Ernest D. Sundstrom, 90

Ernest D. Sundstrom, 90, Athens, Ga., went joyfully into the arms of his heavenly father on July 17, 2020. Ernie was born on April 15, 1930, to the late Elsie and Carl Sundstrom at the family ranch near Mud Butte in Meade County. Ernie loved to play his guitar and sing country songs. He was an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Athens, Ga. Ernie was an avid fixer and builder and enjoyed working on cars.

Ernie attended grade school at Mud Butte and then went on to Sturgis High School where he graduated in 1948. After high school, Ernie worked as a derrick man in the oilfields of Wyoming, Colorado, and Texas. He served in the Army’s 955th Field Artillery Battalion, C Battery, in the Korean war.

Ernie attended the School of Mines in Rapid City, graduating in 1958, with a Mechanical Engineering degree. Ernie operated and designed coal, gas, oil, geothermal, and solar power plants. He was a registered mechanical engineer in five states

He is survived by his wife, Esther Sundstrom, Athens, Ga.; two sons, Dale Sundstrom, Simsbury, Conn., and James (Susan) Sundstrom, Lansing, Mich.; two stepsons, Mike (Veronica) Gilbert, San Jose, Calif., and Larry (Cindy) Gilbert, Winder, Ga.; one daughter, Linda Decker, Traverse City, Mich.; one stepdaughter, Sharon (Pat) Gish, Macon, Ga.; five grandsons, Cliff (Natani), Ronald, and Erick Sundstrom, Christian Byington, and Andrew Decker; five granddaughters, Jordan (Sean Noell) and Taylor Byington, Kaitlyn (Karl) Warsinski, Megan Sundstrom, and Emily Decker; one great-grandson, Brady Noell; one great-granddaughter, Hadley Noell; one older brother, Juno, Deadwood; one sister, LaVera (Bud) Chord, Sturgis; and many nieces and nephews.

Ernie was preceded in death by his first wife, Iola (Erickson), and daughter, Nancy Sundstrom.

Visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. July 30, at Kinkade Funeral Chapel in Sturgis.

Ernie’s victory of life service will be held at 11 a.m. July 31, 2020, at Blessed Emmanuel Lutheran Church, 2942 Pine Tree Trail in Sturgis. Ernie will be laid to rest, with military honors, at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis.

Memorials may be sent to Blessed Emmanuel Lutheran Church of Sturgis, SD or the St. Joseph Indian School, Chamberlain, SD 57325.

Condolences may be sent to the family at

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