Ernest H. Peiffer, Sr. obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Ernest H. Peiffer, Sr.

May 19, 1923 - May 3, 2012

Obituary


Ernest Peiffer Sr.

Ernest H. Peiffer Sr., 88, died peacefully in his bed on Thursday morning, May 3, 2012, and this warrior is now flying towards Heaven "coming in on a wing and a prayer." Ernie, the only son of John and Edna, nee Bean, Peiffer was born May 19, 1923, in Avon, Pa.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 61 years, Christine, nee Dillard, Peiffer; a son, Joseph Peiffer; his parents; parents-in-law, John and Jane Dillard; sisters, Martha (David) Wile and Christine (Wayne) Light; and brothers-in-law, Jim Wike,...

Ernest Peiffer Sr.

Ernest H. Peiffer Sr., 88, died peacefully in his bed on Thursday morning, May 3, 2012, and this warrior is now flying towards Heaven "coming in on a wing and a prayer." Ernie, the only son of John and Edna, nee Bean, Peiffer was born May 19, 1923, in Avon, Pa.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 61 years, Christine, nee Dillard, Peiffer; a son, Joseph Peiffer; his parents; parents-in-law, John and Jane Dillard; sisters, Martha (David) Wile and Christine (Wayne) Light; and brothers-in-law, Jim Wike, Norris Penry and Wm. Edward Dillard.

Surviving are his son, Ernest H. (Jane) Peiffer Jr.; daughter, Ernestine "Sis" Peiffer Briley; a very special son-in-law, Glen Briley; sister, Irene Wike; sisters-in-law, Beulah (Bob) Elder, Emma Dillard and JoAnn Feegle; five grandchildren, Sherry (Ronnie) Gravot, Adam (Shannon) Peiffer, John (Michele) Briley, Ernest Peiffer III, and Matthew (Anni) Peiffer; great-grandchildren, Nicholas Gravot, Devon Gravot, Brogan Gravot, Dylan Peiffer, Elijah Peiffer, Luke Peiffer, Levi Peiffer, Connor Briley and McKenna Briley; and many loving nieces, nephews; and dear friends, Nancy Peiffer and Freeman Hartmann.

After graduation from Lebanon High School in Lebanon, Pa., Ernie could see that war was inevitable and enlisted in the Army Air Corps. With the outbreak of World War II, he was stationed in England, and flew bombing missions over Germany as a waist gunner on a B-17, the "Heavenly Body." The Heavenly Body was shot down on the 25th and final mission, and Ernie was imprisoned for 14 months in a German Stalag. The German commander of the concentration camp could see the end of the war coming and set his prisoners on a march. Ernie was a survivor of a two-month long liberation march during one of Germany's harshest winters.

After his discharge, Ernie came to East St. Louis, Ill., to work for the railroad. He met his loving wife, Christine Dillard at the Nazarene Church and they were married on May 23, 1947, at the home of Christine's parents, John and Jane Dillard in East St. Louis, Ill. Ernie and Christine continued to attend the Nazerene Church through their entire marriage.

Ernie retired from the Terminal Railroad, East St. Louis, Ill., after close to 40 years. He worked hard and played hard. He had a passion for hunting; and at one time owned 160 acres of hunting land in Canada and 80 acres in Missouri. He also enjoyed fishing, particularly on the Osage River when he had a clubhouse in Missouri. Ernie played softball and basketball for the church league and watched all sports on TV and traveled extensively throughout the US and Europe.

He was a member of several organizations, a few of which were the Masonic Lodge No. 24, Belleville, Ill., Ainad Shrine, East St. Louis, Ill., Scottish Rite, Belleville, Ill., VFW 7980, Millstadt, Ill., American EX-POW Organization and the 390th Bomb Squadron Veteran's Organization.

For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

(11 Timothy 4:6-7)

Memorials may be made to Emmanuel Nazarene Church, 8201 Old St. Louis Road, Belleville, Ill., 62223 or to Hospice of Southern Illinois, Belleville, Ill. Condolences may be offered at www.lakeviewfuneralhm.com

Visitation: Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, May 6, 2012, at Lake View Funeral Home, Fairview Heights, Ill. A Masonic Service will be held at 7 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home.

Funeral: Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 7, 2012, at the funeral home with Pastor Russel Brewer officiating. Interment with military honors will be held in Lake View Memorial Gardens, Fairview Heights, Ill.

LAKE VIEW FUNERAL HOME, Fairview Heights, Ill.