Ernest Hunt Rettig, 93, a long-time resident of Alto, New Mexico, passed away peacefully on March 12th from congestive heart failure-while his heart gave out, his spirit will live on forever. Ernie will be greatly missed as a devoted husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, veteran, business owner, and avid golfer.
Ernie was born on September 29th, 1929, to Thelma and A. Ralph Rettig, Sr. in Chicago, Illinois. For the first nineteen years of his life, Ernie spent every summer with his family at their summer cottage in Muskoka, Canada. The long summers on Lake Joseph provided a wealth of fond memories he treasured throughout his life. After graduating high school from Lake Forest Academy in Illinois, Ernie earned a bachelor's degree in Inter-American Studies at what is now the University of Texas at El Paso.
After graduation, Ernie served in the U.S. Army as a Spanish interpreter in France. Upon discharge, he went to work for the El Paso Natural Gas Co., where he met the love of his life, Anneline Grauting. Later, as a sales executive for Grove Valve & Regulator Co., he and his young family lived in New York, Mexico, and the Netherlands; all the while, Ernie traveled throughout the world for his job. Ernie and his family eventually returned to El Paso, where he became a partner at IMS Industries. In time, he retired to the mountains of New Mexico, spending many happy years with Anneline, family, and friends in Alto. He was a longstanding, contributing member of Alto Lakes Golf & Country Club, and was especially proud of documenting the club through photography. His photographs led to the publication of two commemorative books-the images can still be seen today throughout the clubhouse.
Ernie was pre-deceased by his loving parents and brothers (A. Ralph 'Buddy' and Henry) and is survived by his bride of 62 years, Anneline; their three sons, Mike (Vicky), Mark (Cheri) and Craig (Karen); and five grandsons (Evan, Tyler, Jared, Nicolas, and Theodor).
Ernie was also a wonderful teacher of life and a lover of gadgets, cars, ice cream, and good back scratches. Generous to a fault, a friend to many, and quick with a pun, Ernie had the keen ability to find quarters behind any child's ear. He could always be found cheering on his sons and grandchildren in their many endeavors.
Ernie's idyllic boyhood was spent in a serene place named Lake Joseph-a place of glassy water, clear blue skies, and three beautiful islands named Faith, Hope, and Charity. Ernie's spirit will live on with all that knew him and now eternally rests on that magical island known as Charity.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Muskoka Lakes Association (mla.on.ca), of which Ernie was a member. There will be a memorial with his immediate family in El Paso. A celebration of Ernie's life will be held on April 15th at 2:00 pm for his family and friends at the family's home in Alto.