Kristi Jo Ernst, 66, of Eldridge, Iowa, passed away on Saturday, January 23, 2021 at Genesis East in Davenport, Iowa. After a tough battle, Covid-19 won.
Private funeral services will be held at 11:00am, Friday, January 29, 2021 at the Eldridge Community Center. We ask that you join her service virtually, as it will be livestreamed at 11:00am, by visiting her obituary at www.McGinnis-Chambers.com and clicking the link on her page. Burial will follow at the Erie Cemetery in Erie, Illinois. Friends and family are invited to the cemetery; please respect social distancing and masks will be required.
Kristi was born on August 25, 1954 in Clinton, IA, the daughter of Donald and Esther (Franks) Bartels.
Kristi held many jobs in her day, but raising her family was her greatest joy and accomplishment. She had four children and seven grandchildren. Matthew, her third child, has a rare genetic disorder (CDLS). Being a mother to a son with a mental disorder was no easy feat but leave it up to this woman to knock that out of the park. She was a selfless, caring soul who put every ounce of love into her family. She would have spent every day with them if she could, even though her sons loved to tease their mama to make her smile. She loved to spoil them all with her famous chicken and noodles or a delicious batch homemade scotch-a-roos. Being the all-star grandma she was, she enjoyed baking just about every cookie imaginable for her grandkids. Kristi was front row center to any and all activities her kids or grandkids were a part of, from Donahue Days softball tournaments to Special Olympics to everything in-between. She was their biggest cheerleader. Kristi had a green thumb. She loved her garden. If you drove past her house in the summer you would, without a doubt, find her there. It was her oasis. You may also find her lounging by the pool (or dancing!), drink in hand, surrounded by the people she loved most. Kristi loved meeting up with friends, both old and new. Al & Gerry’s was a special place for her to do that. She was part of the amazing Al & Gerry’s family for over 35 years. Speaking of family, Kristi had many cousins she held dear to her heart, too many to mention but there was so much love.
Kristi was a social butterfly and no matter where you ran into her, you were greeted with a big hug, probably a kiss and were likely left with her contagious laugh running through your mind. Her laugh was one of a kind. She was a big part of her community from working at City Hall, to cooking at Al & Gerry’s, to being an active member of the Eldridge Lions Club, if you needed her, she would be there.
In the last six years, Kristi opened her heart to new adventures and that was large in part to finding her rock, Dennis Rock. They shared their lives together and their love for one another was timeless. They were soulmates. Their time together was cut far too short.
Kristi will be missed beyond what words can describe. She filled our hearts and our world with everything a mother, grandmother and friend should; love and laughter. Until we meet again, mama, we love you so much.
Those left to honor her memory include her daughter and son-in-law, Angela and Mark Brimmer of Long Grove, Iowa; her sons and daughters-in-law, Paul and Brandy Ragona of Long Grove, Matthew Ernst of DeWitt, Iowa and Eric and Stephany Ernst of Eldridge; her grandchildren, Joseph, Tyler and Elise Ragona; Alyson Ragona (Shawn Leland) and Anthony Brimmer; and Vaida and Voss Ernst; her significant other, Dennis Rock of Eldridge; her brother and sister-in-law, Curt and Nancy Bartels of Erie; and her niece and nephew, Stacy Carlson and Zack Bartels.
Kristi was preceded in death by her parents.
A celebration of life will be planned in August to honor Kristi.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Imagine the Possibilities, Inc. or to the Eldridge Lions Club.