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Quincy city council member dies unexpectedly

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Quincy-TomErnst-07112020

QUINCY (WGEM) — Family members of Third Ward Alderman Tom Ernst confirmed on social media Saturday afternoon he has died unexpectedly.

Ernst was elected to the Quincy City Council in 2017 having previously served on the Quincy Park Board from 2011 to 2017 as well as from 1993 to 2005.

Ernst recently was hired to be the women’s golf coach at Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Mo.

Ernst was a member of the men’s golf team from 1974 to 1978, and was a member of the 1977 team that won the NAIA District 16 championship, securing the school's first trip to the NAIA National Tournament.

He was also known as a longtime basketball official throughout the region.

Ernst obituary is below:

Thomas E. Ernst, 63, of Quincy, IL, passed away Friday, July 10, 2020 in Hancock County, IL.

A private Mass of Christian Burial will be held at the Church of St. Peter in Quincy, IL. Monsignor Leo Enlow will officiate. Private burial will follow at Greenmount Cemetery in Quincy, IL.

The family will host a public Celebration of Tom’s Life at a later date.

The family is being served by the O'Donnell-Cookson Life Celebration Home in Quincy.

Thomas was born August 17, 1956, in Quincy, IL to Daniel T. and Mary M. Schulte Ernst.

He was married to Deelite Cashman on July 1, 1983 in Quincy, IL. She preceded him in death on April 15, 2003.

Survivors include his mother, Mary M. Ernst of Quincy, IL; two children, Drew Ernst of Quincy, IL and Elizabeth Ernst of St. Louis, MO; one brother, John Ernst (Debbie) of Quincy, IL; two sisters, Carol McCabe (Mike) of Quincy, IL and Ann Kirlin (Kent Ihrig) of Liberty, IL; a special friend, Susan Fohey and her family; several nieces and nephews; and many special friends who Tom considered family.

In addition to his wife, Thomas is preceded in death by his father and his grandparents.

Thomas graduated from Christian Brothers High School in 1974 and from Culver-Stockton College in 1978, where he was a member of the men’s golf team through the entirety of his college career. He was a member of the 1977 team that won the NAIA District 16 championship, which earned the school's first trip to the NAIA National Tournament. He was also a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity.

Thomas sold insurance at Woodmen Accident and Life Company for many years. He was later an insurance broker and a Prearrangement Counselor at James O'Donnell Funeral Home in Hannibal, MO, and he enjoyed working part-time at the funeral home. In addition, he was a well-known basketball official throughout the region and enjoyed officiating for many years. Thomas had just recently been appointed the Culver-Stockton College Women's Golf Coach.

Thomas was an avid golfer and loved golfing at Westview Golf Course, Spring Lake County Club, and Quincy Country Club, where he once won the club championship. He was a huge fan of St. Louis Cardinals baseball and Pittsburgh Steelers football, as well as his alma mater, the Culver-Stockton Wildcats. He served on the Quincy City Council as the Third Ward Alderman since 2017, and he had previously served on the Quincy Park Board from 2011-2017 as well as from 1993-2005. Thomas never met a stranger and made everyone feel at home. He loved poking fun with his friends but most of all, Thomas loved spending time with his children and family and friends.

Thomas was a member and Eucharistic Minister at the Church of St. Peter in Quincy, IL.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Culver-Stockton College Men's and Women's Golf Teams or Quincy Cursillo.

Online condolences may be shared, and a video tribute may be viewed at www.ODonnellCookson.com.

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Blake Sammann

Blake Sammann is a reporter and weekend anchor at WGEM News.

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