Joan (Anderson) Ernst, 87, of Leakey, Tx., passed away Sunday, April 9.
Born July 8, 1929 in Wabeno, to Dewey and Vera Anderson, she grew up in Mountain, where she was related to most of the townsfolk and loved telling her childhood memories to family and friends.
She set goals, worked to achieve them and received a bachelor's degree in nursing from Bellin Memorial Hospital School of Nursing as an Emergency Nurse. She then received a masters degree from C.W. Post College.
As National President of the Emergency Department Nurses Association, she traveled the United States and was an advocate for ER nurses, attending meetings at the Pentagon and White House. She was the keynote speaker at the first International Emergency Meeting at Royal College in London, England, spoke at the National Emergency Department Nurses Association Scientific Assemblies, the Maryland Institute National Trauma Symposium and the Northeastern Coronary Heart Disease Conference.
She held many leadership roles including acting as Co-chair of the Pulmonary Resuscitation Program for Nassau County, N.Y., Chairperson of the Nassau-Suffolk Regional Emergency Preparedness Committee, Regional Director of the Emergency Department Nurses Association, Program Evaluator for the American Red Cross, Clinic Coordinator for the American Cancer Society, First Aid Station Coordinator for Nassau County Fire Service Academy, Training Coordinator and Board Liaison for National Emergency Medical Services, Board Member of the American Heart Association of New York State, and Education Chairman for the American Association Occupational Health Nurses.
She was an instructor at Adelphi University, Nassau Community College and the Long Island Emergency Nurse Program in the areas of Advanced Cardio Life Support, Advanced Emergency Medicine, Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation, and Multi-Media First Aid.
After retirement, she and her husband, Larry, moved to Leakey, Tx., where she was involved in the Eastern Star and many other efforts in the community. A devoted member of St. Raymond Catholic Church, she helped with the expansion of the church, assisted with building the Real County Public Library, was named Leakey Citizen of the year by the Frio Canyon Chamber of Commerce in 2011, held many fundraisers for the local school, city park and civic groups. She was active in improving the lives of others and led volunteer activities.
She faced challenges, was an inspiration, touched the lives of many always wanted to make a difference, went above and beyond expectations and did all with a smile.
She is survived by her husband of over 66 years, Larry; three sons, Tom, Brad and Doug Ernst; a daughter-in-law, Beth; six grandchildren; a great-grandchild and two brothers, Norman Anderson and Lynn Anderson.
Along with her parents, she was preceded in death by three sisters, Alice Anderson, Doris Ellman and Mary Jane Popelka and a brother, Vernon Anderson.
Cremation will be handled by Hillcrest Funeral Home in San Antonio, Tx., with interment in the Veterans Cemetery at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. A Memorial Service will be held in the near future at St. Raymond Catholic Church in Leakey, Tx.
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