He was born Aug. 13, 1935 in Hesper, Iowa, Winneshiek Co., to Palmer and Alice (Nelson) Engan. He was baptized at Hesper Lutheran Church and confirmed at Big Canoe Lutheran Church. Ernest attended rural school in Winneshiek Co. where he had perfect attendance for the first seven years. He was a lifelong area resident except for a year spent in South Dakota and four years in California. Ernest farmed with his mother until entering the Air Force. He served four years in the military during the Korean War. He worked at a foundry in Illinois, after which he was a logger.
He was a member of Big Canoe Lutheran Church in rural Decorah, Iowa.
He is survived by his wife Juanita, his sons: Ernie (Dana), Wayne (Sandy), and Troy (Kim); his daughters: Connie (Ed) Urell and Kim (Rick) Crawford; grandchildren, Melissa (Darin) De Wall, Carrie Crawford, Ian Urell, Claire Urell, Kevin (Emily) Engan and Allie Engan; great-grandchildren Dakota and Zoey DeWall; his brother Maynard Engan and his sisters Polly Stoen and Barbara Haugen.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his twin brother Earl, his older brother Selmer, his son Harlan and his grandson Ernie Earl Engan, Jr.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013 at Big Canoe Lutheran, rural Decorah at 11 a.m. Pastor David H. Andreae will officiate. Burial will be in the church cemetery.
Friends may call Wedneday from 5 to 7 p.m. at Roble Funeral Home in Spring Grove, and one hour prior to services at the church on Thursday.