Ernest Sundstrom

Ernest Dale Sundstrom

April 15, 1930 - July 17, 2020
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Ernie was born April 15, 1930, to the late Elsie and Carl Sundstrom at the family ranch near Mud Butte in Meade County, SD. Ernest D. Sundstrom, 90, Athens, GA, went joyfully into the arms of his Heavenly Father on July 17, 2020.
Ernie attended grade school at Mud Butte and attended Newell High School as a freshman and then went to Sturgis High School where he graduated in 1948. Ernie grew up 45 miles from town in a four-room house with his parents and eight siblings. There was no running water, electricity, or refrigeration on the ranch. At a young age, he spent much time milking cows, feeding chickens. Herding sheep, tying wool for a shearing crew, making hay and feeding animals. Horseback was the main means of transportation.
After high school, Ernie worked as a derrick man in the oil fields of Wyoming, Colorado, and Texas. He spent two years in the US Army artillery, serving the year of 1952 in Korea.
Ernie attended SD School of Mines in Rapid City, graduating in 1958 as a Mechanical Engineer. He operated and designed coal, gas, oil, geothermal, and solar power plants. He was a registered mechanical engineer in five different states. His major employers over a span of 42 years were Montana Dakota Utilities, Colorado Ute Electric, Monsanto, Commonwealth Associates, Gibbs & Hill, Fluor Engineers, Luz Solar Inc., and Duke Fluor Daniel.
He is survived by his wife, Esther Sundstrom, Athens, GA; two sons, Dale Sundstrom, Simsbury, CT, and James (Sue) Sundstrom, Lansing, MI; two stepsons, Mike (Veronica) Gilbert, San Jose, CA, and Larry (Cindy) Gilbert, Winder, GA; one daughter, Linda Decker, Traverse City, MI; one stepdaughter, Sharon (Pat) Gish, Macon, GA; five grandsons, Cliff (Natani), Ronny, and Erick Sundstrom, Christian Byington, and Andrew Decker; five granddaughters, Kaitlyn (Karl) Warsinski, Megan Sundstrom, Jordan Byington (Sean Noell), and Taylor Byington, and Emily Decker; one great-grandson, Brady Noell; one great-granddaughter, Hadley Noell; one older brother, Juno Sundstrom, Deadwood, SD; one younger sister, LaVera (Bud) Chord, Sturgis, SD; ten nephews, Gerald (Ann) Kirk, Darrell (Emily), Carl (Marsha), Rory (Teresa), Darcy (Lisa) and Dane (Stacy) Sundstrom, and Randy, Marty, Danny, and Matthew O’Dea; eight nieces, Nita Griffin, Diana Glover, Bonnie Lange, Betty Trevino, Elaine Back, Dallas Pietz, Dixie (Gordon) Olson, and LaVera Ford; and other extended family members.
Ernie was preceded in death by his daughter, Nancy Sundstrom; his first wife, Iola (Erickson) Sundstrom; parents, Carl and Elsie Sundstrom; sisters, Elsie (Babe) Sundstrom, Sylvia Kirk, Linda Babb, and Sally O’Dea; brothers, Clyde and Wayne Sundstrom; and nephews, David Sundstrom, Gary Babb, and Casey Chord.
Visitation will be held from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. July 30, at Kinkade Funeral Chapel in Sturgis.
Ernie’s victory of life service will be held at 11:00 a.m. July 31, 2020, at Blessed Emmanuel Lutheran Church, 2942 Pine Tree Trail in Sturgis. Ernie will be laid to rest, with military honors, at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis.
Memorials may be sent to Blessed Emmanuel Lutheran Church of Sturgis, SD or the St. Joseph Indian School, Chamberlain, SD 57325.
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Memorial Program

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Service Details

  • Visitation

    July 30, 2020 | 5:00pm - 7:00pm
    July 30, 2020 5:00pm - 7:00pm
    Kinkade Funeral Chapel
    1235 Junction Ave.
    Sturgis, SD 57785
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Funeral Service

    July 31, 2020 | 11:00am
    July 31, 2020 11:00am
    Blessed Emmanuel Lutheran Church
    2942 Pine Tree Trail
    Sturgis, SD 57785
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Pastor John Fries
  • Interment

    July 31, 2020 | 12:30pm
    July 31, 2020 12:30pm
    Black Hills National Cemetery
    20901 Pleasant Valley Drive
    Sturgis, SD 57785
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Private Condolence
Gene, Rhonda, and Billy sent flowers to the family of Ernest Dale Sundstrom.
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Kent Erb

Posted at 04:44pm
Esther, we love you and Ernie so much. You were both so faithful to church and coming to Sunday School class. Ernie always had great questions. He was certainly a special man, and a very positive influence and roll model for me. I am ready for my 'someday' and look forward to seeing him as I approach the pearly gates!

Kent and Cathy Erb
Athens, GA

Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 12:57pm
Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Kaitlyn
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Gene, Rhonda, and Billy

Posted at 06:01pm
Our Deepest Sympathies especially to Esther, Dale, CJ&Natani&family, Ronny, Linda&family, Jim&Sue&family, Jordan&Sean&family,Taylor,Christian.
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Gene, Rhonda, and Billy purchased flowers and planted a memorial tree for the family of Ernest Sundstrom. Send Flowers


Kurt and Judy Simon

Posted at 11:25am
To all of the Sundstrom family, Our condolences on the loss of Ernie. What a great family all of you are and I know Ernie was very special guy. Glad to have met him. So many good memories will keep him forever in your thoughts. Our thoughts are with all of you at this time.

Bonnie Lange Posted at 01:23pm

Thank you for thinking of us. Bonnie

Craig Ness

Posted at 09:01pm
Thank you for serving your country and thank you for the Faith 75th anniversary book recently received. Condolences to the family. Craig Ness, Chairman of Faith exhibits and museum

Tammy Griffith Howard Posted at 07:45pm

I just came across this and am so sorry. You and Ernie were so kind to us when we moved to California and welcomed our family. Your home here is still our home. Thank you for it! What a blessing. Blessings, dear lady, Tammy Howard

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