Ernst 'Ernie' Grunewald

Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home 

In memoriam of Ernst 'Ernie' Grunewald, 05/16/1937 - 07/25/2014 

Ernst "Ernie" Grunewald, 77 of Watervliet, passed away Friday, July 25 at South Haven Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. 

Ernst, the eldest son of Edward Charl and Jeanne (Nooy) Grünewald, was born in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), on May 16, 1937, and lived throughout the islands and in New Guinea. Ernst attended high school and university in the Netherlands, graduating with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering. He served as an officer in the Royal Netherlands Air Force and immigrated to the USA in 1960. He was a proud and patriotic American citizen. 

He married Peggy Jo Wright in 1961, and they lived in Troy, Ohio, until 1992. Ernst worked at KitchenAid, then a division of the Hobart Corporation, and was issued numerous patents for dishwasher and home appliance technology. 

Ernie and his wife had two daughters, Jovilin and Peggy, and he was very active in their education. He was thrilled that they both served as US Army officers after graduating from college. 

In 1992, Ernst and Peggy Jo moved from Troy to Watervliet, Michigan, where he continued to work for KitchenAid, now a division of Whirlpool, until 2013. He officially retired in 1997 and continued working as a contractor through 2012. His work brought him great joy and he enjoyed mentoring and spending time with his coworkers. Grunewald received multiple awards during his time at Whirlpool, among them: a Product Safety Chairman’s Commendation, the Distinguished Service award from Underwriters Laboratories, and the Distinguished Service Award from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM). He appeared on the History Channel show “Modern Marvels: Home Tech” (Season 9) to discuss the evolution of dishwashers and served for 16 years as the Convenor of the International Electro-technical Commission (IEC), an international standards committee. In July 2013, he received the rarely-awarded IEC 1906 Award, recognizing exceptional achievement among technical experts. 

Ernst was a committed Christian. When residing in Troy, he and his family belonged to the First Baptist Church. When they moved to Michigan, he and Peggy Jo joined the Watervliet Free Methodist Church. He taught Sunday School for 52 years and held many board positions during that time. 

Ernie greatly enjoyed traveling with his family, fishing, cooking, gardening, and playing golf. 

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Peggy Jo, two daughters and their families: Jovilin Grunewald & Mark Tanner of Oak Harbor, Washington, their children Thomas and Katherine Tanner, and Peggy Grunewald & Gale Dietz of Phoenix, Arizona. Ernst is also survived by his brothers and their families in the Netherlands: Rutgert Grünewald of Boskoop and Boudewijn & Anja Grünewald of Siebengewald; a sister-in-law and her family in Ohio, Linda Blumenstock, lifelong friend Odo Siahaya of Idaho, and his dear friends and neighbors Mike and Rita Stewart. Ernie had many friends and will be greatly missed by them all. 

The viewing will be held on Tuesday, July 29, 2014 from 5:00—8:00 PM at Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home in Coloma. The funeral will be held on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 11:00 AM at the Watervliet Free Methodist Church. Reverend Brian E. Hall will officiate. Private interment will be at a later date. Those wishing to leave an online message of comfort for the family may do so by using the "Guestbook" link located on this page.