Passed away early Sunday morning, September 9, 2019, just a few months short of her 97th birthday. Erna was well cared for by her Park Village Pines and Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan caregivers, as well as her family. She is survived by her sister, Inda Karlsons and three nieces, Ruta Balodis, Inese Peterson and Valda Karlsons. Erna was born November 18, 1922, in Vecpiebalga Latvia, emigrated to the United States in 1949 and has been a resident of Kalamazoo since that time. She was a member of the Kalamazoo Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Kalamazoo Chapter of the Daugavas Vanagi. She worked at Morren Poultry in Kalamazoo for many years. Erna is remembered most by her generosity, her warm smile and social graces she held to the end. When active in the church and the Latvian organizations she loved, she never turned down an opportunity to volunteer. Erna and her late husband, Rudolfs, who passed away in 2009, were an important part of the foundation of the Latvian community established in this region during the early years of post World War II. A graveside service will be held at 11:00 am on Tuesday, September 17, 2019 at Riverside Cemetery in Kalamazoo. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to one of the these organizations: Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church, 122 Cherry Hill Kalamazoo MI 49006 or Latvian Center Garezers, 57732 Lone Tree Road, Three Rivers, Michigan 49094-9549. Family and friends may share a condolence message online at www.joldersma-klein.com.