Ernest R. Schanzenbach
1940, 792, Roubaix, F-6
Ernest Schanzenbach of Spearfish, South Dakota, died in comfort and peace in the wonderful hospice wing of the Ft. Meade Veteran’s Administration Hospital near Sturgis on January 7, 2018; he was 97.
Ernie was inurned at the Black Hills National Cemetery, and a memorial service was held at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church with Fr. John Paul Trask officiating at both.
Ernie was born in Akaska, SD, on Nov. 18, 1920 to Lydia Ochsner and Christ Schanzenbach. Ernie was one of thirteen children. The siblings scattered throughout the Western US during the Great Depression and World War II; however, they maintained a strong bond throughout their lives. Ernie was predeceased by all twelve siblings and their spouses: Elsie (Joe) Virginia, Millie (Bill) Simon, Emil (Gerta), Harold (Lorraine), Ruth (Marion) Hansen, Oscar, Esther, Hazel (Sam) Boehler, Lucille (Bob) Stoll, Melvin (Betty), Leroy (Marie) and Gene. Ernie stayed in contact with his many nieces and nephews for whom he cared deeply.
Ernie attended school in Glenham, SD, although high school studies were interrupted by a stint in President Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps in which 23,000 young men from SD served. Ernie was assigned to a camp at Roubaix, SD, in the Black Hills. He returned to Glenham, finished up high school, and enlisted in the US Navy in 1941. He was sent for electrician’s training at the Naval Training School at Purdue University. He was then assigned to one of the 1000 LSTs (Landing Ship, Tanks) which were hastily built at the onset of the War. He served on LST 210 as an electrician’s mate from mid-1942 until it was decommissioned in late 1945. His most active time at sea was during operations on the West Coast of Italy beginning in Sicily and moving up the coast to Salerno and Anzio.
After discharge in December of 1945, he returned to South Dakota and commenced a 35-year career with Montana Dakota Utilities; a company for which he was proud to work. In 1950, he married MDU’s home economist in Mobridge, Joan Funk. They were married 67 years. Ernie enjoyed many happy times at the Funk family ranch in Montana and was close to his new family as well.
Ernie and Joan had two daughters, Robyn and Lorna. The family lived in Eureka from 1956-1981 until Ernie retired from MDU. He enjoyed the community and his coworkers. He was active in civic affairs, serving on the City Council from 1969-1978.
Ernie and Joan moved to Spearfish after his retirement. He used his retirement years wisely; day trips with Joan, hiking, trout fishing and snow skiing. (He held a season’s ski pass until he was 90.)
Ernie is survived by Joan (of Spearfish), Robyn (of San Francisco) and Lorna (of the Seattle area) to whom he was a devoted husband and father, albeit, one with an eye rolling sense of humor. He mercilessly teased his grandson, Joe, and he was very proud to call Lorna’s husband, Paul Roggenkamp, his son-in-law.
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