Ernest G. (Ernie) Pyle, 87, died peacefully at home in Fort Myers, Fla., on Saturday, May 28. His devoted wife of 67 years, Betty Lou, and family members cared for him at home with help from hospice during his six week bout with pancreatic cancer.
Ernie was born to Isabelle and Kenneth Pyle in Mapleton, N.D., April 9, 1924.
He graduated from West Fargo High School in 1942 where he was a standout in football and basketball. He married his high school sweetheart, Betty Lou Thompson, in 1943. Ernie farmed from 1942 to1977, first on his family farm in West Fargo, and then near Casselton, N.D. He served as a loan officer from 1977 until 1988 at West Fargo State Bank and then American State Bank in Casselton. Ernie was elected to the N.D. State Senate in 1966 and served through 1976 when he ran for lieutenant governor with Dick Elkin. Ernie and Betty Lou moved to Fort Myers in 1988. Ernie was a past member of Martin's American Lutheran Church in Casselton, Faith Lutheran in West Fargo, and a member of Peace Lutheran Church in Fort Myers. Ernie enjoyed pick-up basketball, bridge, and keeping up with his friends. He loved his family and was kept busy attending graduations, weddings, and sports events of his five children and seventeen grandchildren.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by children Kenneth (Sandra), Fort Smith Ark., Richard (Nathalie), Captiva, Fla., Gerald (Barbara), Redmond, Wash., Robert (Anne), Casselton, and son-in-law, Neil Anderson (Johanna Rian), Lakeville, Minn.; grandchildren, K. Michael, R. Judson, Joshua, Gerald, Nathaniel, and Bekah Pyle, Angela Milbrandt, Rebecca Davis, Michelle Drozal, Marin Ellis, Katherine Waggoner, Hanne Vaughn, Elicia Moody, Jodi Karnick, Mary Jane Pyle-Smith, Marjorie Broden and Katherine Kleeberg; twenty-four great- grandchildren; brother, Albert; sisters, Dolores Thoms and Mary Buhr.
Ernie was preceded in death by daughter, Marcia Lynn Pyle (Neil Anderson); brothers, Joseph and Keith; and sisters, May McLeod, Esther Byl, and Gladys Diede.
Visitation will be on Friday, June 10, from 5 to 7 p.m., followed by a prayer service at 7 p.m., at West Funeral Chapel, 226 4th W., West Fargo.
The Funeral Service will be on Saturday, June 11, at 11 a.m., at Faith Lutheran Church, 127 2nd Ave. E., West Fargo. A memorial service will be held in Fort Myers in November.
Memorials are preferred to Peace Lutheran Church, Fort Myers; Faith Lutheran Church, West Fargo; and Martins Lutheran Church, Casselton.
Condolences may be sent online - westfuneralhome.com
(West Funeral Home, West Fargo)