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Philip Woodhull Ernst

August 1, 1934 ~ August 27, 2019 (age 85)

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Waynesboro VA---Philip W. Ernst died at Birch Gardens Assisted Living in Staunton VA on August 27, 2019 following a long illness.  He was born in Tehran, Iran (Persia), the son of Vice Consul Philip and Caroline Mandeville Vroom Woodhull Ernst. He returned to the US at age three with his mother and lived in Minneapolis MN until he graduated from the University of Minnesota, earning a degree in Political Science.

              In 1959, he married Mary Lee Van Ness in St. Paul MN.  Shortly afterward, he was appointed as a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State serving in Costa Rica, Guatemala and Columbia as an Information Officer before returning to Washington D.C. where he was a News Writer and Editor in the Latin American Division of the Voice of America.

              In 1987, he and his wife Mary moved to New Hope, VA where he quickly became active in the performing arts.  He had many leading roles in productions produced by Oak Grove and the Waynesboro Players.  He also sang with the Staunton Choral society, the Ovation Singers and the Schola Cantorum.

              He is survived by his wife Mary and their three children.  John (Reem), Deborah (John) Haefele and Molly (Steven) Scott.  Also, four grandchildren:  Christine Ernst, Katherine Ernst, Meagan Scott and Matthew Scott and one great granddaughter Olivia Scott.  He is also survived by sisters Phyllis (Robert) Brown and Barbara Ernst and brothers John (Aey) Ernst and Michael (Jareya) Ernst.  He was predeceased by a sister Dr. June Downing.

              A celebration of Life will be held September 21 at 2:00 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Waynesboro, 565 Pine Ave., Waynesboro.

              In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials may be made to the Daily Living Center, 980E Hopeman Pkwy., Waynesboro VA 22980 or the SPCA of Augusta Co., 33 Archery Ln., Staunton VA 24401


To send flowers to Philip's family, please visit our floral section.


Funeral Service
September 21, 2019

2:00 PM
Unitarian Unversalist Fellowhip of Waynesboro
565 Pine Avenue
Waynesboro, VA 22980


Daily Living Center
990 E. Hopeman Parkway, Waynesboro VA 22980

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