Ernestene “Ernie” R. Swaringen

    Ernestene  R. “Ernie” Swaringen

Nilwood– Ernestene “Ernie” Swaringen, 87 of Dandridge, TN formerly of Nilwood, and Auburn IL, passed away Tuesday January 8, 2019 at her sister’s residence in Dandridge, TN.

Ernie was born March 15, 1931 in Dent County, MO a daughter to Ernest and Ruby (Holland) Dawson. She married Martin Gerdanc, August 26, 1950 in Springfield, IL, Martin passed away March 14, 1977. Ernie married Elmer M. Swaringen March 4, 2005 in Eureka Springs, AR and he passed away January 1, 2010. Ernie was a member of the First Christian Church in Virden, IL. She owned and operated Gerdanc’s Junction Café in Auburn, IL for 20 years. Ernie earned an Associate’s Degree in Coal Mining Technology and was the first women coal miner at Freeman Crown II retiring in 1992.

Surviving Ernie is her 2 grandchildren, Martin A. (Sherri) Gerdanc of Girard, IL, and Sarah (Craig) Busch of Divernon, IL, 4 great grandchildren, Andrew and Evelyn Gerdanc of Girard, IL, and  Elsie and Allie Busch of Divernon, IL, sisters, Judy (James) Grieme of Dandridge, TN, Carlene Medlock of Rolla, MO and Sue Dawson of AL and a brother, Ron (Sharon) Dawson of CA, a daughter-in-law Debra ). Gerdanc O. Girard, IL ,numerous nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by her husbands, Martin Gerdanc and Elmer M. Swaringen, son, Martin L. Gerdanc, brother, Harold E. Dawson, sisters, Kathleen”Kitty” Dawson, Ollie Bartnick and Velma Hopper.

Graveside services will be at Noon Monday January 14, 2019 at Montauk Cemetery in Salem, MO. Rev. John Huxtable officiating. Memorials to First Christian Church Virden, IL. Please visit: to leave a comment of the family.

9 thoughts on “Ernestene “Ernie” R. Swaringen

  1. Judy, Kim and family, I am so happy that Ernie was able to be with you and the family for the remaining days of her life. We cannot forget all the good times we had at the café. If you did not have a laugh while being there something was wrong! May all of you have fond memories of your sister and aunt Ernie. Love all of you, Clyde and Marcia Miller

  2. I have many childhood memories of her and her family being at our house every summer and the fun we had. Always will love her. Prayers for the family.

  3. Judy, Kim & family so sorry to hear about Ernie. I remember so many fond memories of her & Martin when she ran the restaurant at the Auburn junction. She was a very good lady. Again so sorry for your loss.

  4. I will never forget, as a child, when she would come down and visit our family in dent co. It was always “an event”. She was always plain spoken, and blunt, and I always liked that, she was always “real”. I will not be able to come down for the service, but will always remember her.

  5. We will miss you Aunt Ernie ❤️. Such a sweet lady. Our thoughts are with all of the family. Love you, Pete, Cindy, Andy and Alex Larsen.

  6. I am so sorry Judi, Kim and all of Ernie’s family! She was a wonderful neighbor and an even better friend. I miss her very much!!! Rest in peace Ernie. I love ya sweet lady!!!

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