Marge Ernst passed away peacefully on March 19, 2024, at the age of 97, after visits from her entire family. She lived a long and full life in Paso Robles, a place she often called God’s country. She was born on January 19, 1927, in Cañon City, Colorado, and moved to Paso Robles at the age of 18 months with her parents, Lee and Pearl King, and sister Wilma. Her younger sister, Nita, was born in Paso Robles.

When she was a sophomore at Paso Robles High School, she met Gene Ernst at The Big Orange, where she worked, and they exchanged letters during his time in the Marines during WW II. In the ensuing years, she also worked at Union Pacific Railroad and had plans to go into nursing until Gene told her she didn’t really want to do that; she should marry him instead. They married in 1946 and raised three children: Susan, Don, and Martin. Marge was an avid golfer and was a five-time women’s Paso Robles Golf Club champion. She was a Paso Robles Quota Club member for many years and, along with Gene, was a major donor to the Cuesta College North Campus. She loved playing bridge with her friends and spent many happy hours filling empty canvases with her paintings. She was interested in the stock market and had stimulating conversations with each of her grandsons about which stock would be best to follow. She was bright and curious about everything, with a high degree of business acumen, and, in her later years, even managed her own commercial property.

Marge’s family was the cornerstone of her life, and she left us with an amazing legacy of love. She and Gene started the family tradition of beach week in Cayucos, which has endured for over 70 years. She will be remembered as a loving wife, mother, and citizen of Paso Robles. She is survived by her children, Susan Bruce and her husband Edwin from San Jose, Don Ernst and his wife Teri from San Luis Obispo, Martin Ernst and his wife Joann from San Jose, and her sister Nita Drennan of Paso Robles, as well as four grandchildren: Devin Ernst, Raena Lavelle, Taylor Ernst, and Alison Evans together with seven great-grandchildren.

Graveside services will be held at Paso Robles Cemetery on Thursday, April 11, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. An informal gathering for family and friends will follow the service at the Paso Robles Pioneer Museum, 2010 Riverside Avenue.

In lieu of flowers, and because Marge loved Cuesta College, please consider a donation to the Cuesta Assistance for Student Emergency Fund: Click Here