Frederick Frank Ernst passed away on August 19, 2021, in Riverside, California. Fred was born in Paso Robles to Wilmar (Bim) and Violet Ernst on April 14, 1948. Fred attended local schools and graduated from Paso Robles High School and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. He then received his master’s degree at Purdue University in Indiana.
Being a true Californian, he headed back home after graduation to be an instructor at Cal Poly in soil science for several years. Fred earned his doctorate degree at U.C. Riverside in soil science. He remained in Riverside for his entire career as a research scientist for the USDA Ag Research Service. He was widely respected for his design and fabrication of lab and field research devices. Fred was a mentor to many graduate students from around the world and had an open-door policy for those students who were a long way from home.
He loved going to garage sales and Swap meets, finding “bargains” to fix up and give away to friends, students, and relatives. He also collected woodworking equipment to make beautiful canes, jewelry, weaving implements, all made from California-grown trees and bushes. His enjoyment was in making something beautiful from downed wood and giving it away. Fred was also an avid fisherman and was a grasshopper specialist on trout streams. He would use nymphs, and flies were required but preferred live grasshoppers.
He was an active member of Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Riverside and sang in their choir for many years.
Fred is survived by his brother, Paul Ernst of Paso Robles; sister Kathryn and brother-in-law Jim Dooley of Edgewood, Washington; and sister Carol Ernst of Edgewood, Washington. He also leaves behind numerous nephews and nieces. He was preceded in death by his parents and older brother David.
We will miss you, Fred – your monologs on any subject, your incredible patience when working with wood, your generosity to anyone you came in contact with. You were a loving and generous son, brother, and Uncle.