernst, 94, of Belleville, IL, born July 4, 1925, in Belleville, IL, passed away peacefully Monday, October 7, 2019, at Freeburg Care Center, Freeburg, IL, surrounded by his loving, devoted wife and all of his children.

Mr. Ernst spent his career in the wholesale candy and tobacco industry, working many years as a salesman and eventually retiring as general manager of Weeke Wholesale Co. Les was a World War II Army veteran, drafted out of high school, and a Purple Heart recipient. He enjoyed golf and traveling coast to coast with his wife in their travel trailer. He also enjoyed home improvement projects and treasured time spent with his wife, children, and grandchildren. Les was a faithful parishioner of St. Peter’s Cathedral Catholic Church for over 60 years.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Martin L. and Lucille, nee Dammrich, Ernst; a granddaughter, Paige Karlas; a brother, Raymond M. Ernst; a sister, Louise Pyszka; and numerous brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law.

Surviving are his wife of 63 years, Audrey B., nee Kimmich, Ernst, whom he married on May 26, 1956, in St. Louis, MO;
two sons, Ron (Phyllis) Ernst of Belleville, IL,
and Gregg (Mary) Ernst of Oakville, MO;
four daughters, Janet (Jim) Eilering of Sacramento, CA,
Carol (Dean) Elder of Millstadt, IL,
Nancy (David) Schmidt of Smithton, IL,
and Diane (Aaron) Karlas of Edwardsville, IL.

Also surviving are 21 grandchildren, Stephanie (Knute) Schneider, Allen (Rebecca) and Nicholas Ernst, Abigail (Brad) Rolland, Kayla (Max) Klein, Ryan, Jason (Sarah) and Andrea Ernst, Brooke (John) Topete, Jared (Charity) and Austin Eilering, Lindsey (Steven) Rodriquez, Ashley (Tyler) Mueth, Erica Elder, Justin, Jeremy and Jenna Schmidt, Grant, Luke, Olivia and Audrey Karlas;
13 great-grandchildren;
two sisters-in-law;
and numerous nieces & nephews;

Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, St. Peter’s Cathedral, to Freeburg Care Center, or in the form of masses at St. Peter’s Cathedral. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.rennerfh.com.

Visitation: Friends may visit with the family from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, October 13, 2019, at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, 120 North Illinois, Belleville, IL, or from 9 to 10 a.m. Monday, October 14, 2019, at St. Peter’s Cathedral Catholic Church, 200 West Harrison Street, Belleville, IL.

Funeral: A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. Monday, October 14, 2019, St. Peter’s Cathedral Catholic Church, Belleville, IL, with Msgr. John Myler officiating.

Burial with military honors will be at Green Mount Catholic Cemetery, 679 South Green Mount Road, Belleville, IL.


11 Comments on Lester Ernst

Ed and Teresa Smith said : Guest Report Nov 22, 2019 at 12:50 AM

We will sorely miss our good friend, Les, and our deepest sympathies go to Audrey and their family. So many wonderful times that we spent together on vacation trips and other occasions! We have great memories.

  • Stoughton
  • WI
Jeremy, Brandon, & Florence Gwinn said : Guest Report Oct 13, 2019 at 5:47 PM

So sorry for your Loss. We got attached to Lester really quickly. Great guy and glad to get to know all of you. Prayers

  • Belleville
  • IL
Kathy Cook Rsnge said : Guest Report Oct 12, 2019 at 12:45 PM

So sorry for your loss

  • Smithton
  • Il
Marcella Stauder said : Guest Report Oct 12, 2019 at 12:30 AM

Audrey and family, prayers for all. Now Les and Bob can talk about the early years gone by as cousins. My blessings! Stsuder familes. Sally

  • Swansea
  • Illinois
Peggy said : Guest Report Oct 11, 2019 at 11:21 AM

The luncheon group in heaven just got bigger. We will miss Uncle Les who always has a smile and sincere “ hello”. Our sympathy to my godmother Aunt Audrey, you were so blessed with 63 years together. Sending our love to the whole family, he will be forever in all our hearts. Peggy and Dan

  • Ballwin
  • Mo
JAMES K STUBBLEFIELD said : Guest Report Oct 10, 2019 at 7:37 PM

Our deepest sympathies to the entire family. You couldn't meet a nicer, sweeter couple, and that is true of their children also. Les was always happy and a pleasure to speak with. He will be greatly missed! Dr.Jim and staff.

  • Illinois
John and Jackie Kimmich said : Guest Report Oct 10, 2019 at 3:16 PM

We were so sorry to hear of Uncle Les's passing. We are keeping your family in our prayers. Love, John and Jackie

  • St Charles
  • MO
John and Jackie Kimmich said : Guest Report Oct 10, 2019 at 2:50 PM

We are sorry to hear of Les's passing and are keeping Audrey and the family in our prayers. Love, John and Jackie

  • St Charles
  • MO
Mary Anne Warnecke said : Guest Report Oct 10, 2019 at 12:24 PM

Audrey and family. I was so sorry to learn of Lester's passing on Monday. When I arrived at Freeburg Care Center and did not see the familiar car in the lot, I knew that God had called Lester back home. I had the great privilege of coaxing that beautiful smile from him while I knew him, and of meeting his devoted family members. The world was brightened by the presence of this gentleman, and he will be missed. My prayer for you all, and especially for you, Audrey, is that God will give you comfort as you surrender your beloved husband and father to his eternal Father in heaven. May God bless you all!

  • Belleville
  • IL
Kathy and Larry Hill said : Guest Report Oct 10, 2019 at 10:24 AM

We want to extend our deepest sympathy to you Aunt Audrey and to the whole loving family. Such a wonderful gentleman. May you find peace in all of the wonderful times you shared. May your strong family and God get you through. Love, Kathy and Larry

  • MO
Maureen Richter said : Guest Report Oct 10, 2019 at 12:20 AM

Nancy, so sorry for your loss Praying for you and the Ernst family Maureen

  • Belleville

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