Ernestine Dunn of Clovis, New Mexico, proud mother of four, grandmother of four, and great-grandmother of four, passed away at her daughter Judy’s home on March 11, 2018 where she enjoyed her last few years in the beautiful mountains and lakes of Northern Idaho. She was 97.
Born Ernestine Beatrice Fields on December 7 of 1920, she was the second of five children to Charles and Bertha Fields in the Blacktower community near Clovis. After graduating from Clovis High School in 1938, she married Eldon Wayne Dunn in 1941, where the two lived on a nearby homesteaded farm.
The end of the Great Depression, the droughts of the Dust Bowl, and the onset of World War II would shape the young couple’s life. She and her husband left the farming life in Clovis for Los Angeles where Eldon worked in the shipyards, before being drafted into the Army, where he would see action in the Pacific on the island of New Caledonia. Ernestine returned to Clovis, and was reunited with Eldon after the war, where they continued raising their family and working in ranching and farming in New Mexico near Clovis and Grady.
During the hardscrabble drought years of the 1950s, Ernestine ran the household in the entrepreneurial “victory garden” spirit of the war years, tending a vegetable garden and making homemade shirts and dresses for the family, often fashioned from feed sacks. Meals weren’t just for her family; at the height of the family’s 14,000-acre sharecropping operation, she oversaw the daily meals for as many as ten field hands.
Later, she and Eldon became owner-operators of a successful tractor dealership, where she worked as a bookkeeper until her retirement. She and her family were avid fans of traveling, square-dancing, and playing cards and dominos with friends and neighbors.
She and Eldon lived in the same home in Clovis from 1962 until Eldon’s death in 1995, where Ernestine continued to live until 2015. After 54 years of marriage, she continued to enjoy the camaraderie of friends and family, as well as members of her church and longtime members of the Portair Woman’s Club.
She is survived by her daughters Judy Carpenter (Dan) and Carolyn Jones (Jim), sons Gerald Dunn MD (Jan) and Dennis Dunn, grandchildren Julie Dunn, Jerry Dunn, and Charles Jones. Her grandson Larry Jones passed away in 2017. Her great-grandchildren are Dillan, Stephen, Hannah, and Ryan Jones.
Memorial services will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, April 7th, 2018 at Trinity United Methodist Church, located at 1320 W. 21st Street, Clovis, New Mexico. A celebration-of-life luncheon will also be held at the church following services by Pastor Amy Jordan. All are welcome.
I have had so many great memories of Aunt Ernestine and family from early childhood and adulthood. Early on playing with my cousins, Carolyn, Jerry, Dennis and Judy out on the ranch near Grady, NM and later down the road South of Clovis. I still make desserts and cookies that Aunt Ernestine gave me the recipe. Later in adulthood when we would eat at the senior center here in Clovis with Aunt Ernestine. When she moved to Idaho with Judy and Dan people at the senior center would ask about how she was doing and I would give them an update when I could. I have lots of fond memories, too many to mention here. Lots of love to all those left behind. Donna
Donna WhitfieldClovis, NM
I spent many enjoyable hours visiting with Ernestine and Eldon when they came to Las Vegas. I was the bookkeeper for Dr. Dunn and my office was in his house. My most favorite time was in Oregon at the river. We had so much fun and I will never forget it. I will miss you Ernestine. Love, Connie
Connie & Don PresbreyFlintville, UT