He is survived by his second wife, Maria Gemperle; sons, Peter, Richard, Stephen and Michael Gemperle, all of Turlock; daughters, Heidi Gemperle of Seattle, Anita Mahaffey of San Diego; and Susan Abdo of Boise, Idaho; two stepdaughters, Brigit Johnson and Barbara Masterson; 21 grandchildren; three step-grandchildren; brother, Walter Gemperle of Turlock; and six other siblings in Switzerland.
Visitation will be from noon to 7 p.m. Friday at Turlock Memorial Park, followed by the rosary at 7 p.m. A funeral will be at 9 a.m. Saturday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Turlock.
Ernie Gemperle was battling Cancer but passed away from difficulties with a surgery at Emanuel Hospital on Saturday morning, November 15, 2008. Funeral arrangements will be released as soon as they are made known.
TurlockCityNews.com has not contacted the Gemperle family for more information or comments during this emotional time yet. However, we did want to give our condolences and acknowledge some of Ernie Gemperle’s achievements so we gathered some publicly known information.
Ernie Gemperle was born in 1929 in Switzerland where he graduated from the International Poultry School in Bern. In 1949 he immigrated to the U.S. and served two years in the U.S. Army.
Ernie Gemperle married and had seven children, three daughters and four sons. He owned and operated a poultry business and egg packing operation for 59 years and was proud to say that all four of his sons have worked in the family poultry business.
It was reported that Ernie Gemperle came to the U.S. with $12 in his pocket. He started his egg business and grew it from 2,500 chickens to more than 2 million. Gemperle’s business produces around 1.5 million eggs a day.
In addition to operating his successful poultry business, Gemperle had taken an active role in his industry. He served as chairman of Nulaid Foods and is a board member of Nu-West Feed Company, Nu-Cal Egg Company and National Foods Corporation. Gemperle also served as a board member of the American Egg Board for eight years and as a commissioner for the California Egg Commission
Ernie Gemperle was inducted into the Stanislaus County Agriculture Hall of Fame in 2004.
Statements can be found attesting to Gemperle’s contributions such as this Ag Science Center piece:
“Gemperle gives his time, talent and treasure to serve the community through many organizations. He is past chairman of the Stanislaus State University Foundation, Catholic Charities of Stockton Diocese, Boy Scouts of America, Yosemite Council and Turlock Rotary Club. He is also a past board member of Emanuel Medical Center and Doctors Medical Center.
Ernie Gemperle epitomizes both the American dream and the opportunities that are available in the agricultural industry. We welcome this Good Egg into the Ag Hall of Fame and congratulate him and his family for their continued efforts to benefit the industry and the community as a whole.” – Ag Science Center 2004.
CSU Stanislaus awarded egg farmer Ernie Gemperle for his philanthropic work in 2000 at the “Champions of the American Dream” event. A lecture hall at CSU Stanislaus was also named in his honor.
Previous to his more recent attributions he was still known for his work on the Foundation Board of California State University, Stanislaus, Catholic Charities Samaritan Foundation, Turlock Chamber of Commerce, Emanuel Medical Center Board, and Doctors Medical Center Board.
Gemperle had just donated $150,000 to the Turlock Carnegie Arts Center before the 2000 award.
TurlockCityNews.com will have funeral arrangement details and more information as soon as it is available.
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