Ernest W. Hauser, 89, a second generation native Oak Parker, died on Oct. 30, 2019 at his assisted living home in Oakbrook Terrace. Born in Oak Park in May 1930, to Esther and Ernest A. Hauser, he attended Hatch Elementary School and OPRF High School. After graduation, Ernie attended the University of Illinois Champaign as a member of the ROTC and followed in his father’s footsteps by joining the Army after graduation. He completed Ranger School, Company Grade Officers Courses, and served as Rifle Company Commander, Training Officer and Property Officer during the Korean War. He was honorably discharged in 1955, having reached the rank of first lieutenant, and moved back to Oak Park, where he started his career, married Pauline, and had two daughters. 

He worked as a personnel director for several Chicago companies, but his passion was for judo. Active in the sport since his 20s, he competed locally and nationally, reaching the level of fifth degree black belt in 1992. He taught judo for nearly four decades at the Oak Park YMCA, the Lattof YMCA, and the Tohkon Judo Academy and was also an active member of the Chicago Judo Black Belt Association, eventually retiring from the sport in 2006. 

In the mid-1990s, Ernie retired, divorced, and moved to Elmwood Park. Never far from his Oak Park roots, however, he could frequently be seen cycling all around town, participating in the Oak Park Township Senior Lunch program, and enjoying an active retirement alongside his longtime companion, Pam Schultz. 

Ernest Hauser is survived by his daughters, Karen (John Hammetter) and Barb; Pam Schultz; his former wife, Pauline; and his great-niece, Susan Anderson. He was preceded in death by his sister, Mary Davidson; her husband, Stirling; and their children, Diana and Steven. 

Arrangements were handled by Berwyn’s Heritage Funeral Home. No services were held, but a celebration of his life will take place in the future.

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