Donald E. Ernst, 95, of Minoa passed away at home on Tuesday, February 14. He was born March 9, 1921 in Brewster, Ohio to Earl and Ida Ernst. He attended local schools and graduated from Brewster High School in 1938. His family had moved to East Syracuse in 1937. He did a post-graduate year of high school at East Syracuse High School. Don worked at Rothchild's Drugstore in East Syracuse following graduation. During WW II, he received training in aviation manufacturing in Syracuse and relocated to Bridgeport, CT to work in the manufacture of the F4U Corsair Fighter Plane at Pratt Whitney. He retired from General Electric in Syracuse in 1983 after 37 years of service.
He married his beloved wife Louise Reitnauer in 1948. They moved to Minoa in 1956 where they raised four children.
Don was an avid sports enthusiast. His passion was baseball which Louise heartily supported. He played semi-pro baseball for the East Syracuse Chiefs and later played senior softball until the age of 79 on the Syracuse Cyclones Softball Team. He was proud of their World Championship win in 2000 in Michigan. He travelled with the team to England, Arizona, Florida, and California, often accompanied by Louise.
Don was a faithful and dedicated member of the First United Church of East Syracuse. He served his church in many capacities including Sunday School teacher and superintendent and as a member of the Parish Council.
His four grandchildren were his pride and joy. He was blessed in July 2016 with the birth of his first great-grandson.
He is survived by his daughter Susan (Paul) Spero and their children Katie (Paul) Carr, Danica (Brandon) Blincoe, Kristina Spero and Eric Spero; his sons Kenneth, Keith and Richard (Craig). his great-grandson Grayson Carr; his sisters Mary Emily Simmons and Ivon Butman and his sister-in-law Elda Ernst; as well as many nieces and nephews. Don was predeceased by his wife Louise Reitnauer Ernst and his brother Eugene.
In accordance with Don's wishes, there will be no calling hours. A private memorial service for family and church members will be held Sunday February 19 at 12 noon at the church. Donations in Don's memory can be made to the First United Church of East Syracuse, 823 Franklin Park Drive, East Syracuse, NY 13057.