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Our Dedicated & Caring Staff


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Michael Ernst

Funeral Director / Owner

Michael Ernst began his journey in the funeral industry when he was a freshman in high school.  He worked for the Christensen-Ciha Funeral Home in Ida Grove, Odebolt and Battle Creek, Iowa.  Michael went on to attend Iowa State University in Ames, IA before transferring to the Gupton-Jones College of Mortuary Science in Decatur, GA.

After graduation, Michael moved to Denver, CO in 2000 where he worked as a funeral director with the Drinkwine Family Mortuary in Littleton, CO.  In 2005, Michael and his family saw an opportunity in the Waukee & Western Suburbs of Des Moines area.  On November 5, 2005, Ernst Funeral & Cremation Services officially opened.

Michael enjoys golfing, traveling, playing cards and cribbage and spending time with his family and two french bulldogs. He also enjoys in his free time working part-time as a Licensed Realtor in the State of Iowa and helping people with their real estate goals. 

Telephone: 1-515-987-6881

Email: ernstwaukee@gmail.com


Matthew Ernst

Mortuary Student / Funeral Assistant


Telephone: 1-515-987-6881

Email: ernstwaukee@gmail.com


DeWayne

Office Manager / Funeral Assistant

Iowa Native, DeWayne grew up in North Liberty/Cedar Rapids areas of Iowa and graduated from Clear-Creek Amana High School in 1997.  Being from a small town, DeWayne was coined the nickname Dewey and it never went away!

Dewey came to Ernst Funeral & Cremation Services in 2010 and started as part-time staff in the funeral industry.  Over the years, he has worked his way through the business and was recently named Office Manager and will head up our new Monuments & Markers Department.

With a background in restaurants and the hospitality industry, Dewey prides himself on creating a memorable and unique experience and his clients, which has led him to providing superior experiences to our staff and families.

In his downtime, Dewey enjoys traveling, spending time with family and friends, spoiling his two fur babies and enjoying some R&R at the lake.  He also works along side Michael at Century 21 Signature Real Estate helping people with all of their real estate needs.

Telephone: 1-515-987-6881

Email: smithwaukee@gmail.com


Judy Applegate

Funeral Assistant

Judy has been a long time Waukee Resident.  After graduating Waukee High School she married her husband Richard "Dick" Applegate.  They have one son Todd.

Judy has been with Ernst Funeral & Cremation Services since day one.  She has been an invaluable part of who we are today.  Judy can usually be seen assisting at visitations, greeting folks at the door and making sure our visitation periods go smoothly.

In her free time, Judy enjoys spending time with her family, attending concerts and taking cruises.


Mark Harrington

Funeral Assistant

Mark is a long time Des Moines resident.  He worked for Drake University taking care of the President's residence.  He could also be seen around campus planning and designing plant and flower layouts.

Mark also maintains and works at Witmer House in Des Moines.  His talent for landscaping and flower and plant placement is second to none; and can be seen each passing season.

Mark has been with Ernst Funeral & Cremation Services since 2015.  He can usually be seen assisting at church funerals, driving our fleet and assisting with our landscaping needs.

In his free time, Mark enjoys spending time with his family, his two dogs and Country Line Dancing.


Ollie & Quincy

Ollie & Quincy

Troublemakers

Ollie and Quincy can be found at the funeral home from time to time.  These two French Bulldog brothers enjoy lounging in the office, keeping an eye on things and once in awhile greeting visitors on normal office days.

They like to wrestle and sleep the day away (as you can see by their photo)



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