COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — Ernest Johann Witte, 103, Council Bluffs, Iowa, formerly of Randolph, died March 5, 2019, at Risen Son Christian Village, Council Bluffs.
Visitation will be 9:30 a.m., Friday, until service time at the church, under direction of Johnson Funeral Home, Randolph.
Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m., March 15, at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Randolph, with Pastors Trudy J. Powell, Greg Witte and Jill Doherty officiating.
Interment will be in Rose Hill Cemetery, rural McLean.
Pallbearers will be Ernest’s grandsons, Grant Brummels, Spencer Witte, John Witte, Adam Witte, Paul
Witte and Luke Witte.
Ernest was born Aug. 18, 1915, to Henry L. and Emma G. (Bottger) Witte, in rural Thurston County. He was baptized Sept. 19, 1915, at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Emerson. In March 1918, he moved with his parents to a farm four miles east of Randolph, at Wareham, attended school District 70 South, and graduated from Randolph High School in May 1933. He was confirmed at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Randolph, in fall 1929, and was a lifelong member of the congregation. He taught Sunday school many years and sang with the Men’s Quartet and church choir for more than 65 years. Ernest and Lucille Milliken were married April 16, 1941, at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Randolph. They farmed in the Randolph and McLean areas for 35 years, raising livestock and growing crops.
Ernest was active in his community, serving as a 4-H leader, serving on the Fair Board, Alumni Committee, Centennial Committee and singing in the community chorus. He was an Archer Oil rep for 45 years, and a charter member of Randolph Senior Citizens (1984).
Ernest and Lucille had a farm sale Jan. 8, 1976, and moved into their new home in Randolph. He was employed by Tri-County Co-op and Terra Chemical for several years. Although retired, he stayed busy at a woodworking hobby and enjoyed volunteer jobs. Ernest and Lucille enjoyed 69 happy, healthy years together with their family and many friends.
After Lucille’s death in 2010, he moved to Risen Son Christian Village, Council Bluffs, Iowa, where his son, Greg, was Executive Director. He made many friends among the staff and residents at Risen Son, singing in the Golden Chorale, participating in religious activities and generally being an “ambassador of good will” to all he met.
Survivors include four sons, Rodney Witte, Madison Wis.; Douglas and Patricia Witte, Norfolk; Greg and Connie Witte, Omaha; Bradley and Laurie Witte, Long Pine; two daughters, Gwendolyn and David Dickey, Aitkin, Minn.; Lynette and Gary Brummels, West Des Moines, Iowa; 15 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; one sister, Alice Higham; sister-in-law, Jeannine Anderson, Wayne; and many nephews and nieces.
Ernest was preceded in death by his wife of nearly 70 years; an infant son, Monty Allen; grandson, Kevin Dickey; daughter-in-law, Cleone Witte; his parents, two sisters, a brother, four sisters-in-law, and five brothers-in-law.