Ernest Frank “Ernie” Kujawa, 82, of Scheller, passed away at 12:35 A.M., Thursday, December 1, 2022 at Barnes Jewish Hospital St. Louis.
Ernie had worked as a coal miner for Consolidated Coal Company Consol 4 and as a farmer. He was a member of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus and UMWA. He enjoyed gardening, sitting outside, watching Cardinal Baseball, and watching westerns.
Ernie made the best beef jerky and pickles, and he enjoyed bloody mary’s. Once he retired he enjoyed watching The Bold and the Beautiful, going to his grandchildren’s sporting events, and spending time with his family. He was funny, loved to joke around, never met a stranger, and above all he was the kindest person.
On March 7, 1988, Ernest had to get a heart transplant, he was known as the longest living heart transplant from Barnes Jewish Hospital. On April 28, 2019, Ernie was honored as the longest living heart transplant and threw out the first pitch at the St. Louis Cardinals baseball game. He was the best dad and popo and loved his family and enjoyed every moment spent with them.
He was born September 9, 1940, in Jefferson County, IL, the son of Frank W. and Sophie (Szopinski) Kujawa.
Ernest married Rose Marie Wesolak on May 18, 1963 at St. Charles Catholic Church and she survives.
He is survived by his wife of Scheller; one daughter, Brenda Rohde and husband Charles of Montgomery, AL; one son, Craig Kujawa and wife Julie of Mt. Vernon, IL; six grandchildren, Keatyn Schefelker and husband Nathan, Kelby Withrow and husband Brendan, Abby Wolfe and husband Jeremy, Quinton Kujawa and significant other Paige Thomas, Ansley Rohde, and Calan Kujawa; three great grandchildren, Carlin Schefelker, Kasen Schefelker, and Maddux Kujawa; brothers and sisters, Hattie Geppert and husband Stanley, Mary Ann Krus and husband John, Alex Kujawa and wife Marcia, Elsie Flerlage, Maxine Wright and husband Roy, Laverne Schumm and husband David, Charles Kujawa and wife Janet, Frankie Kujawa and wife Cindy; sister-in-law, Rose Ann Kujawa; brother-in-law, Robert Wesolak and wife Clara; sister-in-law, Patty Davitz and husband Gene, and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Stanley and Mathilda Wesolak; brothers and sisters, Frances and Ted Gajewski, Bernice and Leo Kwiatkowski, Walter and Susan Kujawa, Albert Kujawa, Helen and Leo Witges, Lawrence Eugene Kujawa, and Bernard Flerlage Jr.; one niece and nine nephews.
Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:00 A.M., Monday, December 5, 2022 at the St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Du Bois with Fr. Oliver Nwachukwu officiating.
Friends may call from 4-7 P.M., Sunday, December 4, 2022 at the St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Du Bois and 9A.M. until the time of service on Monday, December 5, 2022 at the church.
Burial will be in the St. Charles Cemetery in Du Bois.
Friends may make memorials to St. Charles Cemetery, St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, or American Heart Association and will be accepted at the funeral home and church.
Searby Funeral Home in Tamaroa is in charge of arrangements.
For additional information or to sign the memorial guest register, please visit www.searbyfuneralhomes.com.