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May 25, 1918 - July 21, 2015

Pernilla Ernster, 97, of Caledonia passed away gracefully on Tuesday, July 21, 2015. She was born May 25, 1918 in Caledonia to August and Josephine (Thillen) Klug. She graduated from Loretto High School and Wisconsin Business University.

She married Linus P. “Ernie” Ernster on October 18, 1938 at St. Peter’s Catholic Church and together they farmed three miles northwest of Caledonia. They raised Ayrshire cattle and Arabian horses. She worked at the ASCS Government office for 20 years. After retiring, Pernilla received her real estate license and worked for Caledonia Realty. She officially retired in 1987.

Featured in the La Crosse Tribune’s Hopes & Dreams in 2000, Pernilla was quoted, “Isn’t it FUN getting old? I’m sure grateful for the privilege! “

Visitation will be 4-7pm Thursday, July 23 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church/Holy Family Hall in Caledonia. Mass of Christian Burial will be Friday, July 24 at 10:30am with visitation an hour before.

Pernilla was active in many civic and church activities. She played piano for St Mary’s Masses. She was a chartered Adult 4-H Leader for most of the time her eight children were in 4-H. She was a member of the Senior Citizens Club, Hospital Auxiliary, CCW, Catholic Women’s Group, St. Mary’s church choir, Circle-A-Saddle Club, actress and pianist for Founder’s Day Melodrama Plays, pen pal for CPS 6th grade journal class and Regent of the Catholic Daughters #555. In 2000, Pernilla was named Houston County Outstanding Senior Citizen.

When Pernilla turned 80 years old, she started the “Granny Band” with some friends.” Pernilla was musically multi-talented with the accordion, glockenspiel, spoons, piano, keyboard and harmonica.

The Granny Band was an invited guest at the Superior, Wisconsin annual parade, winning best performing group, second place. Playing in the Granny Band kept Pernilla young at heart.

The Granny Band was awarded the “President’s Service Award and the “Daily Points of Light.” Congratulations were received from Presidents Clinton and Bush, Governor Jesse Ventura, Senator Rod Grams and House Representative Gil Gutknecht.

Pernilla was the proud mother of five sons and three daughters: Duane Ernster of Caledonia, Alice Ernster of Chatfield, Larry (Mary Kris Best) Ernster of Richfield, John (Ilene) Ernster of La Crescent, David Ernster of Apple Valley, Mark (Barb) Ernster of Lewiston, Rita (Ed) Duda of Rochester and Jane (Ken) Meisch of Caledonia; 17 grandchildren Jody, Maria, Deanne, Miki, Matt, Mike, Emily, Tracie, Ryan, Lisa, Laura, Joe, Peter, Angela, Jacob, Josie and Margo; 25 great grandchildren Kenzie, Max, Sam, Abe, Nic, Lexi, Isaiah, Beau, Brody, Tobi, Abbi, Johnathon, Cashten, Montana, Sierra, Gunner, Summer, Afton, Brooklyn, Will, Ellie, Adelyn, Analeigh, Henry, and Charlie; three great-great grandchildren Payton, Remington and McCoy; along with in-laws Louie, Judd, Brian, Amy, Jeremiah, Jaeson, Jenny, Jon, Lindsay, Sabrina, Stephan, Mark Noelle and Katie.

Pernilla is also survived by sister-in-laws Irma (Wilfred) Klug and Patricia (Leland) Klug.

Pernilla was preceded in death by her husband Linus; her parents and three brothers Wilfred, Leland, Silas and his wife Alice.

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