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Ernie Aufenkamp (Alaskaav)



Fellow Supercubber, Doug, received the following sad news from Ernie Aufenkamp's daughter, Roberta Jane. Doug had known Ernie since his AAI days and had sent him a Christmas card. Roberta Jane has given us permission to post the following e-mail that she sent to Doug.

"I got your email address from the Christmas card that was in dad's room.

I am sorry to be the one to inform you that my dad will not be able to send any more emails. He has passed on. He left us in Texas on the 19th of Jan. My sister and I brought him back to Nebraska and laid him to rest on Jan. 23rd.

I do not know all of his email buddies but he had a bunch in his address book. You mentioned in your card about the "CUB" site, I know that he enjoyed posting there is there a way that you can give me that address so that I can make a final posting for him?

His obituary is online at www.hallfuneral.net if you want to see.

Thank you for being a friend to my dad. He had so many that my sister and I don't even know of. "

Roberta Jane

Ernie was a beloved member of the Supercub.org family. He will be
greatly missed, but he will live on in the telling of those unforgettable flying days, which so many on Supercub.org enjoyed.
I have spent the last several days visiting with folks whom I truly enjoy being around and listening to stories like the ones Ernie posted here. It saddens me greatly to hear of his passing and to think that a piece of history is gone. Someone said once that when an old person goes it is like burning down a library. I truly believe that. I have to be greatful for the time I have had with them and try to make the best of that God given time.

Thanks for letting us know Doug and Dana.
My deepest condolences to Ernie's family. I enjoyed immensely the many stories about his years in aviation. It goes without saying that those stories logged here on SC.org need to be preserved for posterity. I would even go so far as to say Steve might consider submitting them to the Library of Congress, or otherwise a suitable aeronautical library.
God speed Ernie, thanks for sharing your tales with us all. And thanks for the personal emails too, I enjoyed our occasional conversations about Alaska, pilots and politics.
Steve P. is right on the mark, we have indeed lost another 'library'.
I agree Mikey. Steve P was right on the mark---but at least Ernie left a few books laying around this site for us to enjoy before he left. Thanks Ernie!

Seriously. Talk about a legacy. We are quite lucky that he submitted as many stories as he did. It's stuff like his stories that make sites like this rich.
ernie aufenkamp (alaskaav)-some sad news

we all waited to read his next story,adios mi amigo.

I often wondered if Ernie knew how far his wonderful aviation tales reached ... I hope he did.
I dropped into Dahl Creek strip last summer to to stretch and take a leak (long flight). I saw the cabin Ernie said he built and often talked about. He asked in one of his posts if anyone had stopped in lately and how it was doing. It looked good, about like the pictures he posted of it. Some Canadians were using it for some gold exporation in the area. Best wishes to Ernie's family, I liked his stories. Crash


God watched you as you suffered
and knew you'd had your share
He gently closed your weary eyes
And took you in His care.
God has you in his keeping
We have you in our hearts,
Your memory is our keepsake
With that we'll never part.
God saw you were getting tired
And a cure was not to be
So he put his arms around you
And whispered, "Come with Me."
With tearful eyes we watched you suffer
And saw you fade away
Although we loved you dearly
We could not make you stay.
A golden heart stopped beating
Hard working hands to rest.
God broke our hearts to prove us.
He only takes the best.
Very sad news. I always looked forward to Ernie's installments of Wien and Alaska history. He said these were excerpts of the book he was writing on the same. It is too bad that this book will probably not see the light of day now.

Crash, Dahl Creek is also on my agenda to visit.... I want to see Ernie's cabin, the mountain of jade, and "God's backyard". I would have never heard about that place if Ernie hadn't written about it.
Thanks for sharing that beautiful verse. It says all that the heart feels but the mind struggles to put into words.
Sorry to see Ernie has passed away. Thank you for the link to the video it was nice to put a face to the story teller.
Thanks for the stories Ernie. I certainly enjoyed them and appreciated you taking the time to share them with us.

God speed

Its odd that, as I add this note, I write with unexpected tears in my eyes. An un-met friend has passed. I grew up in Wyoming, but my family's roots are many generations deep in Nebraska. I regret not having had (or rather taken) the time to seek out the people in this community that we meet via their login names and stories. I have relished every story about the pioneers of aviation (particularly of Alaska) and people like Ernie are the folks that have made this connection such an important part of my life. Best wishes to his family.
From God's Country to GOD'S COUNTRY


I spent too long away. I am so sad. It was Ernie's stories and remembrances that inspired and motivated me to write.

Only his family could possibly miss him more than we shall.

Enjoy Heaven Ernie. :angel:

See ya good buddy!! I too sit here early in the morning, looking at the heavens, a tear in my eye as I read this thread. I was privelaged like many of you to grow up in the earlier, more free days in Alaska, and when Ernie showed up on SC.org It was the highlight of my day to read his stories, post and get his replies speaking personally to the friends we both had in common!!

For those of us that grew up in Alaska, (as well as the other flying states) We all probably know a lot of folks no longer with us? Growing up in Alaska and having the privelage to experience the "good life" from before statehood, Before "environmental whackO's" and self serving politicians and having the extended privelage to learn to fly and hunt, fish and BS with many of the early Alaskan flying pioneers, I am truly saddened to see yet another depart this earth.

I have to believe that one day we will have that great revival in the heavens where we get to all once again laugh and cry together!!

Until that time comes, Enjoy with me every moment we have, Give greatly to others and when you see that young lad watching you fly your cub, DON'T THINK TWICE, OFFER HIM A LITTLE STICK TIME!!! his life will never be the same!

Thanks Ernie, Enjoy the Smooth air!

Thanks Ernie!! Hell, I live here and you made it better...
God Speed

Ernie Aufenkamp's daughter, Roberta Jane, sent the following note recently and asked that I share it with Ernie's friends at Supercub.org:

"I would like to say Thank you to all of those wonderful people who we have not met formally. Thank you for keeping our family in prayer during the loss of our dad, and for those of you who made small contributions to his funeral expenses THANK YOU. When my dad was unable to drive the 18 wheeler he had, his outlet to the world was the internet. I am thankful that he did post his memories so that everyone can see some of the things that happened during his lifetime. Thank you for being friends with my dad."

Roberta Jane
ernie was a great guy. he once asked me to join him in writing some stories about the airlines operating up north - i wish i had. i'll miss you friend. eric
Hi Everyone,
Crash and I visited the Cabin that Ernie built at Dahl Creek in July of 2006. Ernie always spoke of the beautiful area around Dahl Creek, which is on the south side of the Brooks Range, as "Gods Backyard". The mountains are filled with gold, jade, and all other types of minerals. Today the village at Dahl Creek is owned by a Canadian mining company. They were very nice to us when we stopped in to take a few pictures.

I was going to post these pictures in the past, but never really got around to it.


This is the huge airstrip at Dahl Creek. You can see the village at the end, and a sliver of the Brooks Range on the right. They fly large cargo planes like DC-3s, C-46s, and DC-6s in and out for the mining operations. Of course, like most Alaskan villages, there is no road access.


Here is the exterior of the cabin that Ernie built. Today it serves as the central hub for the mining village operations, and is a place where miners gather, meet and eat. When we were there one of the mining company managers was having a meeting with a small group of employees around a dining room table.


Here you can see part of the interior of the cabin. The guy in the photo is a cook walking into the kitchen. As you can see, Ernie did some nice woodwork throughout, and this cabin will last many years to come.
mghallen said:
Dahl Creek is not owned by a Canadian Co.

I was told that the operation there was purchased by a Canadian company. That is what I understood when I visited the place. Who owns it if it is not?
You know it is strange, it had been a while since I had thought about Ernie and here somebody adds to this post today - the same day he came back in my mind as I woke up this morning.

Great pictures, thanks!