Ernest L. White III, passed away Thursday, October 5th

Ernest “Ernie” L. White III, passed away Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017, at Lakeland Medical Center in St. Joseph, surrounded by family.

Friends may visit with the family from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10, at Starks & Menchinger Chapel & Cremation Services, 2650 Niles Road, St. Joseph. A private family service and burial at Riverview Cemetery will take place at a later date. Memorial donations may be made to the St. Joseph-Benton Harbor Elks Lodge 541. Those wishing to sign Ernie’s memory book online may do so at

Ernie was born March 20, 1952, in Detroit, to Ernest White Jr. and Margaret (Kendall) White. He attended Catholic Central High School in Detroit and Eastern Michigan University. Ernie graduated from University of Detroit (Mercy) School of Law in 1977 and went on to practice law for the next 39 years, a majority of those years as a criminal defense attorney assisting indigent clients. On Aug. 3, 1985, he married Stephanie (Schmoeller) Bell. Together they made a home in St. Joseph. Ernie was a dedicated husband, father and grandpa, and loved spending time with his grandchildren. Ernie was an avid golfer and when he was at home he was constantly accompanied by his dog, Buddy. He was a member of the St. Joseph-Benton Harbor Elks Lodge 541.

Ernie will be lovingly remembered by his wife, Stephanie; children: Jon Bell II of Missouri Valley, Iowa, Jeff (Kari) Bell of St. Joseph, and Jennifer (Douglas) Killian of Howard City, Mich.; grandchildren: Peyton, Paige, Maddi, Mason, Makston, Isaac, Quinn, and Gweneth; sisters: Mary Kay (Michael) Keenan of Arlington Va., Joann (Frank) Calzonetti of Port Clinton, Ohio, and Bridget White (Richard Willobee) of Grand Rapids.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Ernest and Margaret.

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