February 6, 1956 ~ June 6, 2022

Born in: Indianapolis, Indiana
Resided in: Greenwood, Indiana

Dorothy Denise Ernst was born to the late Gilbert Wayne and Joan Ernst, in Indianapolis, IN. on February 6, 1956.  She passed away unexpectedly on the morning of June 6, 2022, at the young age of 66, leaving us way before her time.

Growing up she chased her big brother (Gilbert Ernst Jr.) around trying to keep him out of trouble.  The two of them shared lots of great memories and have gotten closer throughout their lives.  As a child, she enjoyed spending time with her mom and dad and that never changed even as she grew up.  She always found a comfort being at home and with her loved ones.  Dottie attended Howe High School and continued on with her education to become a hair beautician.

Dottie was blessed with a large and loving family and dear friends.  She treasured her children and embraced every moment with her grandchildren.  Her first marriage was to her high school sweetheart, Mike William Sears Sr. on March 2, 1973.  Together they had two children, Mike William Jr. and Jennifer Joan Sears.  Years later she met her second husband, James William Whitmore, while working alongside her mother at Bower’s Envelope and married on February 4, 1987.  Together they had a baby girl, Pamela Dawn Whitmore.  She was divorced at the time of her passing.  Dottie raised her three children with compassion, patience, discipline, love and respect.

Dottie was an excellent cook, enjoyed making meals and serving her loved ones.  Family and close friends looked forward to Christmas time when she would bake for weeks making Christmas cookie trays and homemade bread for everyone.  The goodies would slowly grow to take over her home until the trays were delivered, but she loved it and every year her list would grow.  Being a beautician she was able to style, trim, dye, highlight and cut her loved ones hair which also brought her much joy.

Dottie had a very loving, thoughtful and caring personality unless you got on her bad side.  She had strong opinions and held sternly to her convictions.  She would speak her mind even if it wasn’t what you wanted to hear.  She was a beloved mother, grandma, sister, aunt, niece, dear friend and much more.  All who loved her dearly will never forget her and her undying love and caring for others.  She was the matriarch rock of the family and will be sorely missed.

Proceeded in her passing were her parents Gilbert Wayne Sr. and Joan Ernst,  Her late husbands, Mike William Sears Sr. and James William Whitmore,   Her aunts and uncles Dot, Helen, Joe and Bill,  Her cousin Chris Ernst,  Her in laws Margaret and Don Lenich, along with too many other loved family and friends.

Dottie leaves behind three children, Mike William Sears Jr. (Ashley), Jennifer Joan Wooldridge (Jason) and Pamela Dawn Whitmore,   Two grandsons, Jacob R. and Justin R. Wooldridge,  Four granddaughters, Abriel, Jamie, Charley Ann and Miley Sears,  Her brother Gilbert Wayne Ernst Jr. (Angela),  Sister n laws, Margie Tyler (Steve) and Tammy Loiser (Leslie),  Brother n law, Robert Sears (Elizabeth),   Uncles, Bill Kilmer (Stacey) and Charles Kilmer,  Aunt Joanne Ernst,  Cousins Gary (Cindy) and Lonny Ernst,  Nieces, Nephews, Great Nieces and Great Nephews,  Ginger Pollitt (Kevin) (Brooke and Brittany), Gilbert Ernst III (Gilbert Ernst IV), Chad Ernst (Timothy and Arianna) and Amber Ernst (Kianna, Natasha and Makayla).




Visitation: June 17, 2022 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Legacy - Lawrence
5215 N Shadeland Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46226

Funeral Service: June 17, 2022 1:30 pm

Legacy - Lawrence
5215 N Shadeland Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46226

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  1. May each of you find courage to face tomorrow as you rest in the knowledge that we truly care about each of your needs and that we will be here to walk beside you in your journey of grief.

    Eddie Beagles and the staff of Legacy Cremation & Funeral Services

  2. I love you grandma, I remember spending summers with you and how nice you were to me, and going over and swimming and talking with you. I’ll always be glad I got to spend that time with you, thank you for everything you did for me and being the best grandma you could be. I will never forget you <3

  3. Grandma, as your youngest grandchild I am gonna miss you with my whole heart. You were the grandparent I was around the most and I’m so grateful for that. I loved your cookie trays you made for us each year and you always gave birthday cards to us for our birthdays. I love you grandma and Im happy that your in a better place. <3

  4. It’s so surreal that you’re gone, I texted you on June 3rd about how fast time passes. I can still hear your contagious laugh in my head when I think about you; I miss being around your warm energy. I’m also gonna miss you telling my daddy to do as I say❤️ Thank you for caring so much for us. There are many memories I cherish, that you provided, and I thank you for being so loving. I hope to hold your strong family values and carry my beliefs as tight as you did. I find peace in knowing you are no longer dealing with the physical struggles of just everyday, but I know there will still be so much time spent mourning your absence. We all love you and miss you down here, thank you for letting us know how loved we are.

  5. I will miss you, your the best sister in-law ever of course your my only sister in-law ❤️ You had been serving Gil and I with meals and helping in anyway possible after my surgery it doesn’t seem possible you leaving us so suddenly. I guess God deemed your work on earth was done and took you to heaven where you were needed more. Until we meet again I Love You ❤️

  6. Aunt Dottie, Your smile lit up the room you were in. I could always find comfort and acceptance in your presence – and your trust, devotion, and love of God and your family was something beautiful to behold. Your laugh. OH DEAR… you are making the angels in heaven SMILE from wing to wing with your effervescent laugh. Thank you for loving our dear friends, Kevin and Ginger. We missed seeing you at Easter this year — thinking that we would catch-up at another family gathering. I’m sad we won’t get to play cards, worship together, share a meal, or a funny story on this side of heaven. Rest in Heaven Dear Lady. Until we meet again….

  7. Thank you for creating my best friend, my husband, your son. The apple of your eye! We’re coming up on 24 years together and that you’ve been a huge part of my life. My heart is broken for him, your daughters, your grandchildren and all your beautiful family members. Losing you is such a huge tragic loss. You’ve been so involved in all of our lives. The grief in missing you will be unmeasurable. I’m going to miss our hours talking on the phone, late into the night. Being able to call you on a whim just to ask for your suggestions on recipes, certain life events or even just to see what you’re up to. We had our personal ups and downs through out the years, but I’ve always loved you, accepted you and respected you. Your dedication to your family is so admirable to me. I know we haven’t got to see or talk to each other a lot lately since I’ve been over taking care of my daddy. The last time we talked you gave me condolences and told me to be strong and what I was doing was the best thing anyone can possible do and how much you appreciated the time you got taking care of your mom. I know you must be so happy to be with her now. As well as your dad and so, so many of your loved ones. What a joyous reunion that must be for you!
    It hurts for us though still here.. without you. Life will never be the same without you. We will never be the same without you. I promise to stand by your son, love and honor him and protect your beautiful granddaughters. I know you’ll watch over us all, sending signs to let us know. I love you Dottie and I miss you already..

  8. I wish you and your family all the best while getting through this hard time. I didn’t know Dorothy personally but she sounded like an awesome, kind, caring, and wonderful human being and of course the greatest of mothers. I can tell her personality is reflected in her children and I am blessed to know her daughter. My prayers go out to you all.

  9. Shocked would be the biggest understatement to fully explain how everyone(or at least I) have been feeling. I largely doubt there is a word in existence to explain a feeling like this. It is too incomprehensible to be expressed through our own emotions, let alone words. Deaths so sudden can be largely overwhelming, so I hope that even though there is trouble expressing how much I will truly miss my grandmother in just words alone, that she can feel my love for her. Energy cannot be created and destroyed, so knowing my grandmothers energy is still alive, floating around the universe, is a great comfort to me. I hope wherever you are now grandma, that all of your struggles have been lifted from your back and that you’ve made peace with any burdens in your life. 💗

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