Ernest (Ernie) L. LaBrake, 95, passed away peacefully on March 17, 2023, at Eagle Court Memory Care, Appleton. Ernie was born on April 16, 1927, Norwood, NY, the son of James and Agnes (Hand) LaBrake. He attended the NY State AG and Technical Institute in Canton, New York (now State University of New York) and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from State University of New York in Oswego, NY. Ernie met Annette Dibble on a blind date in April 1956 and they were married in September 1957. Ernie and Annette moved to Appleton in 1960, and with the exception of a one year hiatus back to the east coast, have called Appleton home since that time.
Ernie is a veteran, having served in the Army during two separate deployments. He was stationed in France during the final months of World War II and was in the 101st Airborne Division during the Korean War reaching the rank of 1st Lieutenant. Over his working career, he worked in various plant maintenance and engineering positions at Alcoa Aluminum, Racquet River Paper Company, Thilmany Pulp & Paper Company, Monsanto Company, Curwood, Inc. and Bemis Company. He retired in 1993 from the Bemis Company as Vice President of Engineering. He was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting and fishing. Most notably he loved to fish for musky while migrating to fly fishing for trout and bass later in life. He also loved playing baseball as a young man and golf. Ernie and Annette were active members of All Saints Episcopal Church in Appleton and Ridgeway CC in Neenah.
Ernie is survived by his wife of 65 years, Annette; children, Stephen, and his wife Linda of De Pere, WI and William (B.J.) and his wife Kathy of Naples, FL. Ernie is also survived by his two grandchildren, Kristina O’Toole (Shay) and Andrew (Desiree) and great granddaughter Rhyan.
Additionally, he is survived by numerous nieces and nephews, other relatives, and friends.
Ernie was preceded in death by his parents, his brother William and sister Barbara (Murray).
A memorial service for Ernie will be held at 11:00 am, Saturday, May 27, 2023, at All Saints Episcopal Church, 100 North Drew St., Appleton, with Fr. Christopher Wilkerson officiating. Visitation will be held on Saturday at the church from 9:00 am until the time of the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are appreciated to All Saints Episcopal Church or LEAVEN.
Ernie’s family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the staff of Eagle Court Memory Care and ThedaCare at Home Hospice for their compassion and care.