David Dwight Ernst, 81, of Hamilton, passed away on Saturday, April 13, 2019, at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy.
David was born in Keokuk, Iowa, on May 16, 1937, to J. Dwight and Doris (Baxter) Ernst. David graduated from Hamilton High School and Western Illinois University. David married Keela Daugherty on September 16, 1962, at the First Christian Church in Hamilton. David and Keela have three daughters: Denise Ernst (Steve Holmes) of Dallas, Texas; Diana (Burton) Surface of Marshall, Missouri; and Debra (Mike) Walker of Hingham, Massachusetts. David and Keela’s grandchildren are: Taylor (Brent) Boland, Olivia Loges, Lauren Walker and Jackson Walker.
David lived and farmed north of Hamilton, Illinois, all of his life except for the time he was in the United States Army. David was a member of the Hamilton Christian Church, being a past Elder and Board Chairman, and is presently a member of the First Christian Church in Keokuk, Iowa. David was a fifty year member of Black Hawk Masonic Lodge, serving as a Past Master and was also a fifty year member of Grace Chapter Order of the Eastern Star and a Past Worthy Patron. David was a member of the Scottish Rite Quincy Consistory and a member of the Mohammed Shriners. David was a past board member of the Hamilton School District, past board member of Hancock County Farm Bureau, and served on the Sonora Township Board. He was also a member of the Country Lariats Dance Club for many years. During high school and college, David raised purebred Hereford cattle and won the Female Reserve Champion at the 1954 Western Illinois Hereford Breeders Association Annual Spring Show and Sale.
David’s favorite thing to do was running his boat up and down the Mississippi River. David spent countless hours pulling his daughters and their friends on water skis. David took two boat trips and has been through all but one of the Locks and Dams on the Mississippi River. David also liked to work on cars and machinery. David enjoyed attending his daughter’s and grandchildren’s activities and in recent years, he drove many miles to visit his daughters and their families.
David’s life will be celebrated with a funeral service at 10 am on Friday, April 26, 2019, at the First Christian Church in Keokuk. Burial with full military rites rendered by the Hancock County Honor Guard will follow at Oak Grove Cemetery in rural Hamilton. Visitation will be held on Thursday, April 25, 2019, from 3 to 8 pm, with family meeting friends from 6 to 8 pm at Printy Funeral Home in Hamilton. A Masonic Service will be held at 8 pm on Thursday directly following the visitation.
Memorials in David’s memory may be directed to HUGS of Hancock County, First Christian Church of Keokuk, or Western Illinois Threshers.