KENNETH GEORGE ERNSBERGER II
May 15, 1943 – April 23, 2022
Kenneth George Ernsberger II, 78, of Union, Michigan, entered Eternal Life surrounded by his family's love, prayer, and music on Saturday, April 23, 2022, at 9:36 p.m. at Ascension Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
On July 15, 1967, Ken married the love of his life, Nancy Ann (DeLucenay). He was a devoted husband of nearly 55 years to his sweetheart Nancy. To their children and grandchildren, they are known as the Lovebirds and were such a beautiful example of love, commitment, and adventure in every stage of life. They were blessed with two children, Ken (Amie) Ernsberger and Michelle (Charles) Hendrix, along with their grandchildren Renée (Alex) Bohr, Aleka Ernsberger, Karley Hendrix (Justin Barr), Annelise Hendrix, Quade Ernsberger, Michaela, and Jocelyn Hendrix. He was a loving and supportive father who prepared his children for God's mission in their lives and had a lot of fun on the way. Ken's motto was "we work hard, and we play hard!" He was Scout Master for his son's Boy Scout Troop #599 and volunteered his music skills in the White Pigeon High School Jazz Band, even earning an H.S. letter with his daughter!
On May 15, 1943, Ken was born in Elkhart, Indiana, to Kenneth Ernsberger and Zula (Peggy) (Clifford) Yoder. As a youngster, he held two paper routes, one before and one after school, throughout Goshen, where he graduated from high school. Ken entered the National Guard after school and specialized in field communications for 6 years. He was very patriotic and supportive of the Armed Services.
Ken's great love of music began early as he learned to play guitar. He studied at George's House of Music in Goshen, Indiana, later working his way to sales and teaching. He entertained in bands, duos, and as a single throughout his life. In retirement, Ken immensely enjoyed making music locally as he reconnected with former band member Pat DeFreeze. They entertained in the community, the Courtyard, Goshen Alumni gatherings, and on Facebook.
Ken was a skilled master machinist working throughout his early years at NIBCO, then becoming self-employed as Ernsberger Machinery Repair and finally retiring early from Bayer Corporation. Ken and Nancy enjoyed traveling in nearly all 50 states. They made many of their
favorite memories with their family and dear friends, especially Roger and Bonnie Neal, in Crystal, Colorado, staying the Summers there for many years. Ken and Nancy also had many memorable years in Lake Havasu, Arizona, where Ken enjoyed exploring, hiking, and making music with some very talented friends throughout the winter. He was even blessed to join many of them on Facebook weekly for Open Mic Havasu produced by Claudia Stack.
He was mechanical and a tinkerer; he enjoyed working on cars, motorcycles, bicycles, anything that moved, and later in life, his Kubota tractor. Early in his life, he drag-raced his car and went on motorcycle trips with Nancy and their many friends. Ken was a man of adventure. In his 40's, he discovered bicycling with his son. Ken participated in many competitive racing events, distance rides, and fundraising opportunities throughout the Midwest into his 50s. He hiked and rode his ATV throughout the West through the mountains and deserts through his 70s.
Ken was so grateful to God for his grandchildren. He loved, supported, and encouraged them in their many gifts and talents. Ken and Nancy attended their events; no distance was too far or duration too long to cheer them on. His grandchildren were his biggest fans and were inspired to hear his stories and adventures.
For Ken, his Catholic faith was very important to him. He shared his gift of music in the early years with St. Vincent De Paul, Elkhart, Indiana, and later with St. Mary's of the Assumption in Bristol, Indiana. Ken had a profound devotion to the True Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.
He is survived by his wife, children, and grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, Kenneth Ernsberger, Zula (Peggy) and Daniel Yoder, Floyd and Genevieve Hostetler, his brother Michael Dean Ernsberger and nephew Michael Dean Ernsberger II.
In lieu of flowers, if you would like to honor Ken, the family has requested donations be made to Misericordia Foundation. https://www.misericordia.com/donate/supporting-misericordias-mission/
The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. Monday May 2, 2022, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Bristol, Indiana. Fr. Bob VanKempen will preside. Friends may visit with the family for 1 hours prior to the start of mass. Following the mass there will be full military honors rendered and then cremation will follow. Burial will be private at St. Vincent Cemetery at a later date. ~Information to follow for a Celebration of Life Jam Session Event. Details forthcoming.
Walley-Mills-Zimmerman Funeral Home is entrusted with Kens care.
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