Husband, father, grandfather, uncle, cousin and friend, Ernst Reich went to be with Jesus and his beloved wife on February 2, 2021 at the age of 81.
Ernst was born April 1, 1939 to Josef and Adeline (Neumann) Reich in Zielona, Wolhynien (modern day Ukraine). When Ernie was a young boy, he lost his father during the war, his mother, now a single mom, raised him and his sister in Germany. They came to America when he was 15, sponsored by his uncle. When they arrived in America, Ernie worked on his uncle’s farm in Dufur Oregon. He studied hard, spoke three languages; Polish, German, and English and later in life, as an adult, became an American citizen. He was proud of his German heritage and being an American citizen.
In the late 1950s Ernie and his mother moved to Yakima and his sister returned to Germany. His first job in Yakima was at Carl’s shoe store and he worked there until he was drafted into the army in 1961. On July 7, 1962 he married Joanne Reese of Yakima and they honeymooned at the Seattle World’s Fair. They spent the next 57 years together until Joanne passed away in September of 2019. They spent their first couple of years in the army stationed in Germany. He worked in supplies and as a translator in the 8th Evacuation Hospital Landstuhl, Germany. His rank was SP4 E4. He earned a good conduct medal and sharpshooter medal. Proud to be a veteran of the army. Their son Josef was born in Germany.
They returned to Yakima, and Ernie’s mother went back home to Germany. He started working for Associated Grocers and worked there until it closed, then he worked for Zellerbach and then spent the remainder of his working years driving truck for Container Systems. Family meant everything to him. He loved his wife, kids, grandkids, family, and friends. He enjoyed the outdoors with his family, camping, fishing, boating, kayaking, jeeping and playing pinochle. He put a snowplow on his Jeep and snowplowed for several businesses around Yakima. He could fix just about any small engine and worked on numerous lawnmowers for people over the years. He enjoyed spending time in Leavenworth and being anywhere up in the mountains. He and Joanne spent many hours watching their grandkids play basketball, soccer and at many other events, obviously a very proud grandpa.
Ernie is survived by his children, Josef Reich, and Debbie (Mark) Flippin; grandchildren, Jed Flippin and Samantha Flippin; and numerous family and friends all of whom he loved very much. Ernie is preceded in death by his parents Josef and Adeline Reich, sister Erna (Ernst) Bendiks and his beloved wife Joanne.
A Graveside Service will be held at West Hills Memorial Park at 11:00 am on Friday, February 19, 2021. A Celebration of Life open house will be held after the service until 2:00 pm at 412 Hillcrest Dr., Selah, WA 98942. Brookside Funeral Home is caring for the family.
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