Glenna Josephine Ernst (Christensen), age 86 of Casper, Wyoming, passed away peacefully on Friday, August 6, 2021 at the Wyoming Medical Center in Casper, Wyoming. She was surrounded by her loving family as she departed.
Born November 20th 1934, Glenna was the eldest of four children born to Grant Johannes and May Beatrice Christensen on the family farm near Centerfield, Utah. Glenna grew up on the farm and attended school and church in nearby Centerfield. In 1953 she graduated Centerfield High School with honors and was named class Valedictorian. Following graduation, Glenna moved to Salt Lake City, Utah and lived with some of her close cousins and worked as a secretary for the meat processing company, Cudahy.
While living in Salt Lake, Glenna met the love of her life, Eddie “Ray” Ernst and on February 12th, 1955 they married. Glenna and Ray started their family in Salt Lake City, where their two eldest children, Ira and Toni, were born. Their third child, Tracy, was born in Gunnison, Utah. In 1961, Glenna and Ray set out on a new farming adventure near Hazelton, Idaho. To supplement family income, Glenna operated the “Dew Drop Inn” café in Hazelton; and for a time, a small theatre in Eden, Idaho. While in Idaho, their youngest daughter Cindy was born. In 1971 the family moved to Wyoming. Ray and Glenna would eventually settle in Gillette. It is there that Glenna retired from her 25-year career working for the State of Wyoming in the division of Wyoming Department of Workforce Services.
In 2003, Ray, her loving husband of 48 years, passed away. Shortly after, Glenna bought an RV and embarked on travels to Utah and Arizona to spend time with family and visit the sites of the great Southwest. After her RV adventures, Glenna moved from Gillette to Casper and lived independently in a 55+ retirement community. Glenna spent her retirement years as a member of the “Red Hat Society” where she delighted in the opportunity to dress up and wear one of her 26 different red hats and socialize with like-minded retired women. She enjoyed playing Canasta and Dominos with her many friends at the Senior Center. Glenna loved spending time with family, was a big fan of Western Movies, and spoiled her dogs.
Glenna is survived by her children Ira (Sandy) Ernst, Mills, WY, Toni Ray, Worland, WY, Tracy (Eric) Halvorson, Springfield, MO, Cindy Vigil, Cody, WY; grandchildren Donald (Penny) Goodman, Sheridan, WY, Andrea (Toby) Riddle, Billings, MT, Melissa Ray, Worland, WY, David (Amber) Ray, Worland, WY, Elizabeth Halvorson-Huggins, Springfield, MO, Keith (Matracia) Vigil, Gillette, WY, and Lauren (Justin Blackford) Vigil, Billings, MT; great-grandchildren Ethan Goodman, Nicole Vacarro, Joe Goodman, Haley Riddle, Cadance Riddle, Mackenzie Ray, Arianna Huggins, and Kaiden Huggins; great-great grandchildren Miranda Vacarro, Evan Goodman, and Eleanor Goodman; sibling Connie Hilyard.
Glenna was preceded in death by her husband, Eddie “Ray” Ernst; great-grandson Eric Richard Huggins; siblings Rex Christensen and Dell Christensen; and parents Grant Christensen and May Christensen.
In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations be made in Glenna’s honor to Central Wyoming Senior Services. Donations may be mailed directly to: Central Wyoming Senior Services -1831 E. 4th St. Casper, WY 82601.
A private burial will take place at a later date.
Arrangements are entrusted to the care of Bustard & Jacoby Funeral Home , 600 CY Avenue, Casper, WY 82601.