Ernest Flegenheimer
Ernest Flegenheimer

Obituary of Ernest Flegenheimer

Ernest Flegenheimer, 94, of Saginaw Township, celebrated life from January 30, 1927 until February 2, 2021. He passed away surrounded by his children. Devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, Ernest was born in Zurich, Switzerland to the late Helen and Albert Flegenheimer. He lived in Germany, Italy and Switzerland until the age of 12 fleeing Nazi Germany in 1939. Winnipeg, Canada became his new home and ultimately the United States in 1942, where he became a naturalized citizen a year later. He graduated from Lake Forest Academy (IL), attended New York University, Middlebury College (VT) and Grenoble University in France. Playing soccer, hockey and tennis were highlights of his high school and collegiate career. He married the love of his life, Marjorie McGinn, on June 7, 1952 in New York City. His entire business career was dedicated to the sugar industry beginning with a small family company importing sugar by-products. Vice-president of Menominee Sugar Co. in Green Bay, WI followed and in 1961 he joined Michigan Sugar Co., where he was elected President and a director, serving in that capacity until his retirement in 1993. Ernest 's management skills focused on his ability to communicate, to innovate and to make Michigan Sugar larger and stronger. He inspired and fostered an atmosphere of mutual respect with his employees and growers. Ernest was a trustee of the US Beet Sugar Association, Washington DC, board member of the Sugar Association, Washington DC, president of the Farmers and Manufacturers Beet Sugar Association, Saginaw, MI, and a director of Savannah Foods & Industries, Savannah, GA. He received the B.W. Dyer Memorial Sugar Man of the Year award in 1994. Ernest's leadership and impact extended beyond the sugar industry serving on the Advisory Board of Mutual Insurance Co., Wakefield, MA, and the boards of Saginaw General Hospital, United Way, Junior Achievement and the Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra, Saginaw, MI. Most recently, he became a part of the Wall of Honor at Saginaw Valley State University's new Carmona Business School. Ernest was a member of the Saginaw Club, and a past member of the Saginaw Country Club, Crystal Downs Country Club, Frankfort, MI and Sailfish Point Country Club, Stuart, FL. He was an avid tennis player, enjoyed golf until his late 80s, and always cheered for his beloved Green Bay Packers. Ernest cherished his summers at the family cottage on Crystal Lake in Beulah, MI. It was here where he created a legacy for his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren filled with memories too numerous to count. Aside from his business acumen and skill, Ernest was a gentleman in every respect who earned an unblemished reputation for honesty, integrity, and goodwill. Ernest will be deeply missed by his family; four children, Ellen (Frank) Riggle, Lori (Tom) Deisler, Eric (Libby) Flegenheimer and Mark (Anne) Flegenheimer; 10 grandchildren, Adrienne (Ray Diehl) Oakley, Alyssia (Jeff) Leggett, Zach (Sarah) Riggle, Shelby Riggle, Ryan (Jennifer) Deisler, M.D., Andrew (Ashley) Deisler, Jessica (Jon) Meyer, Graeme Flegenheimer, Trevor and Katie Flegenheimer; nine great-grandchildren, Jake and Taylor Oakley, Mackenzie and Avery Leggett, Bode, Cameron and Rory Deisler, and Smith and Eliza Deisler. He is also survived by nephews, Ron (Karen) Herzog, Leslie (Jacqueline Beckley) Herzog, Moncef (Salima) Bouhafa, and niece, Barbara (Jordan) Pober. He was predeceased by his wife, Marjorie. A private funeral service for Ernest will be held with burial to follow at Crystal Lake Cemetery North, Frankfort, MI. In lieu of flowers, those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider a memorial to Crystal Lake & Watershed Association, P.O. Box 89, Beulah, MI 49617; Saginaw Art Museum, 1126 N. Michigan Ave., Saginaw, MI 48602; The Saginaw Community Foundation-Flegenheimer Family Scholarship, 1 Tuscola St., Suite 100B, Saginaw, MI 48607; and the Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra, 201 N. Washington Ave., Saginaw, MI 48607. Please share your thoughts and memories with the family through
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