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Obituary: Sprenger, Ernest Henry

Sun., Oct. 6, 2013

SPRENGER, Ernest Henry The Reverend Ernest “Ernie” Sprenger was born on the family farm April 7, 1924 at Elgin, North Dakota.

He was one of 14 children.

He graduated from High School as salutatorian of his class and attended Yankton College, School of Theology, Yale Divinity School and Hartford Seminary.

He later did graduate work at the Pacific School of Religion.

He married Elizabeth “Betty” Strobel on June 20, 1947 in Portland, OR.

Together they had four children: Elizabeth, Mark, Scott and Cindy.

They served parishes in Selby, SD, Longmont CO, Middle Haddam, CT and also served as appointees to the National Youth Council of the Evangelic Church of Germany.

Betty went to be with the Lord in 1973.

He married Thelma Jean Koch, and expanded the family with two more children: David and Darlene McCormick.

Ernie served the Philadelphia Congregational Church and Zion Church in Ritzville WA until retirement in June 1986.

Thelma passed from this world in 2012.

He is survived by his children: Elizabeth Ann Larson, Mark (Lynette) Sprenger, Scott (Janet) Sprenger, Cindy (Gene) Smith, David (Michelle) McCormick and Darlene (Gary) Hoefel; grandchildren: Brock Larson, Joshua (Emlyn) Sprenger, Aimee (Gavin) Heider, Jacob (Austin) Ritenour, Sarah (Kyle) Hutto, Katherine (Kyle) Burke, Andrea Smith, Brenda (Jeremy) Garberg, Jennifer and Jessie Jones, Brittanie and Samantha Asmussen as well as four great-grandchildren and was excited about the birth of four additional great-grandchildren over the next few months; sisters Gertrude, Bertha and brother Allen; numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents Christian and Martha Sprenger, his wife Elizabeth “Betty” Strobel, his wife Thelma Jean Koch, his siblings: Oscar, Soloman, Reinhold, Edgar, Raymond, Leslie, Dan, Emma, Elsie, Grace and many beloved pets.

Ernie’s life was marked by his extraordinary love and compassion for people and the community of Ritzville, his profound embrace of life, commitment to his faith, family and his passion for serving the Lord.

A celebration of his life will be on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 1:00 PM at the Zion Philadelphia UCC in Ritzville WA.

Private burial will be at Ritzville Memorial Cemetery.

Memorial contributions are suggested to: Huntington’s Disease Society of America, HDSA Research, 505 Eighth Ave., Suite 902, New York, NY 10018 or the Zion Congregational Church in Ritzville.

The family requests that you send your special memory(s) of Ernie and how he touched your life on the website at

This will be used to create a remembrance for the family.



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