Ernest “Ernie” C. Halvorson

Published 7:46 pm Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Ernest Carl Halvorson, affectionately known as Ernie, passed away peacefully with family by his side on May 6, 2024 at his home in Albert Lea, MN.

Ernest “Ernie” C. Halvorson

Ernie was born on October 17, 1944 to Leslie and Elda (Hargefeld) Halvorson in Albert Lea, MN; three days after his future wife Kathleen. Throughout the years his family enjoyed joking around with him that he “robbed the cradle” once he married Kathleen.

Following his graduation from Albert Lea schools in 1963, Ernie enlisted in the United States Army, proudly serving in the Vietnam war until his honorable discharge in 1967. Fate would bring Ernie back to his childhood friend, Kathleen Jensen, and they were married at the Little Brown Church on September 13, 1980. In this union, Ernie embraced Kathleen’s children, Steven and Carrie, as his own, wearing the badge of fatherhood with immense pride.

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Ernie spent his working years at Wilson Foods and Edwards Manufacturing before retiring in 2004. Outside of his professional life, Ernest had a deep love for the outdoors. The family cabin in Emily, MN held cherished memories of fishing, hunting, and peaceful moments in nature. He proudly tended to his garden, relishing the bounty of fresh vegetables he would can for the seasons ahead. A true adventurer at heart, Ernie and Kathleen spent countless hours cruising on their Goldwing motorcycle, exploring the open road. His faithful canine companion, Brew, was always by his side, faithfully accompanying him to the cabin and even earned his own order at McDonalds, a cheeseburger with no pickles or ketchup.

Ernie maintained close friendships throughout his lifetime, finding joy in moments shared with his childhood companions, hunting, fishing, and hours of conversations and laughter at the Union Center. He was a proud member of the Eagles Club, American Legion, and VFW, honoring his military roots and camaraderie with fellow service members. An expert on the grill, Ernie’s culinary skills shone through whenever he cooked, with his air fryer becoming a favorite gadget in later years. Ernie was known for his meticulous organizational skills; if it was out of place or missing, it wouldn’t take him long to notice.

Ernie’s true joy, however, came from his role as a grandpa. Ernie had a special bond with his grandchildren, who brought him great joy. His wise words and life lessons from baiting fishing hooks to canning applesauce will always echo in their hearts, along with his signature saying that there are three ways to do things: “The right way, the wrong way, and Grandpa’s way!”

Ernie will be lovingly remembered by his wife Kathleen; children, Steven VanMaldeghem and Carrie (Matt) Brandsoy; grandchildren, Hunter, Sawyer (Paige Peterson), Camryn and Quin VanMaldeghem, Codie (Mya) and Lukas Wolfe, and Kallen Brandsoy; great grandchildren, Ivy and Baylor VanMaldeghem; nieces, Lisa Knott and Lexie Heagy; nephews, John VanHoudt and Andrew and Tyler Knott; sisters-in-law, Shirley (Jerry Hemingway) Johnson, Mary (Jerry Paulson) Harty, and Georjean Jensen; brothers-in-law, George (Val) Jensen and John (Bernice) Jensen; and his grandpup, Aspen.

He was preceded in death by his parents, sister, Lorea (Don) VanHoudt; brothers-in-law, Donald Jensen, Dale (Sarah) Jensen, Harley Jensen, Chuck Harty, and Duane Johnson; niece, Kim VanHoudt, and his faithful pup, Brew.

Ernie’s family will host a memorial service at 11:00 am on Saturday, May 11, 2024 at Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Albert Lea, MN; Pastor Pat Gullixon will officiate. Ernie’s family will greet guests at a visitation on Thursday, May 9, 2024 from 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM at Bonnerup Funeral and Cremation Services in Albert Lea, MN. Interment will be at Hillcrest Cemetery in Albert Lea, MN.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to the American Legion Riders Chapter #56, 142 N Broadway Ave, Albert Lea, MN 56007.

Grandpa Ernie’s famous words will always be remembered as; “They can take everything away from you, but they can’t take your knowledge.” His wisdom, love, and gentle spirit will resonate eternally in our hearts.