By HDN Staff
JOPLIN Ernest John "Ernie" Tempel, 81, died Sunday, May 6, 2001 at a Chester hospital. He had suffered the last five years from a chronic lung ailment.
Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Friday at the Bethel Lutheran Church in Joplin. Burial with military honors will follow at the Joplin Cemetery.
Tempel was born Feb. 14, 1920 to Gus and Louise (Heyen) Tempel at Everett, Wash. He grew up on the family homestead 28 miles north of Joplin. He attended Tingdahl Country School and finished his formal education at Joplin High School. He worked on the family farm and the sugar beet fields at Chinook.
In 1942, Tempel enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served during World War II in the Asiatic-Pacific and American campaigns. He attained the rank of motor machinist's mate first class. He served on three ships, two of which were destroyed in battle. He survived both in and helped rescue hundreds of fellow shipmen. He returned to Montana upon his honorable discharge in 1946.
Tempel worked at the Anaconda Smelter in Great Falls for several years. He earned his private, commercial and sea-plane pilot's licenses during those years and eventually returned to the farm.
He married Marilyn Gillis on Dec. 4, 1954 in Klamath Falls, Ore.
In addition to farming north of Joplin, Tempel was among the first aerial crop-sprayers in the Golden Triangle area. He was a partner in Tempel-Anderson Spraying Service for many years. He raised hogs and cattle to go along with his farming operation. He never officially retired from farming.
Tempel was a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church north of Joplin, VFW Post in Chester, and NFO. He also served on the Tingdahl school board and was a die-hard Republican.
He enjoyed boating and water skiing, vegetable gardening, photography, woodworking, reading, and watching the news, weather and auto racing on TV. He enjoyed fixing things and learning. He learned engineering skills and took up the computer in his 70s.
Tempel was preceded in death by his parents, an infant brother and a sister, Maggie Anderson.
Survivors include his wife, Marilyn Tempel of Joplin; sons, Ronald Tempel of Joplin and Robert Tempel of Great Falls; daughter, Susan Rader of Great Falls; brothers, Kenneth Tempel of Chester and Clinton Tempel of Great Falls; sisters, Dorothy Heydon of Bozeman and Ellen Overton of Great Falls; seven grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be made to Immanuel Lutheran Church, Liberty County Hospital or donor's choice.
Arrangements are by Rockman Funeral Chapel, Chester.