IRON MOUNTAIN - Ernest Bartolameolli "Ernie Bart" has found his way home to the great camp in the sky where he will be greeted by many family members and friends who are awaiting his famous rabbit and polenta dinners. Ernie was 92 and passed away very peacefully on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, surrounded by his loving wife and children and special friend Dennis.
He was born on Aug. 15, 1920, to Amadeo and Kathryn (Fedrizzi) Bartolameolli. He was preceded in death by his parents, and all of his siblings, Gaeno, Guido, Jolo, Minnie Simmons, Linda Weiser, and an infant sister, Mary.
He graduated from high school in 1938 and attended technical training in Ironwood. Following his return, he worked for Ford Motor Co. and then became the custodian for Amidon Elementary School, where he stayed until his retirement in 1982. Ernie was an integral part of the "Amidon Team" and in fact, Principal Peter Vanlaanen wrote his master's thesis about the unique role Ernie played at the school, finding himself wiping runny noses, bandaging bruised legs, knowing the children by name, breaking up fights on the playground, walking kindergarten classes to his wonderful wife Clarine for juice breaks or mini field trips, assisting teachers and becoming a close personal friend to all the faculty and staff.
Ernie developed a special friendship with Dennis (Sue) Veale, who met Ernie on his first day teaching at Amidon. Dennis has remained a close family friend and became a surrogate son to both Clarine and Ernie.
Ernie married his wonderful and loving wife Clarine (Paquin) in February 1945. The two spent 68 years together in Iron Mountain, with Clarine providing years of TLC and always "standing by her man."
In addition to Clarine, Ernie leaves his special caregiving daughter and son-in-law, Julie and Danny Poeschel; a son and daughter-in-law, Gary and Sharon; two grandchildren, Tracey (Don) and Steven (Amy); and a great-grandson, Logan Kaminski.
He also has one surviving sister-in-law, Vera (Jolo) Bartolameolli; a cousin, Lu (Specs) Bartolameolli; two nephews; and two nieces.
Ernie's favorite things in life were weekends at Camp Stahav, rabbit hunting, running his beloved beagles, fishing, playing mota, and fancying himself the best smear player east of the Mississippi.
In his later years - with his health failing and Clarine wearing out as his caregiver - his personality remained quite tart and colorful. He was fortunate to find the Hyland Nursing Home Team who adopted him as the "resident character" and accepted his self-designed language (Ernie Speak) with a smile and plenty of TLC.
Ernie's special caregivers are too numerous to mention and span all roles at Hyland. Dr. Ryan and special nurse Tami were very supportive through his medical journey. Thank you to all of you who helped to make his final years comfortable.
A memorial luncheon and celebration of Ernie's life will be held this Saturday at the Elks Club at 1 p.m. We invite his family and friends to come share memories of Ernie and offer support for his devoted wife Clarine and dedicated family.
Fr. Joe will bless the luncheon and pray for Ernie's peaceful ascent to the great camp in the sky.
Condolences to the family of Ernest "Ernie Bart" Bartolameolli may be expressed online at www.ernashfuneralhomes.com.
The Erickson-Rochon & Nash Funeral Home is assisting the family with his passing.