John "Jack" F. Ernst
John "Jack" F. Ernst, 81 of Cedar Rapids died unexpectedly Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, at Mercy Medical Center. Private graveside services at the Cedar Memorial Park Cemetery. Cedar Memorial Park Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Jack was born Dec. 27, 1939, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to Floyd and Wilma (Parkan) Ernst. In 1958, he was in the first graduating class of Cedar Rapids Thomas Jefferson High School, where at age 15 he met his best friend, his soul mate, the love of his life, Jeanette Thorson. They were married on June 9, 1962, and were blessed with 57 wonderful years of marriage, three children and right grandchildren.
He was a faithful husband, father, brother, neighbor and friend. He attended the University of Iowa and worked at Harnischfeger, ultimately retiring from Rockwell Collins. He humbly served in the Iowa National Guard.
Jack loved nature and doing things outdoors, particularly yard work, hunting, fishing and yearly trips to Minnesota. He enjoyed building things and working with his hands, for which he was very talented and gifted. Jack was also a sports fan and loved watching games. He was the ultimate helper, always there to lend a hand to anyone in need. Jack was a common figure at Grateful Grannies, the charitable organization he and his wife founded many years before. He always helped without complaint, happily, cheerfully and faithfully supporting others.
Despite his many interests, church and family were the most important to him. He was active in St. Jude Catholic Church for many years. Jack loved his family and was devoted, strong and faithful to the very end. He was the solid rock foundation that his family was built upon, and his love for them was unwavering and readily visible to all of those around him. His gentle heart and kind spirit will be missed by all.
Jack is survived by his son, John (Maureen) Ernst of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; daughters, Joy (John) Fitzgerald of Dallas, Texas, and Sherry Pilarczyk of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; sister, Judy Kindig of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; brothers, Gary (Mary) Ernst of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Mike (Marcia) Ernst of Branson, Mo.; grandchildren, Evan (Mindy) Ernst, Lillie Ernst, Ryan Fitzgerald, Brendan Fitzgerald, Jenna Fitzgerald, Daisy (Derek) Hanshaw, Mack Pilarczyk and Jamie Pilarczyk; great-niece, Stephanie (Clint) Fangman of Ely, Iowa; longtime friend, Tom Rosenberger of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents and beloved wife, whom he is undoubtedly rejoicing with today.
Memorial donations may be directed to "Grateful Grannies, Cedar Rapids Community School Foundation" at 2500 Edgewood Rd. NW. Please leave a message or tribute to Jack's family on our web page, www.cedarmemorial.com under obituaries.
"Well done, good and faithful servant!" Matthew 25:21.