Ernest A. Goertz, 88, passed away on Friday night (Feb. 18, 2011) at Bethesda Home in Goessel.


Ernest A. Goertz, 88, passed away on Friday night (Feb. 18, 2011) at Bethesda Home in Goessel.
He was born on May 2, 1922, at home in rural Harvey County to Henry and Martha (Schmidt) Goertz, the fifth of six children.
Ernest graduated from Walton High School in 1940, and served in Civilian Public Service during World War II, where life-long friendships were formed. After CPS, he returned to farming, which he continued until his retirement in 1999 at age 77. Ernest cared greatly for the land and adopted conservation practices early, including building terraces and waterways on land he rented, as well as acreage he owned.
He married Elma (Goertzen) on Aug. 11, 1947, and they settled on a farm in the Goessel community, where they raised wheat, cattle and eight children.
Ernest was baptized and became a member of Tabor Mennonite Church in May 1940, and remained an active participant for as long as he was able. During the years, he served in numerous capacities, including being a trustee and deacon, participating in Mennonite Men and teaching Sunday school. His faith was an important and meaningful part of his life and provided solace in the face of accidents and illnesses in the family.
Due to declining health, Ernest entered Bethesda Home in Goessel on March 10, 2009, where he lived for the remainder of his life.
Survivors include his wife, Elma, of the home; daughter-in-law, Alice Goertz of Goshen, Ind.; daughter, Ruth and husband, Les Reiselt of  North Port, Fla.; daughter, Emily of Seattle; daughter, Dorothy and husband, Chuck Bernstein of Portland, Conn.; son, Joel of Goessel; daughter, Esther and husband, Stan Epp of Newton; daughter, Naomi and husband, Chris Ingram of Cincinnati; brothers, Art, Alvin and Richard; 11 grandchildren, Jeremiah, Marvin and Isaiah Goertz, Spencer and Winston Goertz Giffin, Abigail, Joanna, Elizabeth and Susannah Epp, and Kathryn and Alexander Ingram; and three great-grandchildren, Morgan, Toby and Henry Goertz.
Preceding him in death were his parents; daughter, Mary; son, Henry; and sisters, Rachel Ratzlaff and Bertha Schroeder.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Miller-Ott Funeral Home in Goessel, with the family present from 6 to 8 p.m.  
Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Tabor Mennonite Church in rural Goessel. Pastor Corey Miller will officiate. Burial will follow in Tabor Mennonite Church Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to Mennonite Central Committee or Bethesda Home in care of Miller-Ott Funeral Home in Goessel.