Long-time Tri-Area resident Sue A. Ernst, 88, died peacefully on Wednesday, April 24. Born January 23, 1931 to Susan and Lloyd Walker in Beckley, West Virginia, she graduated with honors from Woodrow Wilson High School and went to work as a telephone operator. She married handsome Navy veteran H. Keith Ernst in 1951 and moved to Seattle on their honeymoon. A full-time homemaker while her children were young, Sue volunteered with the Seattle Children’s Orthopedic Hospital auxiliary, Garden Club, Camp Fire Girls and University Christian Church. She earned a Golden Acorn for years of PTA work. She later returned to community college for accounting classes, worked part-time as a bookkeeper and did the books and taxes for H. Keith Ernst Construction.
A repair job for friends led Keith and Sue to a water-front property for sale on Oak Bay, and they moved to the Port Ludlow “Beach House” after Keith retired. Widowed in 1987, Sue volunteered for shifts at the Tri-Area Visitor Center in Chimacum, assisted nurses with foot care at the Tri-Area Community Center, clerked at the Jefferson Healthcare Medical Center gift shop and participated in Garden Club. She also served in a variety of capacities at United Methodist Church in Hadlock—assisting with vacation Bible School, serving on finance and pastoral committees and participating in Bible study and ministry to the homeless. She was an active member and treasurer with the local and regional United Methodist Women organization. She also enjoyed travel—across Puget Sound on outings with friends, to Hawaii and across the country for family visits, around Great Britain and on cruises to Alaska and Panama. In 2018 she moved to an assisted living apartment in Kenmore.
Sue was a devoted wife and mother, an attentive grandmother and an affectionate friend who made the little things special, including homemade cherry pie, trips through the carwash with her grandsons and lively card games. She is survived by son Lyell Ernst and wife Susan; daughter Cheryl Ernst and husband Andy Yamaguchi; grandsons Brett and Jameson Ernst, Matthew Uchida and Ben Yamaguchi; four great-grandchildren; brother John Walker and his wife Helen; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Celebration of Life is Sunday June 9, 2 p.m. at Port Hadlock Community United Methodist Church. Memorial gifts may be made to the church Benevolence Fund, 130 Church Lane, Port Hadlock, WA 98339 or Jefferson Healthcare Foundation, www.jeffersonhealthcarefoundation.org/givin