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A blue-collar life leads to an unknown death

DCN Correspondent

The short life of Ernest William Boerner seemed to be that of a typical blue-collar man in Duluth.

Today, Ernest’s grave is located in Forest Hill Cemetery on Woodland Avenue. His cause of death is unknown.

Ernest Boerner was born Nov. 13, 1933 in Superior, Wisc. He was the son of Archie and Florence Boerner. Boerner had a sister, Mildred Emily Boerner, who died same year as Ernest. The family lived at 1626 Minnesota Ave., which is located at Minnesota Point near present-day Park Point.

Archie Boerner was a salesman at Rocky Teller Sporting Goods, while Florence worked at a women’s department store.

Ernest went to Duluth Central High School but did not graduate there. It is listed that Boemer only went to Central through his senior year in 1951. Ernest went on to work as an assistant at Enger & Olson Furniture in Duluth. The name Enger from the store is where the tower in Duluth got its name.

Ernest went on to marry Pearl. Pearl Boerner was widowed after Ernest’s death on his birthday in 1957. Pearl lived until June 4, 1969. The couple is listed at different addresses so it is believed that they did not live together just like most young couples at the time. Ernest and Pearl did not have children together. Ernest was buried two days after his death and the record listed his father, Archie, as the nearest relative. The services were held at Dougherty Funeral Home.

The information I obtained came from several sources. I found his birthplace, death date, address and who did his service at the Forest Hill Cemetery information office. I found his family occupations in the city of Duluth directory. I found his high school career in the 1951 Duluth Central yearbook. I also found his date of death on ancestry.com. His death record is also found on the Gen Web site listed under death records. He was very difficult to find information on because of his short life and lack of obituary. It seemed like he lived an ordinary hard working life. I am curious to what caused his death at a young age.

This biographical sketch was written for the Research for Reporters class at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Each student in the class went to a cemetery in Duluth, got a name from a grave marker, and then used a variety of primary and secondary sources to find out as much as possible about the person.