Ernie passed away September 22, 2021 after a hard fought battle with stomach cancer. He was born at home in Gordon, Nebraska on August 12, 1949. He lived in Oregon, California, Wisconsin, and Washington State. Ernie went to high school in Yakima, Wa. He joined the Navy and was proud of serving our country. He was on the USS Independence and a helicopter rescue swimmer. He attended the University of Wisconsin majoring in Landscape Architecture. We still fly the Badger flag on game days. He owned Coyote Construction. Maintained grounds and parks of Grand Coulee and other areas. He most recently was a Financial Adviser at Wells Fargo until retirement last December. There he made several close friends and enjoyed working and getting together with them. Ernie was a special person who enhanced the lives of those lucky enough to have met him. He was awarded the Carnegie medal for extraordinary heroism. Washington State Patrol merit award. He was an enrolled tribal member of Oglala Sioux. You were a friend for life, never judged and always respected when you met him. Ernie enjoyed basketball, scuba diving, sailing, mountain climbing, hunting, fishing, biking and running. He loved his dog Piper who was with him when he passed. His passion was cooking. A self-taught chef with a flair for pairing the perfect wine with his gourmet meals and delicious desserts. He lit up a room with his personality and always entertaining with many jokes and storytelling. He loved traveling Europe during his time in the Navy. Later in life he enjoyed seeing Japan, Canada, Tonga, the Caribbean, Puerto Rico and more. Ernie and Kay’s favorite place was sailing in the San Juan’s with his good buddy Darryl Paulson and wife Judy. Ernie’s partner in life for 35 years, Kay Sneva and her two children, TJ and Shelby filled his life with love and pride. Kay’s family was always his family. He was their rock. Kay’s mother, Jean Kress, moved into their home before Covid hit. Ernie said it was the right thing to do. He leaves behind TJ Sneva and wife Lauren, and their two daughters Winter and Mari, Shelby and husband Ben and daughter Solveig. He also leaves behind Kay’s brother, Alan Hanson and wife Marie, son Brady and two daughters Lily and Maya, Kay’s late brother Curt Hanson his wife Onwarin and his son Inness and his family Tessa, Echo and Maddi. He leaves behind his siblings Nick, Ron, Rick, Diana and Pam. Many Nieces, Nephews and cousins. Ernie was a blessing in Kay’s life and the love of her life. To all our close friends we will celebrate Ernie’s life at a later date. If you would like to make a donation in Ernie’s Name, he volunteered for Vanessa Behan for many years. We pray we can put this horrible pandemic behind us. We wish good health for everyone during these trying times. Ernie was the perfect mensch in every sense. Love you all, Kay. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. To check for updated service information, and to leave an online condolence to Ernie’s family, please visit our website at www.HennesseyFuneralHomes.com.
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