Ernest Grenz - Back

Family Information and Photos

North Dakota Veterans Cemetery Mandan, North Dakota


Ernest In California - 1945

Emma and Ernest with their only child - Vernon 1944



Ernest and Emma

Earnest and Adam in Portland, Oregon

Ernest and Molly - Wedding Day

Visiting Adam and Bertha - Portland, OR

Helen Klein
Military and Personal History

Ernest Grenz

11 May 1913 - 29 April 2000

Ernest worked as a farm hand from 1927 to 1942, during which time in 1935 he married Emma Rudolph of Napoleon, ND. Together they raised one son Vernon.

Ernest entered the US Army and received his Basic Training at Camp Walters, Texas, 14 August 1944 to 27 January 1945. He was trained in heavy weapons. After Basic Training he came home on furlough, then departed San Francisco to Manila, Philippines where he served at Company D, 161st Battalion, 25th Infantry Division. He was in a staging area for two weeks, after which they regrouped and were sent to Luzon, Philippines where he became a Squad Leader of a 12 man squad. His squad had 30 caliber water cooled machine guns. After ten days in combat, they were taken off the hill for R&R at which time he was promoted to Buck Sergeant by his lieutenant. He left the Philippines on a ship for Japan where he was in charge of the Officer’s Quarters for one month. He later came back to Ft Lawton, WA, where he singed up for the Army Air Corps for a short period of time.

Ernest married Anna May (Mollie) Robotham at Petaluma, California, July 6, 1947. Anna May (Mollie) was born June 10, 1905, Arklaw, Ireland. Ernest re-enlisted in the US Army in 1948 and served until 28 June 1952 when he has honorably discharged as a Corporal. He received additional military training at the Automotive Mechanic School, Lowery Field, Colorado, and the AG School as a Disciplinary Guard, Camp Lee, Virginia, December 1949. His military decorations include the Good Conduct Medal, WW11 Victory Medal, Asiatic Pacific Theater Medal w/one Bronze Star, Philippine Liberation Ribbon w/one Bronze Star.

After his time in the Army, Ernest served as a prison guard at the Folsom Federal Prison, Folsom, CA. He later worked at the Sacramento Army Depot, Sacramento, CA, where he retired with a medical disability. His second wife, Anna May (Mollie) died January 5, 1986 in Mesa, Arizona. She was cremated at Paradise Memorial Gardens, Scottsdale, Arizona January 7, 1986. He and Anna May (mollie) enjoyed traveling, visiting various historical sites, state and national parks, and visiting friends and relatives.

His son Vernon died while on Active Duty in Germany as a Colonel’s driver. He suffered monoxide poisoning while waiting for his Commanding Officer in winter weather. He was rushed to the military hospital outside Frankfurt, Germany and died several days later. Vernon is buried at the Golden Gate VA Cemetery, San Francisco, CA. Ernest’s only granddaughter, Athena Maria Grenz O’Brien, lives somewhere in California.

Ernest married Helen Klein May 4, 1991, Karlsrud, ND. They traveled to Mesa, Arizona during the winter months and returned to Karlsrud, ND during the summer months. Helen shared that during the many miles traveled he enjoyed listening to the old hymns he learned as a child. His favorite hymn was "Gott is de Lebie" which was also the favorite hymn of his mother and father. He enjoyed working in repair shops and he enjoyed building miniature farmyards, wagons and buggies.

In 1935, Ernest was converted in a revival meeting at the Flat Baptist Church, located between Napoleon and Streeter, ND, with the Rev. B. W. Krentz as the revival speaker. He was baptized by immersion on his confession of faith in Christ by the Rev. Knaap at the Wishek Baptist Church, Wishek, ND. And became a member of the Napoleon Baptist Church, Napoleon, ND. His favorite flower was the marigold.

Ernest is buried in the North Dakota Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Mandan, ND

C:\Documents\Clint Grenz\Ernest Grenz\Military and Personal HistoryErnest Grenz11 May 1913.wpd


The Bismarck Tribune, ND                            Obituary Ernest Grenz
Date of Death: 04/29/2000
Age 86
Karlsruhe, ND

KARLSRUHE -- Ernest Grenz, 86, Karlsruhe, died April 29, 2000, in his home. Services will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Boelter Funeral Home, Bismarck, with the Rev. Clinton E. Grenz, retired Army chaplain officiating. Burial will be in North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, rural Mandan, with military rites by Bismarck VFW Gilbert N. Nelson Post 1326. Visitation will be from 3-9 p.m. today and 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday and until services Tuesday at the funeral home.

Ernest was born to Fred and Christina (Schnaidt) Grenz Sr., on May 11, 1913, on the family farm near Napoleon. Ernest served in the U.S. Army during World War II in the Philippines and remained on active duty for six years and four months. His military awards included Good Conduct Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Theater Medal, with one bronze star, and Philippine Liberation Medal with one star. After his time in the Army, Ernest served as a prison guard at the Folsom Federal Prison, Folsom, Calif. He later worked at the Sacramento Army Depot, Sacramento, Calif., where he retired with a medical disability. Ernest enjoyed traveling and visiting his many nieces and nephews, and friends. In 1935, Ernest married Emma Rudolph of Napoleon. Together they raised one son. Ernest was a former member of the Napoleon Baptist Church, Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion. On May 4, 1991, he married Helen Klein.

He is survived by his wife, Helen; two brothers, Roland and John, both of Bismarck; one granddaughter, Athena Maria Grenz O'Brien; many nieces and nephews; and a host of friends.

He was preceded in death by his son, Vernon; his parents; one sister, Lydia Schauer; and five brothers, Edwen, Fred Jr., Gideon, Adam and Jacob Grenz. The family prefers memorials to Crystal Springs Camp, Crystal Springs, N.D. (Boelter Funeral Home)


Helen Klein - Obituary

Life Legacy

Helen Klein, 91, Minot, ND, formerly of Karlsruhe, ND, passed away Friday, June 8, 2012, at Trinity Hospital in Minot.

Helen Merck was born November 28, 1920, the third of fifteen children to Jacob and Regina (Boehm) Merck, in Karlsruhe, ND. She was raised and educated in Karlsruhe. As a young adult, she worked at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Minot.

Helen married Pius J. Klein June 17, 1941, at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Karlsruhe, ND. They made their home on a farm located in Karlsruhe Township of McHenry County, south of Karlsruhe, ND, where they farmed, raised livestock, and raised their nine children. They continued to farm until 1978, when they moved into Karlsruhe. Pius passed away September 1, 1988.

Following her husband’s death, she continued to reside in Karlsruhe. She then wintered in Mesa, AZ, where she met and later married Ernest Grenz. They wintered in Arizona for over 10 years. Ernest passed away in 2000. In August of 2000, she became the first resident of Somerset Court in Minot. She enjoyed living there and loved the staff that took such good care of her. She partook in all the activities, and especially loved not having to cook anymore. While living there, she went to daily mass, where she prepared the altar for service for some time. Mass and church meant everything to Helen.

Helen was dedicated to the Karlsruhe community. She was a member of Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Karlsruhe, ND, and its Christian Mothers group. She was also a member of the Karlsruhe Senior Citizens.

Helen enjoyed spending time with her brothers, sisters, children and her many grandchildren. Her many interests included music, dancing, gardening, and also long walks. She will be missed by all. We Love you mom!

Her loving family includes: children, Dairl (Pat) Klein, Karlsruhe, Wilfred (Marianne) Klein, Minot, Ronald (Gloria) Klein, Karlsruhe, Julie (Jerry) Sorenson, Minot, Lucy (John) Rosatti, Bottineau, Peter Klein, Karlsruhe, James (Deanna) Klein, Minot, and Helen (Robert) Whysong, Greenback, TN; daughter-in-law, JoAnn Klein, Wahpeton, ND; 21 grandchildren: Teresa (Mike) Koppang, Tim Klein, Kristen (Mike) Kjar, Rory (Cindy) Klein, Kerry Klein, Steve (Kathy) Klein, Vicki Duchsherer, Daniel Klein, Willy Joe (Sarah) Klein, Kristi (Dean) Feist, Tiffany Marking, Jack Klein, Jerry Sorenson Jr., Jason (Tricia) Sorenson, Tricia Rosatti, Ryan (Sara) Klein, Scott Klein, Lexi Klein, Mallary Klein, Hannah Klein, Canterra Whysong; 28 great-grandchildren; five great great-grandchildren; brothers, Fred (Kathleen) Merck, Minot, and Tony (Ardyth) Merck, Karlsruhe; sisters, Eva Pinchero, Detroit, MI, Catherine Schmalz, Fargo, ND, Maryann Burckhard, Towner, Ida (Tony) Lauinger, Karlsruhe, Agnes (Irving) Traiser, Minot, Angela (Emanuel) Klein, Towner, Regina (Dan) Feist, Minot and Valeria Nystrom, Fargo; sisters-in-law, Cecilia Merck, Jean Merck, Beatrice Merck, all of Minot; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Helen was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Pius; son, Norbert Klein; great-grandson, Reed Kjar; brothers, Mike, John, Frank, and Christian Merck; brothers-in-law, Joe Pinchero, Alex Schmalz, Joe Burckhard, Milo Nystrom.

Mass of Christian Burial: Monday, June 11, 2012, at 10:30 a.m. at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Karlsruhe, ND.

Interment: Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Cemetery, Karlsruhe, ND.

Visitation: Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. at Thompson-Larson Funeral Home, Minot.

Vigil Prayer Service: Sunday at 5 p.m. at Thompson-Larson Funeral Home, Minot.

Memorials: are preferred to Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Cemetery, Karlsruhe, ND.

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