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Rachel E. Ernst -- March 9, 1921 - April 18, 2017

Rachel Eloise Ernst passed into heaven on April 18,  2017 at the age of 96 with her family at her bedside. She was born in 1921 in Hickman county Kentucky near the town of Clinton, the daughter of the late Jordan and Rudell (Logsdon) Spraggs.

Her rich childhood experiences in rural Kentucky in the 1920's and 1930's became precious memories which were passed along to her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Her love for her Kentucky family is hard to overstate: She spoke with her brother Vernon on the phone almost every day, including the day she passed away.

 After graduating first in her high school class in 1938, Rachel moved to Alton, Illinois where she met and married Harry Thomas Ernst before he deployed to Europe in World War II. He served as a first lieutenant forward observer in General Patton’s third army. Back home, Rachel worked on a vital project that was decisive in ending the war. After the war, they made Alton their home and raised a family where they shared a good life.  Rachel always had a high regard for education and worked for many years at Alton Senior High School. She always encouraged and supported her children and others in their education. Rachel, an avid sports fan, took up golf after retiring and golfed in leagues at Alton Municipal Golf Course where see saw old friends and made new friends.

In their later years, Rachel and Harry moved to Youngstown, New York to be near family. Rachel always maintained ties to her Alton friends, her church and of course her Kentucky family. She appreciated and loved her care givers and they loved her as well.  She was especially grateful for the tireless care provided by her daughter-in-law Miriam Sue Ernst.

Rachel was the wife of the late Harry T. Ernst. She is survived by her sons, Thomas and David Ernst, her granddaughter Stephanie Courtney, her grandson Justin Ernst, and her great granddaughters Ciah and Ava Courtney. She is also survived by her brother Vernon Spraggs and her sisters Lula Pearl Williams and Christena Drysdale. Rachel will be missed by many people including her family, friends and care givers. She was a very special person. She was the sister of the late James Spraggs and Dorothy May Bender.

Memorials in Rachel’s name may be made to Main Street United Methodist Church, 1400 Main Street, Alton, Illinois 62002.