Ernest Emerson Staebner, 88, of Franklin, passed away at his home on August 26, 2019. He was born in Willimantic on April 21, 1931, the son of the late Alfred and Vivian (Atkins) Staebner. A graduate of Norwich Free Academy where he was a member of the Future Farmers of America program, Ernie was a lifelong farmer whose diverse agricultural skills and talents would help form his unique character and guide him through his lifetime. He married his beloved wife Sandra White in 1956. The couple made their home and raised their family in Franklin. Together, Ernie and Sandy were true agricultural entrepreneurs, building several successful businesses including Blue Slope Farm, Blue Slope Sawdust, and Blue Slope Country Museum. Ernie was involved in many agricultural groups including Agri-Mark Milk Cooperative, the Connecticut Farm Bureau, and was a founder of the Eastern Connecticut Draft Horse Association where he shared his skills for the care of working draft horses. For more than 70 years, Ernie was involved with the New London County 4-H Camp, and was among those who built the camp in Franklin. His diverse interests and skill set in agriculture, along with his leadership skills contributed to his respected reputation among farmers and agricultural peers. Ernie will be remembered most fondly as a man with a gentle spirit, strong character, love for farming, and deep commitment to his family. He will be greatly missed but remembered with love by his wife Sandy of 63 years; his children and their spouses Craig (Anne) Staebner, of Franklin, Jeffrey Staebner of Franklin, Glen (Melissa) Staebner of Bozrah, Nancy-Sue (Stephen) Probey of Monrovia, MD; seven grandchildren Matthew (Erica) Staebner, Rebecca (Andy) Joy, Hale (Samantha) Staebner, Alicia (Robert) Moore, Melinda Staebner, Alexandra (James) Costigan, Samantha (Bryce) Swarm; seven great-grandchildren Drake, Myra Rose, Brant, Cora Anne, Tyler, Townes, Isla; and numerous extended family and friendsIn addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his sisters Ann Thrall and Beverly Raymond.
A celebration of Ernie’s life will be held at the Blue Slope Country Museum, 138 Blue Hill Rd, Franklin, CT on Sunday, September 8, 2019 from 2-5pm with a time of remembrance and celebration of Ernie’s life at 2:30pm. Burial will be private. Donations in his memory may be made to the New London County 4-H Foundation for the future, Ernie Staebner Life Skills Memorial program, P.O. Box 6002, Norwich, CT 06360.
The Aurora McCarthy Funeral Home of Colchester has been entrusted with care of arrangements. For online condolences, please visit www.auroramccarthyfuneralhome.com.
New London County 4-H Foundation for the future, Ernie Staebner Life Skills Memorial program
P.O. Box 6002, Norwich CT 06360