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Ernie Hockenberry

Updated: Oct 31, 2023

Ernest “Ernie” Harvey Hockenberry (62) of Van Meter, IA passed away at home on October 27, 2023, after an epic battle against cancer. He was born on February 22, 1961, in Harrisburg, PA to Don and Leoda Hockenberry.

On December 31, 1983, he married his sweetheart and best friend, Diana Fryer. Together, they had 2 sons, Jacob and Daniel. He began working on a carnival in his teenage years, traveling up and down the east coast, finally settling in Iowa. He spent his career as a sign installation technician, later becoming a supervisor, and even owning his own company, Able Sign & Neon. Most recently, he was employed by Eagle Sign Co, which he considered a second family.

Ernie had many talents. He could freehand paint and airbrush, simply by looking at a picture. He composed songs and played guitar, piano, and mandolin. He was also involved in the boys’ activities as a scout master, Little League & basketball coach. He spent his Sundays BBQing meals for his family and cheering on the MN Vikings.

His pride and joy were his grandkids: Ethan, Talia, and Clara. Boy did he love them fiercely! He could often be found jumping in the trampoline with them, customizing their Power Wheels and Go Kart vehicles, defeating them in Nerf gun fights, and sneaking them cheeseballs.

He was always there to help whether you needed it or not, and could put a smile on your face as his “dad jokes” knew no limits.

Ernie is survived by his wife of almost 40 years, Diana Hockenberry; sons Jacob (Maggie) Hockenberry and Daniel (Chelsea) Hockenberry; 3 grandchildren Ethan, Talia, and Clara; mother-in-law, Rita Fryer, Sister Teresa Bucknam; Sisters-in-law Bobbie Vaught and Renee Kendall; as well as several nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, Don and Leoda, sister Crystal, and his brothers-in-law Johnny and Bill Fryer, James Parks, and Leon Bucknam. Ernie will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

A celebration of life will be held at the American Legion Hall in Van Meter, IA on Thursday, November 2, from 5-7pm. 910 Main St, Van Meter, IA 50261.



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