In Memoriam

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David Howie Ernst ’42

A picture of David Ernst

David Howie Ernst ’42, January 19, 2015, in Massachusetts, following a lengthy illness. David came to Reed from Cambridge, Massachusetts, and earned a BA in political science. His thesis, written with Prof. George Noble [1922–48], was on Roosevelt’s foreign policy. “Looking back on those four years,” he wrote, “my memories of faculty and fellow students are totally pleasant. Four-year segments since have never been the same.” He went on to the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts, where he earned an MA in international studies in 1943 (as well as a PhD in 1950). He served in the U.S. Army in Germany during World War II. In 1947, he joined the State Department as a foreign-service officer and assumed posts in Cairo, Athens, Bombay, Paris, the Fiji Islands, New Delhi, and Washington, D.C. In Cairo, he met Rachel J. Bell; they were married for 63 years and had three children, Elizabeth, David, and Rodney Ernst ’81. David retired to Massachusetts, where he continued his public service on numerous committees and boards. He was a Wellfleet selectman for 14 years and a 10-year member of the Cape Cod Commission. He donated some of the family’s Wellfleet property to the Wellfleet Conservation Trust, which he helped establish. He enjoyed sailing and shell fishing. Survivors include his children.

Appeared in Reed magazine: September 2015

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