Joe Ernst, 87, of Hiawatha, passed away Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, at his home. Funeral Mass: 10:30 a.m. Tuesday,
Jan. 21, at St. Matthew Catholic Church in Cedar Rapids by the Rev. Don Czapla. Visitation: one hour prior to the service at church. Burial with military honors in St. Mary's Cemetery, rural Urbana. Stewart Baxter Funeral & Memorial Services, Cedar Rapids, is caring for Joe and his family.
Survivors include his siblings, Eileen (Dean) Wayson of San Diego, Calif., Mary Struzynski of Tiffin and Earl (JoAnne) Ernst of Marion; brother-in-law, Ron Franklin of Central City; numerous nieces and nephews; and many extended family members, friends, and Iowa Manufacturing colleagues.
Joseph John Ernst was born Nov. 5, 1932, to Leo and Margaret (Kleitsch) Ernst on the family farm in rural Urbana. Joe joined the U.S. Army, serving his country with pride in Korea. He began working for Iowa Manufacturing in 1950, cutting metal with perfectly straight lines he was known to be the "best of the best" at Iowa Man. He proudly retired after 46 and-a-half years in 1996. Joe enjoyed old tractors, going to farm sales, enjoying coffee with the guys at local cafes such as Oscar's in Hiawatha, and was very skilled with his hands he could fix just about anything. He belonged to the Cedar Rapids VFW Post 788 and the Marion American Legion Post 298, and was a longtime member of St. Matthew Catholic Church.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Carol Franklin; nephew, Gary Franklin; and brother-in-law, Ivan Struzynski.
Memorials may be directed to Camp Courageous in Joe's name.
Joe's family would like to thank Dr. Ghosh and staff for their generous care given to Joe.
Please share your support and memories with Joe's family on his tribute wall at www.stewartbaxter.com under obituaries.