Ernest “Ernie” Lehmkuhler, 81, formerly of North Platte, died at his home in Dodge City, Kan. on Monday, Sept. 10, 2018 after an extended illness.

Ernie Lehmkuhler

Ernie was born July 21, 1937 at Arnold to Ernest and J. Pauline (Vian) Lehmkuhler. He grew up on the family farm at Stapleton and attended Banner School then graduated in 1956 from Baker Rural High School in Stapleton.

In 1957 Ernie was united in marriage to Ardis Shively at the First Presbyterian Church in Stapleton and on Friday, Sept. 7, they had celebrated 61 years of marriage.

Ernie joined the Army Reserves in 1956 and received an honorable discharge in ’63. He was employed by the City of North Platte Municipal Light and Water where he worked as a truck driver and later inventory clerk. Ernie retired in 2002 after working 46 years for the city.

He was a member of the First United Methodist Church in North Platte and Dodge City. He was a member of Platte Valley Lodge #32 AF & AM for 51 years and served as master in 1979. Ernie also served as grand tiler for the State of Nebraska Grand Masonic Lodge in 1986, was a member of Tehama Shrine and the North Platte Shrine Club, and was a volunteer fireman in North Platte for many years.

Ernie’s hobbies included yard work, photography, woodworking and metal design, leaving behind many treasured gifts.

He also enjoyed attending events, camping and traveling the U.S. with family, friends and especially his grandkids. Ernie was a great person who enjoyed doing things for others.

He is survived by his wife, Ardis, and son, Paul (Elaine) Lehmkuhler, both of Dodge City, Kan.; daughter, Lauretta (L.W. ‘John’, Jr.) Vian of Moravian Falls, N.C.; grandchildren, Jennifer (Ryan) Jones and Ryan (Katie) Lehmkuhler, DDS, both of Dodge City and Heather (Steve) Maly, Michael (Ashley) Clark and Samuel (Hannah) Clark, all of Lincoln; great-grandchildren, Finley, Jack and Alexis Maly and Reagan Jones; brother, Virgil (Karen) Lehmkuhler; sister, Charlene (Dwayne) Berger; sister-in-law, Barbara Lehmkuhler; and other family.

Ernie was preceded in death by his parents, Ernest and Pauline; and brother, David.

Cremation was chosen. Memorial service will be at 10 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 14 at the First United Methodist Church with Rev. Dr. Douglas A. Delp officiating. Inurnment with Masonic Rites will follow in Floral Lawns Memorial Gardens.

The memorial book may be signed at or from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Thursday at Odean Colonial Chapel, which is in charge of arrangements.

Memorials are suggested to the Shrine Hospitals for Children or the First United Methodist Church.