Ernest Wingen

Ernest W. Wingen, 88, of New Ulm, MN died Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011 at the Oak Hills Living Center in New Ulm, MN. Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m., Friday, Jan. 6, 2012 at St. Anthony's Catholic Church, Hoven,


SD, with Father Kevin Doyle, celebrant. Inurnment, with military rites by the John J. Peter's American Legion post 159, Hoven, will follow at the church cemetery. Organist will be Alice Simon, St. Anthony's Church Choir will sing, and Sharon Rausch will be soloist. Lector will be Jim Dahl and eucharistic minister will be Bob Keller. Mass server will be Peter Rausch and offertory gifts will be presented by Nicole Johnston, Bona Ellis, Brianna Karlen, Aaron Dahl and Brittany Huber.

There was a wake service at the church 7 p.m. Thursday with visitation beginning at 6 p.m.

Ernest William Wingen was born on Sept. 9, 1923 in Salem, to Patrick B. and Sophie (Werner) Wingen.  He attended St. Mary's High School in Salem and graduated with the class of 1941.  After high school, Ernie began studying at South Dakota State University in Brookings, but took a break from his studies to serve in the 93rd Battalion Seabees in World War II from 1943 to 1945 in the South Pacific.  Upon his honorable discharge, he returned to SDSU and graduated in 1949 with a B.S. in Agricultural Education. 

Ernie married Marie C. Shaefbauer at Salem on Sept. 3, 1946. He returned to SDSU and received his M.S. in agricultural education in 1957.  He taught vocational agriculture and served as Future Farmers of America advisor at Newell High School in Newell from 1948 to 1950, at Onida High School in Onida in 1950, at Hoven High School in Hoven from 1951 to 1977, and at Blue Earth High School in Blue Earth, MN from 1977 to 1983. 

He was recognized by the Agricultural Education Club at SDSU as the Outstanding Teacher in South Dakota in 1970 and by the National Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association as Outstanding Teacher in South Dakota in 1971.  He received the Honorary American Farmer Degree from the National Association of the Future Farmers of America in 1975.  Ernie also owned and managed "Ernie's Menswear" in Hoven for many years.

After Marie's death in 1972, Ernie married Mary Kay (Litzen) Huber on Jan. 10, 1974 in Aberdeen.  Together they built the Super 8 Motel in Blue Earth in 1984, which they ran until their retirement to Spirit Lake, IA in 1994. 

Ernest was a long time member of the American Legion in Hoven, where he served as Americanism Officer and the VFW and American Legion in Blue Earth, the Hoven Service Club, St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Hoven, St. Peter and Paul's Catholic Parish in Blue Earth, the National Vocational Agricultural Teachers Association, the American Vocational Association, the South Dakota Vo-ag Teachers, the Minnesota Vocational Agriculture Association, a past officer and co-founder of the Hoven Country Club, and a member of the Blue Earth Sertoma Club. 

He coached high school athletes and served as referee for football and basketball for many years in South Dakota.  He enjoyed sports, especially baseball and the NY Yankees and playing golf.  He taught shop, was an accomplished carpenter, enjoyed listening to 40's music, singing in his barber shop quartet, and spending time with his friends and family.  He loved his country and was proud to be an American.  A highlight of his life was going on an Honor Flight in 2010.

Ernest is survived by his wife, Mary Kay of New Ulm; daughters and sons-in-law, Linda and Donald Erlenbusch of Aberdeen, Mary and Jim Dahl of Milbank, sons and daughters-in-law, Patrick and Theresa Wingen of Vermillion, Bruce and Susan Wingen of Thornton, CO, Monte Wingen and special friend, Nan Painter of Sioux Falls, William and Angie Wingen of Spencer, IA; step-sons and daughters-in-law, Ronald and Satomi Huber of Tokyo, Japan, Thomas and Robin Huber of New Ulm; 20 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; first wife; two brothers; one sister; six newborn daughters; one newborn son; a great grandson; and a granddaughter-in-law.  Honorary bearers will be all of Ernie's grandchildren.

Visit to leave an online condolence or view the tribute video.

Lien Funeral Home, Bowdle, is in charge of arrangements.

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