Former longtime Le Mars Community Middle School teacher Steven H. Ernst, 60, died Feb. 9, 2004, at his home in Atlantic of lung cancer.
Steve was born Feb. 15, 1943, in Greenfield, the son of Howard LaVerne Ernst and Fay Eudene (Endres) Ernst. He graduated with the Class of 1961 from Greenfield High School. After graduation from the University of Northern Iowa in 1966, Steve began a 33-year teaching and coaching career in the Fairfield, Estherville, Carroll and Le Mars school systems.
Steve married Helen Puck from Audubon on Aug. 7, 1966, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Greenfield.
While teaching in Estherville and at the height of the Vietnam War, Steve was drafted into the United States Army. He served proudly with Company A, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry, 1st Air Cavalry Division. During his one year tour of duty as an infantryman, Steve earned a Purple Heart, two Bronze Star Medals, Air Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, two Unit Citations, Vietnam Service Medal and the Vietnam Campaign Medal.
Upon retiring from teaching in 1999, Steve and his wife enjoyed working for three years as the men's residence hall directors at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mt. Pleasant. They retired to Atlantic in 2002 where Steve resumed classroom teaching as a substitute teacher in several surrounding school systems.
Among the many blessings of Steve and Helen's 37-year marriage were the joys brought to them by their children: their son, Jason and his wife, Carie of Boise, Idaho, and their daughter, Carrie, of Lincoln, Neb.
Steve is also survived by his mother, Eudene of Greenfield; his sister and brother-in-law, Sally and Rex Sorensen of Atlantic; his brother and sister-in-law, Bill and Jane Ernst and their children Nick, Brad, Liz and Mike of Greenfield; as well as many other relatives and friends.
Steve is rejoined in Heaven with his father, Howard, and his twin sisters, Donna and Diane.
Memorial services for Steve will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Greenfield. Full military rites will be conducted by Greenfield American Legion Head Endres Post 265 and VFW Post 5357. There will be no visitation. The Steen Funeral Home of Greenfield is in charge of arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Grace Lutheran Church Memorial Fund, Le Mars, in thankful praise to God for the Christian education Steve and Helen's children received there.