Ernst L. Rastatter

January 7, 1924April 28, 2021

Ernst Leopold Rastatter was born January 7, 1924 in Bietigheim, Baden, West Germany.

He was married to Gertrude at the Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church in Bietigheim by Pastor Eugene Summer. At age 18, Ernst first met Trudy when she asked him if she could walk with him to a neighboring town with some other teens. Afterwards, they took a train to another town where they went to the cinema… and so it began. On February 16, 1950 Ernst and Trudy got married. Their honeymoon was a trip to America to begin a new life, leaving a war-torn country behind. They settled in Newark, New Jersey having found work and friends. Their first child – Doris – was born two years later, followed by Kenny in 1953 and Steven in 1957. Ernst and Trudy bought a house in Clifton, NJ where they raised their children.

Ernst was a loving father and supported the family as a Master Sheet Metal Craftsman. He frequently brought home hand-made cookie sheets, pans, various sizes and shapes of trays and vessels, dust pans, and tool boxes. Ernst also loved gardening. He turned most of his back yard into a large vegetable and flower garden. He meticulously planted straight rows of vegetables, walking paths, and not a weed in sight. Ernst was also an avid artist, and displayed his paintings at art shows. He especially loved teaching his granddaughter Taia how to draw and paint. He was a loving “Opa” who enjoyed all of his grandchildren – Kevin, Taia, Christina, Evan, and Lilyana, and his great-granddaughter Kayla.

Ernst and Trudy retired to New Port Richey Florida 33 years ago after their children were off on their own. Ernst became a vibrant part of the Greenbrook Estates community. He helped maintain the plantings around the front entrance of the community and the pool. He also volunteered as a community night-watch guard. He and Trudy were active parishioners at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church. Ernst’s passion for gardening, and his love of papaya fruit led him to discover that he could grow papaya trees in Florida. He soon became known as “The Papaya Man” in the neighborhood as he had grown papaya trees all around his house and around the community pool.

Ernst and Trudy enjoyed 64 years of a committed, loving marriage. They often travelled back to New Jersey and to Germany to stay close to family. Ernst made friends easily, was never pretentious, and always approachable. He was a gentleman and a gentle man. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him.


6 May

Funeral Mass

10:30 am - 11:30 am

St.Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church

8320 Old County Road 54
New Port Richey, FL 34653


  • Visitation

    Wednesday, May 5, 2021


  • Entombment to Follw Funeral Mass


Ernst L. Rastatter

have a memory or condolence to add?

Irene Seiler

May 5, 2021

Ernst was my mother's uncle and grew up with her in Bietigheim. He was a soul of a man. Over 45 years we came together in the USA and Germany and experienced a lot. Through the vastness of the ocean we were then separated again and again, but connected in our hearts. New Port Richey, Spring Valley Drive, was like "arriving". We miss you a lot! In your "paintings" at our home you live on. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. May rest in peace, be guarded by an angel.
Irene and Friedrich Seiler
Lerchenweg 1
79595 Rümmingen

Sebastian Seiler

May 5, 2021

Ernest was my grandmother's uncle, with whom she grew up in Bietigheim during war time. When I was a young boy, I visited Ernest und his wife in Florida with my family. With gratefulness in my heart, I still remember Ernest and Trudy's hospitality, and not least the crocodile stories, their ice machine and my first hurricane experience. Ernest was a gentle, open-minded and creative man, whose paintings adorn also the walls of my parent's house. In the name of family Seiler from Germany, I would like to offer his relatives my sincere condolences. May Ernest rest in peace.

Karen Osborn

May 5, 2021

My Onkel Ernst was one of the kindest and most gentle men I knew. I never saw him utter a harsh word or have anything but a welcoming smile on his face. His love for his beloved wife, Trudel, was awesome and epic. They were both part of my favorite childhood memories and both were a touchstone for me, for my Dad, as they all grew up in the same small German town. My condolences go to his children, Doris, Kenneth, and Steven. May our hearts be warm, knowing he is at peace and with his lifelong love and wife. May we always remember that we are better people for knowing and loving this wonderful man.

Rosemary Wolf

May 3, 2021

Ernst was a very lovely man and we enjoyed the few times we were in his company over the years. Our thoughts and prayers are with Doris, William and Taia, along with the rest of your family. May rest in peace.

Bill & Rosemary Wolf