July 12, 1931 - Aug. 31, 2013
Evelyn Jeanette (Jan) Ernst, a long time resident of Carson Valley, passed on August 31, 2013, age 82. She was born in Newman, Illinois, July 12, 1931, to Charles and Josephine (Overman) Benefiel. She left school to work and had the primary responsibility for raising her younger brothers, Wayne and Kenneth Benefiel. She married young and had two daughters, Anita and Deana. She moved with family members to California in the early 1950s and worked for many years in the aerospace industry while raising her daughters. She met and married the love of her life, Richard Ernst, in 1959. They moved their daughters to Lake Tahoe and eventually to Carson Valley. Jan worked for the telephone company (Continental Telephone at that time), starting as an operator and eventually becoming a customer service representative.
She and Richard started their great travel adventures after retirement, seeing much of the United States in an RV, as well as cruising with family members. They spent part of each year in Arizona, enjoying the warmer winters, but were always happy to come back to the Valley. They made friends all over the country.
Jan is survived by her husband, Richard; two daughters: Anita Watson (Steven) and Deana Jones; four grandsons: Lt. Col. Andrew Watson (Stefanie) of Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, Joshua Watson (Belinda) of Reno, Lucas Watson (Cassie) of Carson City, and Evan Jones (Cassandra) of Minden. She is also survived by ten much loved great-grandchildren: Sean Watson, Alexander Watson, and Katie Watson; Liam Watson and Ayla Watson; Damien Borges, Kenadie Watson, and Conner Watson; Bobby Jones and Anna Jones.
At her request, there will be no service and, at a later date, a backyard BBQ will celebrate her life. Anyone wishing to memorialize Jan can make a donation to the American Cancer Society.