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Herbert D. Ernst
January 14, 1939 ~ November 9, 2023 (age 84) 84 Years Old
Herbert David Ernst, 84, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his family, on November 9, 2023. His beloved wife of 63 years, Joanne, held his hand as he walked to the gates of heaven.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 AM Monday, November 13, 2023 at St. Anthony Church, Dubuque with Rev. Steven Rosonke officiating. Burial will follow in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Key West.
Visitation will be from 1:30 to 5:30 on Sunday, November 12, 2023, at Leonard Funeral Home & Crematory, 2595 Rockdale Road with a prayer service to be held at 1:15.
Herb was born on January 14, 1939, in St. Donatus, Iowa, the son of Joseph and Josephine (Ries) Ernst. One of eleven children, he grew up on the family farm on Spruce Creek and met the love of his life when they were just kids. Herbert and Joanne were married October 8, 1960 at St. Donatus Catholic Church and inspired many people with their faith-filled marriage.
His passion for John Deere started with his work at Goetz Implement and continued with his 36-year career at John Deere Dubuque Works, where he was a member of the UAW Local 94 and retired in 1994. A faith-centered man, Herb was a member of Holy Ghost Parish then St. Anthony Parish.
Nothing made Herbie prouder than his family. His wife, kids, grandkids, and extended family have fond memories of playing cards, going on tractor rides, Killin’ Time on the pontoon on the Mississippi River, summer vacations up north, trips to Talladega, and years of deer hunting together. Grandpa Herbie enjoyed cheering on his grandkids and never smiled bigger than when he was holding one of his great-grandkids. Known for his perfectly manicured lawn and always clean vehicle, Herb was quick with a one-liner and always ready to share a cookie, split a beer, or offer a swig of spring water.
Herb is survived by his wife, Joanne; five children, Kevin (Connie) Ernst, Fran (Lisa) Ernst, Mark (Julie) Ernst, Tim (Tara Odefey) Ernst, and Julie (Joe) Bradley–all of Dubuque; thirteen grandchildren: Daniel (Lis) Ernst, David (Katrina) Ernst, Andrew (Miranda) Ernst, Tara (Robby) Keppler, Ashley (Shawn) Olson, Ryan (Casey) Ernst, Jared Knautz, Bailey Ernst, Stephen Bradley, Alyssa Ernst, Larissa Bradley, Jacob Ernst, and Cailyn Ernst; ten great-grandchildren: Ava, Mia, Emma, Olivia, Mickie, Allie, William, Eli, Mac, and Miles Ernst; siblings and in-laws: Mary Lou Griebel, Olivia Ernst, Frieda Ernst, Pat Ernst, Betty (Gerald) Koos, and Mildred Haxmeier.
He is preceded in death by his parents; a daughter-in-law, Cynthia (Snyder) Ernst; siblings and in-laws: Harold (Ann) Ernst, Carl Ernst, Joseph (Shirley) Ernst, Norbert (Mary) Ernst, Algean Ernst, Alice (Lavern) Weinschenk, Marvin “Jim” (Mary Joan) Ernst, Donald Ernst, Greg Ernst, Lawrence Griebel Jr., Mary (Donald) Helmle, Donald (Marilyn) Haxmeier, Lois (Ardell) Deppe, Wayne “Bud” Haxmeier, Shirley (Joseph) Ernst, and Gerald “Gerry” Haxmeier.
Special thank you to the wonderful team at Hospice of Dubuque, especially Kris H, Hayle, Nichole, and Sarah, as well as the fifth-floor care team at Finley Hospital, especially his nurse, Amy. Your kindness and compassion will never be forgotten.