August 28, 1928 - August 7, 2014


Funeral Services will be held at 11 am, Wednesday, August 13, 2014 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Grey Eagle for Erna M. Schwanke, age 85, of Long Prairie formerly of Grey Eagle. Rev. Ron Tibbetts will officiate and burial will be in the Lakeview Cemetery, Grey Eagle. Family and friends may call one hour prior to the services at the church on Wednesday. Arrangements entrusted to Williams Dingmann Family Funeral Home – Stein Chapel, Long Prairie.

Erna Marie Kuehne was born August 28, 1928 in Burnhamville Township, Todd County, Minnesota the daughter of Herman and Martha (Dettler) Kuehne. She grew up and attended country school and later Swanville High School. Erna spent her senior year at Long Prairie High School. She then attended St. Cloud Teachers College and later moved to Wolf Point, Montana, where she worked in a dental office. Erna then moved to St. Louis, Missouri, and taught school at the Lutheran Orphans Home. She married James H. Schwanke on October 2, 1951 in Grey Eagle. They farmed near Grey Eagle until retiring.

Erna was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church and its Ladies Guild. She served as a Sunday School Superintendent and was a member of the Lutheran Women’s Laymen’s League. Church and family were the most important things in her life. Erna enjoyed gardening and baking, especially kuchen.

Erna is survived by her husband of 62 years, James, children, Stephen (Judy) Schwanke, Sartell, MN; Christy Ploof, Brainerd, MN; and Timothy (Brenda) Schwanke, Grey Eagle; seven grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers, Otto, Herman, Herb, and Rudy, and sister, Emma Swan.