Ernest L. Medina, Marinette, passed away on May 8, 2018. Ernie was born in Springer, N.M., to Simon and Pauline Medina. 
    Following his mother’s untimely death shortly after his birth, he was raised by his grandparents in Montrose, Colo. He lied about his age to join the Colorado National Guard at the age of 16, then graduated from Montrose High School and continued serving in the Guard while working for the Forestry Department. For a time, it appeared Ernie would join the Seminary, but instead, in 1956, he elected to enlist in the military.  Watching as a Sergeant walked down the line assigning new recruits to a branch of service by pointing and alternately stating “Army, Navy,” Ernie stepped out of line and counted down to himself. Realizing he was slated to be in the Navy he asked to switch places with the man in front of him so he could enlist in the Army. Subsequently he was posted to an assignment in Heilbronn, Germany where, while on furlough in Heidelberg, he met a tall, young, blonde German girl named Baerbel Dechandt.  He quickly fell in love and declined an offer to take an exam to go to West Point Military Academy so that he could marry his soul mate.  He served in Vietnam where he was awarded our country’s third highest medal, a Silver Star, for bravery. 
Ernie and his family settled in Marinette, Wis., where he became vice president of sales for Enstrom Helicopter Corporation. He later joined his wife’s business, Medina Inc., Realtors, where he quickly attempted to take over. Barb savvily allowed him to move into her office and allowed him to believe he was in charge, while she actually maintained control. He later became a member and president of the Rotary Club. He was awarded the Paul Harris Award for his service to the community, an achievement of which he was very proud. Ernie craved time with family, friends, and working in the community. He also enjoyed having an occasional cigar, a good home-brew, trying to fill his endless garage with assorted “collectibles,” and dreaming of restoring an antique Ford Model T and a 1960s VW Bug. He was always busy watching over his wife’s pet cats, dogs and occasional stray raccoon that would stroll through the yard. He built a homemade hang-glider which he used once. He adored all his grandkids.  Another of his passions was being a prankster, once pretending to be a duck farmer when buying a down coat and aggravating many a local waitress by asking, “How fluffy are your fluffy pancakes?”
Survivors include his wife, Barbara Medina; sister, Linda Lovato; his cousin who was like a sister to him, Ercelica Salomoni; daughter, Ingrid Medina; sons: Greg (Mary-Catherine) Medina, Cecil (Melanie) Medina; grandchildren: Kyla Philibeck, Sara (Kurt) Kupcho, Matthew (Amy) Philibeck, Christina Basken, Jennifer Medina, Patrick Medina, Andrew Medina and Dakota Medina. He is preceded in death by his grandson, Brian Medina, who gave his life for his country while serving in the Marine Corps. 
Visitation will take place at Thielen Funeral Home on Sunday, May 13, from 3 to 5:30 p.m. The vigil prayer service will begin at 5:30 p.m., with Fr. Mark McQuesten presiding. At the visitation there will be a eulogy and a chance to share stories about Ernie. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated for the repose of the soul of Ernie at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 14, at Resurrection Parish, with Fr. Mark McQuesten presiding. The service will be followed by lunch in the parish.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the following charities: St Vincent DePaul; The Salvation Army; or the Resurrection Parish, 2607 18th St, Menominee, MI, 49858. Online condolences may be sent at