Ernest was born August 14, 1914 in Galien, Michigan, the son of Christian and Pauline Strefling. He worked on the family farm with his father and brothers as a young man, and he always loved the land. Ernest went on to graduate from Western Michigan University with a lifetime teaching certificate, and taught high school math and science in Fairview, Michigan for several years. Ernest subsequently moved to Lansing and began a career at General Motors as a chemical engineer. He retired from G.M. in 1980 after 38 years of dedicated service.
Ernest treasured his family and was a lifelong man of faith. He was a member of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lansing for nearly 70 years and was honored to serve as a church elder. Ernest always remained an avid gardener, and he received great pleasure in sharing his exquisite roses with others. He loved music, dancing, and his German heritage as well. Ernest spoke the German language beautifully. He will be dearly missed by his family.
Ernest is survived by his son, Christian (Mary) of Manistee; daughter, Barbara of Lansing; grandson, Paul of East Lansing; sisters, Martha Spitzer and Violet Hartline; and many extended, dear family members. Ernest was preceded in death in by his beloved wife of 65 years, Katherine, in 2010; daughter, Patricia; brothers, Reinhart, Ed, Walter, Paul, and Ben Strefling; and sisters, Ida Kugler, Dorothy Mertz, and Clara Horak.
The funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, December 30, 2011 at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 501 W. Saginaw, Lansing, with the Rev. Richard Laeder and the Rev. G. Travis Downs co-officiating. Burial will follow at Evergreen Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 4-8 p.m. on Thursday at the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Ernest’s memory may be made to Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church or Sparrow Hospice House of Mid-Michigan. The family wishes to extend their heartfelt appreciation to Dr. Mark Ensberg and the wonderful staff and volunteers of Hospice House for their kind and compassionate care.