Erna Dillard Cummings
Erna Dillard Cummings
Erna Dillard Cummings
Erna Dillard Cummings
Erna Dillard Cummings
Erna Dillard Cummings
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Obituary of Erna Dillard Cummings

Erna Dillard Cummings, of Simi Valley CA, passed away peacefully on April 6, 2020 in Sun Valley, CA. Funeral service was held at the Simi Valley Public Cemetery, on April 14, 2020 at 11:00 am with Bishop David Nelson officiating. Erna was born in Chicago, Illinois to Wilhelm Weil and Ida Weil on January 14, 1926 three years before the Great Depression. Her younger brother “Baby Weil” passed away in the hospital when he was only two days old. Erna had an exceptional memory and shared many stories with amazing clarity. While still in the crib she remembered a cream colored blouse with a little flower on it. Her earliest memory is her father holding her in his loving arms. She often reminisced about her childhood and had fond memories of the freedoms she had visiting an Uncle and Aunt who lived on a farm. During World War II US citizens of German ethnicity, either naturalized or native-born were detained and/or evicted. During her sophomore year of High School she was forced to quit school and support her mother. Her first job was at a bakery then Montgomery Ward. In the meantime (1942) our government relocated her father to North Dakota an Internment Camp. Back then German nationals were automatically classified as enemy aliens. Her father informed them by telegram that they could be shipped off to Germany. Erna remembered thinking to herself, “How can that possibly happen? I am an American who was born in the United States.” Then in December 1944 Erna and her mother Ida were shipped off to Germany (Alps). In 1945 They eventually reunited with her father in Ellis Island and returned to Germany. Erna told dozens of interesting stories during this period 1942-1945. Erna spoke of a mysterious stranger (Guardian angel) who physically came to her rescue numerous times during the war. After the war September 1945 the Americans gave her father a job as a tailor on the military base. Erna also got a job in an office working for an Army Lieutenant because she spoke English and German fluently. The office was located in Sonthofen on the base. During her first month working there she met her husband, Belton Dillard an American soldier with the Rail Splitters. They both lived in Burgberg a few blocks away and saw each other everyday at the base. They fell in love and were married in February 1946. In 1946 Erna and Belton returned to the United States and welcomed son Jack into the world. In 1950 Erna was in a major car accident and spent a long time in a wheelchair. She broke both her legs and back. In 1954 Erna had a miscarriage (Jason Dillard) at 4 months. Erna ended up with a deadly infection and was moved from one hospital to another and was told she was going to die. Erna and Jack went abroad (Germany) for advanced medical care and eventually returned to the United States. Belton and Erna had marital problems and divorced in 1961. Erna was extremely bright and eventually got a job at Litton Industries then Northrop Grumman in Palos Verdes and worked her way up to an aerospace engineer. In 1962 Erna purchased a home in Simi Valley, Ca. In 1984 she went on a blind date with Dennis Cummings and they got married the same year. She was a member of the LDS church for 50 years. Erna loved to travel, paint, read, knit, crochet, play piano in her youth, sing, make jewelry and much more. Erna was an amazing women and to know her was an honor. Erna is survived by her husband Dennis Cummings, and her son and daughter-in-law Jack and Lydia Dillard and granddaughter Traci Dillard. “You will be truly missed.”
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