THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Ernest L. Medina
Issue Date: May 17, 2018
Ernest L. Medina, of Marinette, passed away Tuesday, May 8, 2018.
Born in Springer, N.M., to Simon and Pauline Medina, he was raised by his grandparents in Montrose Co., due to his mothers passing shortly after his birth.
He lied about his age to join the Colorado National Guard at age 16, he then graduated from Montrose High School and continued serving in the Guard while working for the Forestry Department. He was going to join the Seminary but instead, enlisted in the military in 1956. As a Sergeant alternately called out "Army, Navy," he counted down and switched places with the man in front of him to be enlisted in the Army instead of the Navy.
He was assigned to Heilbronn Germany and while on furlough in Heidelberg he met a German girl named Baerbel Dechandt, his future wife. He declined an offer to take an exam to go to West Point Military Academy so he could marry her.
He served in Vietnam where he was awarded third highest medal, a Silver Star, for bravery. The family settled in Marinette, where he became Vice President of Sales for Enstrom Helicopter Corporation.
He later joined his wife's business, Medina Inc., Realtors, where he attempted to take over. She let him move into her office and let him believe he was in charge, while she had control. He later became a member and President of the Rotary Club and was awarded the Paul Harris Award for service to the community, of which he was proud of.
He enjoyed an occasional cigar, a good home-brew, collectibles and dreamt of restoring an antique Ford Model T and a 1960s VW Bug, but mostly loved time with family, friends and working in the community.
He watched over his wife's pet cats, dogs and occasional stray raccoon strolling in the yard, built a homemade hang-glider, he used once and was a prankster, but especially adored his grandchildren.
Survivors include his wife, Barbara; a sister, Linda Lovato; his cousin who was like a sister to him, Ercelica Salomoni; a daughter, Ingrid Medina; two sons, Greg (Mary-Catherine) Medina, Cecil (Melanie) Medina and eight grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by a grandson, Brian Medina, who died while serving in the United States Marines.
Visitation took place at Thielen Funeral Home in Marinette on Sunday, May 13 from 3 p.m. until time of the Vigil Prayer Service at 5:30 p.m., with Fr. Mark McQuesten presiding. Visitation included a Eulogy and sharing of stories about him. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at Resurrection Parish on Monday, May 14 at 11 a.m., with Fr. Mark McQuesten presiding, followed by a lunch. Donations can be made to charities of St. Vincent De Paul, The Salvation Army or Resurrection Parish, 2607 18th St., Menominee, MI 49858.