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Ernie Chillemi - December 14, 2009

Ernest J. Chillemi died early Monday morning Dec. 14, 2009 at age 88. He was born in Denver April 18, 1921, one of six children born to August and Susie Tranuito Chillemi.

Ernie grew up in Denver where he completed his schooling. He joined the United States Marine Corps during World War II and served from 1942 until his honorable discharge in 1944.

Ernie was married to Aileen (Brent) DeForest in Denver Nov. 25, 1949. They made their home in the Denver area where Ernie first operated a barbershop in partnership with a friend and later owned and operated a building maintenance business for several years.

In 1980 Ernie and Aileen moved to Venango, Neb. Ernie provided building maintenance for the Venango School until he retired in 1996. Ernie loved living in the Venango community and was well known by the residents for his lawn and gardening activity.

Aileen died in 2001 and Ernie continued to maintain his Venango home until 2007 when he moved to the Colorado State Veterans Home at Fitzsimmons in Aurora to be closer to family.

He was elected as president of the residents board and served in that capacity until his death. He had been in failing health and died at the veterans home.

Ernie was a member of the Denver Lions and Elks clubs and was a member of the Venango Lions Club. He was a life member of the American Legion. Ernie had a lifelong appreciation for music and played the accordion for several years.

In addition to his parents and wife, Ernie was preceded in death by one brother, Joseph; four sisters, Lucille, Sylvia, Isabelle and Virginia.

He is survived by three sons, Dale and his wife Bernadette DeForest of Ogallala, Neb., Ernie and his wife Linda Chillemi of Venango and Jeffrey and his wife Vivian Chillemi of Denver; two daughters, Karen Haglund of Centennial and Debra and her husband Rick Jones of Aurora; eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren; other relatives and friends.

Funeral services were held Dec. 17, 2009 at the Venango Community Church with Pastor Kevin Hausman officiating.

Burial was in the Venango cemetery with a flag presentation by the Venango American Legion.

Bullock-Long Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.