Ernest Edward Fiene, Jr., age 86, of Johnson Lake, died surrounded by family on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019 at the Lexington Regional Health Center in Lexington.
Funeral services will be on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019 at 10:30 AM at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, in Elwood, with the Rev. Michael D. Wolff, officiating. Interment will follow at Elwood Cemetery, Elwood.
Viewing and visitation will be Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. with family present at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church at Elwood.
He was born in a home on a hillside south of Eustis on Aug. 12, 1932 to Ernest Henry Fiene, Sr. and Clara Martha (Oelkers) Fiene.
Ernie was baptized at Salem Lutheran Church Sept. 18, 1932. He was confirmed at Salem Lutheran Church May 5, 1946. He attended Salem Lutheran School south of Eustis and graduated from the 8th grade in May 1947. He began working outside the farm at an early age helping nearby farmers and took over most of the farm duties when his father was injured in an auto accident in 1950.
In 1952 he was inducted into the Armed Forces and took basic training and officer’s training at Camp Chaffee, Ark. He was shipped to Pusan, Korea where he was 1st Sergeant in the 2nd Infantry in the Korean Conflict until he was honorably discharged in 1954.
Following his return from Korea, he was employed by Remmenga Drilling Co. in Elwood. Ernie worked for a time with Beckmann Construction and later started Fiene Construction Company in 1960 building homes and burying telephone cable.
On June 16, 1957 he married Dorothy Elizabeth Hansen in the Elwood Methodist Church and they made their home in Elwood. Into this union, three children were born, Shannon Elizabeth, Sue Ann, and Jonathan Edward.
In 1970, he started Elk-O-Inc. Irrigation Sales and Service west of Elwood where he loved working until his passing. Ernie was an entrepreneur. He enjoyed hunting, could fix anything and collected antique tractors. Ernie and Dorothy enjoyed many travels with friends and family over the years. One of his favorite trips was traveling to Washington, DC in April 2016 on the Dawson County Hero Flight.
In 1974, Ernie purchased his grandfather, Henry Oelkers’ homestead. He loved spending time at the farm and spent many years later in life renovating the farmhouse into a hunting lodge for the enjoyment of his grandsons.
Ernie and Dorothy designed and built a custom home on Johnson Lake in 1996, where they enjoyed many beautiful sunsets there.
Ernie was very active in the Elwood Community as a member of the Chamber of Commerce, the Rural Fire Department, The Elwood Volunteer Fire Department, the American Legion, Lions Club, Elwood Investment Club, and co-founder of the Gosper County Carnival Association where he was President for 10 years. He was an active member of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church. He was Chairman of the Building Committee and helped build the church.
He is survived by his children, Shannon, Sue (Greg Bruening) and Jonathan (Dixie); sisters-in-law, Carleen Fiene, Althea Schroeder, Lola Debban, Hilda Hansen; brother-in-law, Donald Hansen; grandchildren, Taylor Dennis, Derek (Oksana) Dennis, Brock Williams, Alexander Bruening, Erik Bruening, Justin (Alexa) Kraus, and Keegan Strohl; step-grandchildren, Megan Beres and Ashley Carr; great-grandson, Ryder Kraus; step-great-granddaughter, Blakely Beres. Many nieces, nephews, relatives, friends, and customers.
Ernie is preceded in death by his mother and father; his wife Dorothy; two brothers: Donald Fiene and Eldon Fiene; two sisters, Leoda Davis and Deloris McGrath; six brother-in-laws: Glen Davis, Dan McGrath, Howard Hansen, Lowell Hansen, Carroll Schroeder, and Bill Debban; four sisters-in-law, Marilyn Frost, Louise Fiene, Winnie Hansen, and Inez Hansen.
Memorials to Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Gosper County Carnival Association, American Legion (flags on Memorial Day), the Elwood Volunteer Fire Department, Dawson County Hero Flight. Elwood Funeral Home of Elwood, Nebraska is in charge of the arrangements.