Ernest “Ernie” Plate, 75, of Freeman, S.D., and formerly of Oskaloosa, Iowa, died Wednesday, July 25, 2018, in Freeman. He was born Oct. 4, 1942, in Oskaloosa, the son of Walter and Jocoba “Cora” Ten Broeke Plate. He graduated from Pella Christian High School with the class of 1960.
On Sept. 14, 1962, he was united in marriage to Diane Wanders at First Christian Reformed Church in Pella, Iowa. To this union seven children were born: Debra, Kim, Regin, Russell, Quentin, Kristin and Brennan. Ernie grew up on the farm, being his Grandpa Plate’s number one farm hand. After graduation, he helped full-time with the operation of the family farm. He later purchased the farm and continued to raise livestock, corn, beans, and hay on that ground. He had a strong work ethic that he instilled in his children. His “Will Do” approach to many challenges often led him to some unconventional, but effective solutions.
In the mid- and late-1980s, he drove semi in addition to farming. In the late 1990’s, he went to work for Young-Love Construction building grain elevators in the Midwest. On April 23, 1999, his wife Diane died in Oskaloosa. Following the death of his wife, he continued to travel the Midwest building grain bins. On March 3, 2001, Ernie was united in marriage to Ida Mae Lang in Menno, S.D. The two of them made their home on a farm near Freeman.
Ernie was currently working for Stern Oil Company in Freeman. He was a member of the First Christian Reformed Church in Oskaloosa and was attending Zion Reformed Church in Menno. He loved to travel, and he especially looked forward to the annual fishing trip with his family to Canada in late summer before the harvest. He enjoyed fishing, carpentry work, gardening and building birdhouses. One of his favorite road trips was when he and Ida Mae drove to Alaska to visit his cousin he hadn’t seen in over 40 years. He had a servant heart, and it was very important to him that his children learned the value of helping those around them. One of Ernie’s greatest joys was his family, and he treasured times when the entire family was able to gather together.
His family includes his wife Ida Mae Plate of Freeman; seven children: Debra (Dennis) Rooda of Harvey, Kim Plate (Ken Olson) of Newton, Regin (Michelle) Plate of Magnolia, Texas, Russell (Angela) Plate of Oskaloosa, Quentin (Gena) Plate of Oskaloosa, Kristin (Troy) Lang of Pleasant Hill and Brennan Plate (Jenny Shipley) of Oskaloosa; 19 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; four step-children: Blanche (Jody) Hoff of Tea, S.D., Jerome (Sarah) Lang of Dell Rapids, S.D., Nicole (Dustin) Hill of Rapid City, S.D. and Caleb Lang (Lauren Chirnside) of Ames, Iowa; and five step-grandchildren.
In addition to his first wife Diane, he was preceded in death by his parents and step-son, Wade Lang.
A funeral was held Tuesday, July 31 at the First Christian Reformed Church in Oskaloosa, with burial in the Forest Cemetery in Oskaloosa. Memorials may be made to the Oskaloosa Christian Grade School which Ernie and his family had attended or currently attend.