In Memory of




Obituary for Raymond H. Ernest

Raymond H. Ernest

Raymond Henry Ernest, age 91, lifelong resident of Dalton, NE, passed away August 23, 2019. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, August 29th at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Dalton with Father C. P. Varghese and Father Bryan Ernest officiating. The Rosary Service will be at 10:00 A.M. with Mass at 10:30 A.M. Interment will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery with Military Honors. Visitation will be held Wednesday, August 28th at the Gehrig-Stitt Funeral Home in Sidney from 1-7 PM, with the family present from 4-6 PM. Memorials have been established in Ray’s honor to the American Legion Mintken-Davison Post 301 or St. Mary’s Catholic Church. You may view Ray’s Book of Memories, leave condolences, photos and stories at
Gehrig-Stitt Chapel & Cremation Service, LLC is in charge of Ray’s care and funeral arrangements.
Raymond Henry Ernest was born October 13, 1927 at Dalton to Otto Henry and Mary Loretta “Mae” (Filbin) Ernest. He ‘walked uphill both ways’ to District 20 grade school, which was located one mile north of the family homestead. Ray graduated from Dalton High School in 1945. He enlisted in the US Army in 1946, and was honorably discharged 18 months later. He then returned home to farm and ranch with his father and 4 brothers.
On September 27, 1958, he was united in marriage to Lyla Joan Babb of Broadwater at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. To this union, 5 children were born. In 2018, Ray and Lyla celebrated 60 years of marriage.
Ray was a lifelong member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church and served on the parish council. He also served on the board of directors for the Dalton Co-op. He was a proud member of the American Legion for 66 consecutive years. He was very active in Post 301, serving as Commander and Adjunct for many years. Two of his highlights as a veteran were winning the District 4 “Work Horse Award” in 2007 and traveling with the Honor Flight Northern Colorado to Washington D.C. in September, 2015. For 16 years, Ray was a volunteer weather observer for the Cheyenne National Weather Service office. Ray’s lifelong occupation and passion was farming and ranching, and he resided his entire life on the farm that his parents homesteaded. Ray was known for driving his treasured 1945 Army cargo carrier truck in local parades. Ray will be fondly remembered by family and friends as a devoted father and grandfather, loyal patriot, devout Christian and wonderful storyteller.
Ray is survived by his wife, Lyla, and their four children: daughter Marci and husband Mike Goeman of Broadwater, son Larry Ernest of North Platte, son Chris and wife Bobbi Ernest of Dalton and daughter Julie and husband Steve Baugh of Delta Junction, AK. Grandchildren: Michelle and husband Shad Benish, Kendra Goeman and fiancé Adam Tucker, James Goeman and Whitney Goeman and fiancé Kyle Anderson, Paige, Megan and Justin Ernest. Great-grandsons: Jaxson, Riley and Cooper Benish and Asher Tucker. Sister Mary Lou Richards of Spokane, WA, brother Patrick and wife Peggy Ernest Sr. of Dalton, sister-in-law Eleanor Ernest of Dalton and numerous nieces and nephews.
Ray was preceded in death by his parents, brothers: Richard, Robert, Dominic, and sisters: Cecilia Anderson and Dorothy Fehringer, infant son, Jeffrey Leo Ernest and granddaughter Ashley Marie Goeman.