John Robert Ernst, Jr., 78, a retired Major in the United States Air Force, passed peacefully on Sunday, January 14, 2018.
John was born in Syracuse, NY on December 21, 1939 to John and Anna Ernst. He enlisted in the United States Air Force and married Barbara Hale in 1960. While serving, he earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and became a commissioned officer. He honorably served for 23 years. After military retirement from Scott Air Force Base, John completed a second career as Director of Operations and Disaster Control Manager at General American Life Insurance Company, St. Louis, MO. John was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. He had a passion for music including percussion and accordion. John and Barbara were avid square dancers, he served as president of the Scott Air Force Base Galaxy Twirlers. After his second retirement, John and Barbara enjoyed living and taking care of their country home in New Memphis, IL. He will be deeply missed by his friends, family, and all who knew him.
He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Anna Ernst, Sr., nee Rohme; brother, Robert Ernst.
John is survived by his wife, Barbara Ernst, nee Hale; children, John “Jack” Ernst III and fiancé Valerie Capps, David and Amanda Ernst; grandchildren, Jeremy Ernst, Amber and Zack Green, Adam Ernst, Austin Ernst; and great grandchildren, Elijah and Alivia Green.
Memorials may be made to Air Force Association Wings Society (www.AFA.org/Wings2018). Condolences may be extended to the family online at www.schildknechtfh.com.
Visitation will be held on Sunday, January 21, 2018 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Schildknecht Funeral Home 301 South Lincoln Avenue O’Fallon, Illinois 62269
Funeral Service will be at Schildknecht Funeral Home on Monday, January 22, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. with Rev. Jack Swank officiating.
Burial will follow at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Schildknecht Funeral Home.