William D. Ernst, 71

William D. “Billy” Ernst, age 71, of Young America, passed away Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, at his home.

He was born July 26, 1946, in Glencoe, the son of William and Eunice (Emich) Ernst. William was baptized Aug. 18, 1946, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Lester Prairie by the Rev. R.A. Ritz; and confirmed April 10, 1960, at Zion Lutheran Church in Mayer, by the Rev. Fred Riedel.

William was united in marriage to Faye Gongoll Aug. 2, 1969, at Zion Lutheran Church in Mayer.

William was born and raised on a farm. He was always a farmer at heart, helping out many different farmers throughout the years with their field work, which was his first passion. After that, he enjoyed cutting down trees and splitting wood for many people.

Billy belonged to the North Star Chapter Pioneer Club. He was a hard worker, helping out anyone who needed his assistance. Even after retiring, he continued hauling construction trailers for Allied Construction.

Billy was very involved at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Young America, serving as a trustee for many years, ushering, and playing on the dart ball league. He played on Bohnen’s softball team, and also on Mayer Town Team baseball. Billy was a proud supporter of Young America Cardinals Baseball, and spent countless hours at the ballpark, where he was known for his “Billy Burgers.” He ran the scoreboard all weekend at Stiftungsfest softball tournament for many years, and a member of the chain gang at Mayer Lutheran High School football games for a number of years.

Billy was proud of his military service, serving as a Marine in Vietnam. He was a member of the VFW post 1783 in Young America.

He had worked at Century Link for 40 years in install and repair.

Billy’s biggest joy was watching his grandchildren at all of their sporting events throughout the year.

He was preceded in death by his parents, William and Eunice Ernst; father-in-law and mother-in-law, David and Evelyn Gongoll; and brother-in-law Gary DeMorett.

William is survived by his loving family: wife Faye; son Eric Ernst of Montrose; daughter Amy Ernst Corrigan of Young America; grandchildren Adam Ernst, Adriana Ernst, Riley Corrigan, and Christopher Corrigan; sisters and brothers-in-law Charlotte and Dale Jopp of Mayer, Susan and Peter Lenz of Waconia, Nadine and Dennis Jopp of Maple Lake, Nancy and Gerald Adams of Jackson, MO, Wanda and Rob Yelton of Annandale, and Jill and Rick Moore of St. Cloud; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law ReNaye and Doug Molnau of Young America, and Fred and Julie Gongoll of Mayer; nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends.

His funeral service took place Wednesday, Aug. 30, at 11 a.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Young America, with the Rev. Josh Bernau officiating. Interment was at St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery.

There was visitation Tuesday, Aug. 29 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the church, continuing Wednesday one hour prior to the service.

Casket bearers were David Jopp, Tim Jopp, Todd Jopp, Troy Lenz, Jake Adams, Nathan Adams, Josh Adams, David Gongoll, and Cody Molnau.

The Young America Cardinals baseball team were honorary casket bearers.

Arrangements were with the Johnson Funeral Home in Waconia; www.johnsonfh.com.

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