May 16,1929 - August 1, 2014


Dr. David John Ernest, age 85, formerly of St. Cloud, MN, died peacefully at St. Clare’s Benedictine Living Community in Mora, MN on Friday, August 1, 2014.

Funeral services will be Tuesday, August 12, 2014 at 11:00 AM at Benson Funeral Home Chapel, St. Cloud, MN. Visitation will be Monday, August 11, 2014 from 5:00 to 7:00 PM at Benson Funeral Home, St. Cloud MN and one hour prior to the service at the funeral home on Tuesday. Burial will be in the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery, Little Falls, MN.

David was born in Chicago, Illinois to Rudolph J. and Sylvia R. (Travnicek) Ernest on 16 May 1929. He attended the Chicago public school system graduating in 1947 from Farragut High School. David attended Wright Junior College receiving an Associate of Arts degree and completed a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education at Chicago Musical College under full scholarship with oboe. At one time he played in five orchestras.

In 1952, David joined the US Army serving with the 5th Army Band stationed at Fort Sheridan, Illinois.

He went on to receive a Master's of Music Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana. Beginning in 1956, David taught woodwinds and music education and was an oboe and double reed specialist at University of Colorado at Boulder He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to the Sorbonne in Paris, France for 1958 and 1959. David traveled the European schools studying the French oboe techniques and styles.

David married Prudence Ellene Michael in Lakeville, Indiana on 30 August 1959. He completed his doctorate of Education degree at Boulder, Colorado in 1961. Between 1961 and 1963, he served as the Chairman of the Division of Fine and Applied Arts at Glenville State College in West Virginia.

In 1963, David moved to St. Cloud, Minnesota where he taught oboe and musicianship at St. Cloud State University, for ten years chairing the Department of Music, retiring in 1996. During this time he was known for music theory and composition.

David was a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Phi Delta Kappa, the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors, Phi Kappa Lambda, Kappa Delta Pi, the International Society Harpsichord Builders, the American Association of University Professors, the National Association for Music Education, formerly known as the Music Educators National Conference and the International Double-Reed Society, as well as the International Who's Who in Music.

David was well known for his oboe playing. He published articles for “Gopher Music Notes”, the Minnesota Music Educator's Association's publication for twenty-four consecutive years. He also performed for many years as the principal oboist for the St. Cloud Symphony, Amadeus Chamber Symphony and for the MN Center Chorale. He retired in 2013 from the St. Cloud Municipal Band after performing with it for over 50 years.

He taught at Alnwick, England twice, and enjoyed hunting and fishing at their family cabin at Hunter Lake in Cass County.

David was preceded in death by his beloved wife Prudence. He is survived by sons David (Jennifer) of Mora, MN, Stephen of Minneapolis, MN, Christopher of Rochester, MN, and Bryan (Judé) and their children Maxwell and Olivia of Pittsburgh, PA.

Memorials preferred to donors' choice.