CHARLESTON, IL – Garry E. Ernst, age 78 of Charleston and formerly of Panama City, Florida, passed away on Friday, May 1, 2020 at Carle Foundation Hospital. A private visitation and funeral service, honoring his life, will be held at Adams Funeral Chapel on May 5, 2020 with Reverends Darin Elder and Rebecca Nevius officiating. Burial will follow in Greenhill Cemetery in Sullivan, Illinois. Memorials in his honor may be made to Old State Road Christian Church and mailed in care of Adams Funeral Chapel, 2330 Shawnee Drive, Charleston, Illinois 61920.
Garry was born November 15, 1941 in Kinmundy, Illinois, a son of the late Eugene and Louise (Spencer) Ernst. He was a graduate of Kinmundy High School, a 1963 graduate of Eastern Illinois University, and received his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Illinois. Garry was a Veteran of both the Army and Air Force and in 1974 he opened Ernst Animal Hospital in Panama City. He retired from veterinary medicine as the owner of Forest Park Animal Hospital in Panama City. When living in Florida he was a member of the Panama City United Methodist Church, the Northside Rotary Club and Elks Lodge. Garry was also blessed with many friends with whom he enjoyed boating and trips to Shell Island.
Garry married Janet (Elder) Hall on April 14, 2004 in Charleston and just recently they celebrated 16 years of marriage. In addition to his loving and devoted wife Janet, he is survived by a stepdaughter, Kim Steffes of Charleston; a brother, Charles Ernst and wife Karen of Dow, Illinois; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by two sisters, Betty Polanka and Shirley Ekman.
Garry attended Old State Road Christian Church with Janet and together they enjoyed traveling. He grew up on a farm and never lost his love for farming or for John Deere tractors - Garry remained a farmer at heart! He also enjoyed deer hunting and playing a round or two of golf. Garry’s passion for Corvettes was evident and with Jan’s help he was able to proudly restore two. Garry will always be remembered as a thoughtful, kind and caring man by his family and friends.
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