Erna Irene Hiepel 96, Aberdeen, SD was born July 9, 1912, to German immigrants Fred and Christine (Knodel) Heupel in Lehr, ND. In 1927 Erna moved to Aberdeen to be the live-in housekeeper for the Alfred Bessett family. She then became housekeeper, formal waitress and nanny for the Harvey Jewett III family. Erna and her sister Freda, began working at the Alonzo Ward Hotel in 1935 where Erna served many fancy parties and was the elevator operator. During this time, Erna also cared for the Alonzo Ward, Jr. children and in later years, cared for their widowed mother. The families Erna worked for became her extended family as she especially treasured years spent with their children. In 1945, Erna and Freda changed the spelling of their last name for mail delivery clarification. While Erna worked at the Ward Hotel, she also was an alteration seamstress at Jo Rich’s and Olwin Angells clothing stores. When the Ward Hotel was sold in 1961, Erna became an alteration seamstress for 10 years at Pred’s clothing store. Following this, Erna continued doing alterations in her home and enjoyed fancy needlework. Erna had special memories of being raised in a Christian home and cherished the time her family spent reading the Bible and having devotions together in the morning. Erna became a born again Christian and chose to witness her commitment to Christ by being baptized in 1953. She became a member of Calvary Baptist Church in Aberdeen where she faithfully worshiped the Lord of her life. On March 29, 2009 Erna died at Bethesda Home of Aberdeen. Erna is survived by: two brothers: Harold (Meda) Heupel, Eureka, SD, Dr. Alden (Marcia) Heupel, Madison, WI; nieces and nephews: Susan Price, Minneapolis, MN; Jane Heupel, Naples, FL; Lisa Rutherford, Madison, WI; Barbara Mickelson, Steven Heupel, Jamestown, ND; Dennis Heupel, Eureka, SD; Richard Heupel, Omaha, NE. She was preceded in death by her parents, one brother Arnold Heupel and two sisters: Irene (Reiny) Stotz and Freda (Alvin) Larson. Memorial service: 1pm Monday, April 6th at Calvary Baptist Church, Aberdeen. Visitation: 3-7pm Friday at Hoven Funeral Chapel 300 1st Street South, Ellendale, ND. Private burial. Memorials: Calvary Baptist Church, 515 NW 8th Ave, Aberdeen, SD 57401. Arrangements by Hoven Funeral Chapel, Ellendale.