Ernest Augustine Janousek, 75

by Collins Funeral Home of Greenbush
Ernest Augustine Janousek, 75 Ernest Augustine Janousek, 75

Ernest Augustine Janousek, 75, passed away Saturday, November 4, 2023 at Altru Hospital in Grand Forks, ND. He was surrounded by family as he began his journey to eternal rest.

Ernie was born on August 3, 1948 to Frank and Frances (Blazek) Janousek at home in Haug, MN, where he continued to reside and spend his years. He attended Haug-Leo school before attending Greenbush High School, graduating in 1967.

On July 4, 1974 he married Shelley Graff. They had two boys together, Waylon and Dillon. Ernie and Shelley divorced in 1983.

Ernie married Karen (Melgaard) Erickson on June 30, 1989, at which time Karen’s daughter, Lisa, joined his family. Ernie and Karen enjoyed their years raising their teenage kids together and welcoming grandkids into the world. From that time on you would rarely see Ernie without Karen by his side. Their time together was filled with travel, camping, fishing and farming. Karen even became his right-hand help when it came to DOT inspections for area farmers.

He was a member of St. Aloysius Catholic Church until it closed, and then became a member of Blessed Sacrament. He served on the Soler Township Board for over 20 years and was involved with the Trailblazers Snowmobile Club.

Ernie enjoyed snowmobile racing and working with his brother in the Ski-Doo dealership. He worked in the potato fields in high school, drove semi-truck for David Burkel & Thorson, and was a farm mechanic at Quist & Borgen Implement. In 1989 he started his own repair shop on the farm, Ernie’s Repair. Ernie was well respected as the go-to guy for any mechanical repairs in the area. In addition to staying busy in his shop, he continued to do his own farming. He later expanded by adding his grandpa’s farm. He was proud to be recognized as a Century Farm for him and his family.

When not working hard he enjoyed spending time fishing, hunting, camping and any outdoor activities. Many summer vacations were spent at Young’s Bay at the Northwest Angle. In the winter you would find Ernie and Karen on the lake as soon as the ice was thick enough to drive his “red” track van on the ice pulling the sleeper house. In the later years Ernie became an avid gardener. He enjoyed all of the fresh vegetables the garden produced.

There are too many hunting stories to share, but the mounts on the wall will show all the success he had over the years. Ernie also loved talking about the local history and was a walking history book for all that happened between Greenbush and Haug. He would look it up in history books and the Roseau County Atlas.

Ernie enjoyed spending time with his family more than anything. He was very proud of all the accomplishments of his kids and even more so all his grandkids. Grandpa was the boat driver and did many trips around the lake pulling the kids on the tubes, knee board and water skis. They would also jump off the boat and swim yelling “cannonball.” At times the kids all got their chance to drive the boat. There was nothing he wouldn’t do for his family.

Ernie is survived by his wife Karen; sons Waylon (Maria), Dillon (Devona); step-daughter, Lisa (Mike) Bergsnev; grandkids Evie and Kate Janousek; Jacob, Hannah, Clara and Caleb Bergsnev; sister Marlene (AJ) Pulczinski; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother Leonard and wife, Thilda; and Aunt Mary Kukowski.

Mass of Christian Burial was held at 10AM, Friday, November 10, 2023 at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Greenbush with Fr. George Noel presiding.

Visitation was held after 5PM, Thursday, at the church with a prayer service at 7PM. Visitation was also be held one hour prior to services at the church.

Interment services were held at St. Aloysius Catholic Cemetery in Leo following services.

Arrangements are with Collins Funeral Home of Greenbush.

An online guestbook is available at