Ernestine Evans Grunwald, 96, of Pine Ridge, Arkansas passed away peacefully at home with her family at her bedside, on February 26, 2019. 

She was born Audrey Ernestine Evans in Beaumont, Texas on November 22, 1922, to Audrey Doucette Evans and Benjamin Franklin Evans. She lived her young life in Beaumont, graduated from Beaumont High School, then moved to the Shreveport, Louisiana area where she attended business school and met the love of her life, Robert Alfred Grunwald. They were married on October 16, 1940 and were together until his passing in 2002. She worked for 26 years in Shreveport as legal secretary and office manager for attorney G. M. Bodenheimer, until her husband Bob was transferred to Houston, where they lived for several years until his retirement. They bought a motorhome and moved first to Gainesville, Florida, Murfreesboro and then Cookeville, Tennessee, and finally to Hot Springs, Arkansas due to failing health and to be nearer their daughter. They loved to travel and went on several wonderful trips, covering most of the continental U.S. and a little bit of Canada. They enjoyed gardening and home improvement projects and remodeled with their own hands every home they ever bought. In 1952 they bought a small wooded piece of land (“the camp’) on the Ouachita River near Pine Ridge, and gradually they cleared a homesite and built a small cabin that grew to what was to be their retirement home, but failing health forced them to sell it. Before they did, though, they spent most weekends and every vacation working on the place, enjoying the river, fishing, swimming and just generally puttering and relaxing. Ernestine loved sitting on a ledge on the riverbank waiting for the fish to bite and hauling rocks to line walkways and flower beds. Wherever they lived, they enjoyed entertaining and the company of friends, and Ernestine loved to cook. After Bob’s death in 2002 she moved in with her daughter, Martha Koelemay, who had bought back “the camp” and was in the process of rebuilding. As Ernestine’s health declined, so did her activities, and she spent her last years quietly at the place she and Bob had loved so very much. 

She was predeceased by her parents; her husband; an infant daughter, Judith Gayle Grunwald; her sister, Ouida Evans Haddad of Shreveport; her brother, Robert F. Evans of Shreveport. 

She is survived by her daughter, Martha Koelemay of Pine Ridge; two granddaughters, Laura Giles Alexander and Debra Giles Meeks, both of Pine Ridge; four great-grandchildren, Branson Byers of Sarepta, Louisiana; Lyndi Everitt of Mena, Arkansas; Mark and Robbie Oliver of Pine Ridge; a great-great-grandson, Evan Milliken of Shreveport, and a soon-to-arrive great-great-granddaughter, Alina Vada Byers of Sarepta, Louisiana. 

Ernestine lived an active and full life as long as she could, and once she was bedridden, she enjoyed watching old Westerns on TV. The family is very grateful to the home health and hospice care which made it possible for her to remain at home as her health declined. 

Visitation will be at Beasley-Wood Funeral Home from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, March 7, 2019.

There will be a memorial service later in the spring at the church she and Bob helped to found, Christ Church at Monteagle, Tennessee. Memorial donations may be made to the church, to the American Heart Association, Ouachita Artists Gallery & Studio, and Warm Hearts Humane Society of Montgomery County. 

Arrangements were made under the direction of the Beasley-Wood Funeral Home of Mena.

Online obituary at


2-28-19 2:11 p.m. KAWX.ORG 


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