Ernest M. Pfannenstiel

E. M. “Ernie” Pfannenstiel

July 4, 1937 – April 17, 2020


“A child of God!”

Survived by his wonderful wife of 60 years, Carol (10/31/1959); seven children: Tim (Linda), Kathy Knust (Chris), Tom (Joi), Terry (Crystal), Toby (Dawn), Ann Hetherington (John) and Troy (Raquel); fifteen grandchildren: Curtis Knust, Jackie Wendel (Ross), Tyler Knust (Ashley), Brandon Pfannenstiel (Julie), Justin Pfannenstiel (Allison), Ashley Pfannenstiel, Mitchell Hetherington, Tessa Anderson (Matt), Karly Pfannenstiel, Hannah Christensen (Cameron), Megan Pfannenstiel, Kaitlyn Pfannenstiel, Paige Pfannenstiel, Allison Pfannenstiel and TJ Pfannenstiel; eight great-grandchildren and a sister, Imogene Zimmerman (Larry).  Preceded in death by parents, Celly and Mary Pfannenstiel and a sister, Eileen Larson (Don).

Graduated in 1955 from St. Joseph Military Academy in his hometown of Hays, Kansas and Creighton University on a Brandeis Memorial Scholarship in 1959, with the honor of being inducted into Alpha Sigma Nu (Jesuit Honor Society).  Worked at Brandeis, Northern Natural Gas (27 years) and as a consultant for Tenaska, Inc. (25 years).  Enjoyed collecting and restoring antiques, “making and fixing things” in his workshop for his large family.

Private Family MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: Saturday, April 25th, 2pm, St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church.  To view a live broadbcast of the Mass, visit  In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Children’s Hospital or AllPlay Miracle Baseball (

GRAVESIDE SERVICE and CELEBRATION OF LIFE will be held at a later date.







  • Ada Calendine Posted April 20, 2020 3:30 pm

    Carol and family, my heart is heavy at hearing the news of Ernie’s passing. I loved Ernie and had the honor of working with him at both Northern Natural Gas and at Tenaska. He sat right behind me for years. He was one of he sweetest, kindest, most God-loving men it has been my privilege to know and was such a source of comfort and strength for me when I lot my own parents. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this sad and difficult time. Ada Calendine

  • Teri Hamburger Posted April 20, 2020 4:38 pm

    Tim, Linda, Kaitlyn and TJ,
    My thoughts and prayers are with your family. I was saddened to read your father (father-in-law, grandpa) passed away. I can only imagine how hard the past few weeks have been for your family during this time. “A father’s guiding hand always sits on the shoulder of his children.”

  • Eileen Campbell Posted April 20, 2020 7:01 pm

    So sorry for your loss. I worked with Ernie at Northern Natural Gas. He was a very respected individual and everyone enjoyed working with him and for him. My sincere condolences.

  • John & Kelly Dethlefs Posted April 20, 2020 9:22 pm

    Mrs Pfannenstiel & the entire family, very sorry for your loss (and ours). Mr Pfannenstiel was a great man. I have many fond memories from childhood thru my adult years. He was always a kind soul and treated me like one of his own. Which leads me to: I borrowed his hole digger so many times over the years, he told me after his passing that I had a lifetime of borrowing rights from whomever inherits it. Just kidding, but seriously, who has my hole digger? 🙂
    We will miss him, but we know he has reached his reward for a life well-lived and is in a pain-free eternal bliss a with our Lord. Peace in Christ, John.

  • Diane (Dee) Howdle Zamora Posted April 20, 2020 11:31 pm

    I am forever grateful to have known and shared in the joys of Uncle Ernie, Aunt Carol and my wonderful cousins! I pray that Uncle Ernie has joined the saints in Heaven and now watches over his loves on earth! May he Rest In Peace!

  • Kelly Souder Posted April 21, 2020 7:32 am

    Carol and family – my deepest sympathy at this very difficult time. Ernie was not only a co-worker of mine at Tenaska, he was a friend. I was the picnic organizer for years and he really loved bringing the grandkids to the picnic every year and introducing them to his Tenaska family. Ernie was a hard worker but he also liked to put a smile on your face with his jokes. Always remember all of the good times you had, as this will keep you going. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this very difficult time. Kelly Souder, Legal Department

  • Tim Cavanaugh Posted April 21, 2020 9:53 am

    I’m so sorry to hear about this, Troy and Raquel. Prayers for your family.

  • JOAN HUSTON Posted April 21, 2020 11:38 am

    Carol and Family: My deepest condolences at this time. I had the opportunity to work with Ernie at NNG-Operations. He gave the Operations Group a bottle of wine with the script “When life give us bitter grapes, our choices are limited . . . We can make vinegar or we can make wine. Here’s hoping that 5 years from now all our lives will be “vintage” and that, no matter where we are or what we’re doing, we remember the good times in NNG Operations-Omaha.” And, we do remember those good times because of Ernie. May God grant you and your family comfort and peace in the days ahead. Joan Huston – NNG/Tenaska

  • Hope Wheatley Posted April 21, 2020 7:31 pm

    Terry and your wonderful family, I am sorry to hear of your father’s passing. He was a wonderful man. He always made me feel welcome and all the family gatherings. You all should be so proud to have him as your dad. He raised 7 wonderful kids. I will keep your mother and all of you in my prayers.
    Hope Wheatley

  • Patti Peacock Posted April 22, 2020 10:28 am

    Always enjoyed working with Ernie at Tenaska…….a great guy!

  • Paula Steenson Posted April 22, 2020 1:13 pm

    Tim and Linda, our hearts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

  • Dan Schwee Posted April 22, 2020 1:31 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear of Ernie’s passing, but feel so fortunate to have known and worked with him for several years. If anyone wonders if you can be a great manager and a great friend at the same time, the answer is “yes”, and the proof is Ernie.

  • Carolyn Miller Posted April 22, 2020 2:15 pm

    Ernie was such a wonderful person. I so enjoyed being a coworker with Ernie at Tenaska. And the company of him and Carol at company Christmas parties. God has gained a special person. Rest in peace my friend.

  • Dan and Kim Schinzel Posted April 22, 2020 5:48 pm

    Our deepest sympathies and prayers to all of you. Ernie was a great man, kind and welcoming to all. He will be greatly missed by the entire Schinzel family.

  • Anna and Paul Sparwasser and girls Posted April 23, 2020 7:54 am

    Ann and Jack, We are so very sorry for your loss. We will keep you in our prayers.
    Anna, Paul and girls

  • Mary Jane Camero Posted April 23, 2020 11:49 am

    Dear Carol and family, we are so sorry to hear of Ernie’s passing . Will keep you all in our prayers. Nick and Mary Jane

  • Dale and Donna Hodges Posted April 25, 2020 11:52 am

    To the Pfannenstiel Family we are sorry for your loss. We are blessed to know such a great family and have you in our prayers. May God comfort you during this time with with his love and wonderful memories. With sympathy. Dale and Donna.

  • Michelle Westenburg Posted April 28, 2020 1:55 pm

    Dear Kathy, I am so sorry to hear about your dad. You are in my prayers. My deepest sympathy to you and your family…..

  • Westside Community Schools Human Resources Department Posted April 29, 2020 12:59 pm

    Sending our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time of mourning.

    Deepest Condolences,
    Westside. Human Resources Department

  • Al & Barb Kash Posted May 3, 2020 7:21 am

    Carol & family,
    Our warmest condolences for your loss of Ernie. As you well know, one of the best & complete persons we’ve ever known. Truly a “Good Man”,who will be missed by many.

  • Melvin Pfannenstiel Posted May 8, 2020 9:30 pm

    Sorry for your loss. He was a good cousin

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